New Regional HOPE Center Opens

Hope mobile unit photos by Jere Greene


California Governor Newsom was in Fullerton on October 27 to visit the newly opened Homeless Outreach and Proactive Engagement Center (HOPE) located near St. Jude Hospital. The newly refurbished building is a central command center for case workers, health and outreach providers, and homeless liaison officers working together to address public health issues with an emphasis on services to homeless people for the North OC region.

Gov. Newsom praised the county and local state officials Senator Josh Newman and Assemblymember Sharon Quirk-Silva, saying “the center is a model for the state.”

The Center is a project of the North Orange County Public Safety Collaborative (formerly Task Force), formed by an act of the State Legislature. Community organizations, city managers, and police chiefs began meeting in 2017 to share data and to work on solutions to homelessness, intervention, and violence prevention in the North OC region. Senator Newman secured $36 million for local homeless outreach and prevention programs funded by the Collaborative, which has grown over the past five years to include Fullerton, Buena Park, La Habra, Brea, Placentia, Yorba Linda, Anaheim, Cypress, La Palma, Orange, and Stanton.

Among other funding, Fullerton City Council voted in January 2021 to contribute $650,000 in CARES Act funding for the center, Senator Newman secured an additional $7.8 million in July 2021, and the County of Orange contributed $500,000. Participating cities will no longer contract with individual non-profits as the HOPE Center will act as a dedicated central hub where all homeless services can be coordinated.

The new center will also be able to quickly dispatch mobile homeless outreach units with social workers, mental health workers, homeless liaison officers and community service providers (depending on what services are needed) to any location across the region.

Fullerton Police Chief Robert Dunn said, “They will be able to bring resources out to a particular call and if it’s a non-law enforcement call, we will send out a homeless case worker to offer services. Our goal is for the police to no longer respond to these types of calls and to send the people who can really help.”

“We know that a well-coordinated, collaborative effort is key when it comes to improving the availability of services, shelter beds, and treatment for our unhoused neighbors. The HOPE Center will now provide a centrally located service hub, providing a variety of resources to better serve those experiencing homelessness in Fullerton and surrounding cities. I thank Senator Josh Newman for supporting the North Orange County Public Safety Collaborative in this amazing project,” said Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva. “This work is a testament to what a community can do when it opens its heart to those who are suffering so that we can provide people the help they need to regain the stability that leads to a permanent home.”

Senator Newman thanked Gov. Newsom and said, “I am so grateful to the hundreds of dedicated public servants, mental health clinicians, homeless outreach providers, violence prevention specialists, and other community-based organizations who have worked tirelessly to enhance the safety and lives of the residents, businesses and visitors of North Orange County.”

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