State Sen. Josh Newman led an effort to secure $7.8 million to sustain and expand the innovative, impactful and successful public safety model developed by The North Orange County Public Safety Task Force (NOCPSTF), officials announced today.
The Task Force is a unique collaborative of cities, police departments and Community Based Organizations (CBOs) that work together to identify and treat the root causes of homelessness, prevent youth violence, and enhance post-incarceration reentry support.
In 2017, Newman secured the original state budget grant of $20 million that created the Task Force and provided funding for its first four years. The Task Force originally began with 6 North Orange County cities and was subsequently expanded to 10. Across the region, public safety officials have developed highly effective partnerships with more than 40 CBOs, collaborating on strategy, sharing resources and responding community needs.
The continued funding included in California’s Budget Act of 2021 will enable the Task Force to expand to 13 cities, thereby serving the whole of the North Orange County Service Provision Area (SPA)—one of the three county SPAs for allocating and coordinating resources for homelessness and mental health services in Orange County.
“Communities in North Orange County owe a debt of gratitude to Senator Newman. His hard work ensures the continuation and expansion of our innovative and collaborative model to solving regional public safety issues,” said Buena Park Police Chief Corey Sianez, chair of the Task Force. “Senator Newman deserves much credit for delivering the resources we need to enhance safety in North Orange County and for having the initiative to support a visionary and replicable model that has the potential to serve communities across California and beyond.”
Since the Task Force’s inception, it has commissioned a first-ever homeless census, developing first-of-its kind technology to help police and community-benefit organizations deliver immediate services and shelter beds to people experiencing homelessness. It has also provided a myriad of other services aimed at reducing youth violence and assisting with post-incarceration reentry. And now it will turn its attention to supporting the development of mobile homeless outreach units.
Federal officials have also noted its potential and are pursuing $5 million to fund the Task Force’s efforts to create a regional resource map for accountability and efficacy.
“Funding this highly innovative and collaborative approach to public safety was a top priority for me,” Newman 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.”
Representatives of community-based organizations also expressed gratitude to Newman.
“This unique, collaborative model has made a significant positive difference in the lives of the at-risk children we serve,” said Todd Trout, CEO of the Boys and Girls Club of Buena Park. “Our partnership in the North Orange County Public Safety Task Force not only helps us serve the youth of today, but it is building the social infrastructure necessary to help reduce the need to manage homelessness or the re-entry of the incarcerated through early youth violence prevention strategies.”