Supervisor Foley Highlights County Investments in Supportive Services, Housing, and Protecting Open Spaces
ORANGE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA — During yesterday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley announced renewed efforts to collect public input for the County Master Plan for Aging. Supervisor Foley will begin holding public stakeholder events and planning for her Senior Summit taking place on October 27, 2023 at Soka University.
“Orange County includes over 650,000 older Americans living in our communities with projections to double by 2060,” said Supervisor Foley. “A recent report in the Orange County Register discussed the lack of collected, systemic data needed by the County to work with our partners to better serve residents as they grow older into the future. We remain committed to our Master Plan for Aging Process to collect this data and plan for future housing, healthcare, transportation, recreation and other needs.”
“To that end, I plan to host a Senior Summit on October 27, 2023 at Soka University. We invite everyone who wants to participate as a vendor for our resource fair or as a speaker for our program. We will also host numerous public stakeholder events in the district every month at our senior centers and other community organizations to collect information through our county’s survey for the Master Plan for Aging. We hope you will all participate in our efforts, and share your ideas, thoughts, and concerns to help us plan for the future,” added Supervisor Foley.
Additionally, Supervisor Foley released the following statements highlighting the votes by the Board of Supervisors from the May 23, 2023 meeting:
Warmline Services for Non-Crisis Behavioral Health Support (Item 13): Contract with NAMI Orange County for the provision of a toll free 24-hour, seven days a week peer-based crisis communication system. Through this decision, residents access behavioral health support by phone call, live chat, and text message.
“I’m grateful crisis services will include our Vietnamese speaking and Spanish communities. NAMI connects with more than 11,000 people per month, up from 140 calls when they first started. The ability to reach and help talk to 11,000 people per month requires quite the operation and funds to implement. Sometimes all that matters is that there is somebody on another phone line talking to you and helping you through the issues,” said Supervisor Foley.
Wrap Around Service for Youth Offenders (Item 20): Contract with Waymakers for wraparound services and individualized service plans for youth offenders to improve their wellbeing. Supervisor Foley called on staff to re-evaluate the performance standards.
“We must elevate our standards of expectations to meet the needs of our young people and reduce recidivism. On the Juvenile Justice Coordinating Council, we’ve done a deep dive into our contracts for this demographic of young people. We started to compile metrics that might elevate the standards we’re expecting here at the County. Many of our vendors exceed expectations, so setting the bar higher will increase services and help more people stabilize.”
Santa Ana-Delhi Channel Diversion Structure (Item 42): Protecting Newport Bay and nearby watersheds from trash and debris with a diversion structure on the Santa Ana Delhi Channel that will channel water flow to a sanitary sewer treatment plant and ultimately recharge our groundwater replenishment system.
“This structure provides us with the opportunity to protect our beautiful beaches by diverting trash and debris away from our communities,” said Supervisor Foley. “Protecting our environment remains a top priority for my office. Last week, I toured the River Jetty with county staff, the Army Corps of Engineers and residents to discuss how we can protect communities and keep our watershed clean. Ensuring the maintenance of our beaches with this structure represents an essential part of that plan.”
Housing Support Program Services with Mercy House Living Centers (Item 47): Contract with Mercy House Living Centers to provide families housing-related wraparound supportive services and financial assistance to secure permanent housing or prevent homelessness.
“I’m glad to see the metrics for success in this program so far. I look forward to getting more people housed through working together to address the gaps in service,” said Supervisor Foley.
Funding for the Friendship Shelter of Laguna Beach (Item 53): Agreement with Laguna Beach to provide Community Development Block Grant funding. This grant will fund the Friendship Shelter’s Alternative Sleeping Location and expand the hours of the City’s mobile crisis units to 12 hours per day 7 days a week.
“We must provide safe spaces for our unhoused neighbors to stay. This partnership with the City of Laguna Beach and the Friendship Shelter will continue our work to develop these sleeping locations and move forward with helping more people,” said Supervisor Foley. “The Friendship Shelter is the only shelter in the South County SPA. We need action from more cities, so the City of Laguna Beach does not solely bear the burden of serving all unsheltered neighbors in South Orange County.”
Request for Safeguards on Needle Exchange Program Application (Item S59C): Support recommendation by Orange County’s Chief of Public Health Services, Dr. Regina Chinsio-Kwong, to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), regarding the negative impacts of State Needle Exchange Programs in Orange County.
“In 2018, when I was the Mayor of Costa Mesa, we joined the County in seeking an injunction to prevent needle exchange programs in Orange County. Tens of thousands of needles appeared in the community on sidewalks and in parks, preventing the use of playgrounds. The court granted the injunction, but the state decided to intercede. Now we don’t have any ability to prevent needle exchanges in our community,” said Supervisor Foley. “Although I do not support the program, I will do whatever I can to ensure operations will not increase the amount of littering in our community. We need control and concentrated efforts to ensure that needle exchange program operators will be responsible for cleaning up needles around the community.”