Home Contra Costa County Martinez to Coordinate Resolution of Homeless Camp, Known as “Camp Hope”

Martinez to Coordinate Resolution of Homeless Camp, Known as “Camp Hope”

City of Martinez

by ECT

Over the past week, upon learning of the Homeless Action Coalition’s imminent plans to discontinue services at Camp Hope (an encampment of unhoused individuals located at the outdoor amphitheater at the City’s Waterfront), the City of Martinez initiated a response to address the anticipated impacts of this departure.

The Homeless Action Coalition is a local nonprofit founded by longtime Martinez resident Noralea Gipner who opened the site at the start of the pandemic to help the unhoused community shelter in place and receive COVID-19 testing and vaccinations.

Over time, the Coalition also provided basic life necessities to persons at the camp, including food, clothing, laundry services and case management. The Coalition will no longer be providing these services.

The City wants to thank Noralea Gipner and the Homeless Action Coalition for their tireless efforts to serve the unhoused community in Martinez. With this announcement, the City has stepped in to help transition unhoused individuals from the site to shelter, housing or treatment centers.

City Statement on the Resolution of Camp Hope

Over the past week, upon learning of the Homeless Action Coalition’s imminent plans to discontinue services at Camp Hope (an encampment of unhoused individuals located at the outdoor amphitheater at the City’s Waterfront), the City of Martinez initiated a response to address the anticipated impacts of this departure.

The Homeless Action Coalition is a local nonprofit founded by longtime Martinez resident Noralea Gipner who opened the site at the start of the pandemic to help the unhoused community shelter in place and receive COVID-19 testing and vaccinations. Over time, the Coalition also provided basic life necessities to persons at the camp, including food, clothing, laundry services and case management.  The Coalition will no longer be providing these services.

With the abrupt announcement, the City has stepped in to help transition unhoused individuals from the site to shelter, housing or treatment centers. The City anticipates posting a notice at the site announcing an impending clean-up date for later on in the month. Everyone living at the camp has been offered shelter or housing, which three individuals have accepted thus far.

The Martinez City Manager’s Office, Police Department, Public Works Department, and other City staff, along with Contra Costa County and non-profit representatives, are working to address several key priorities, including:

  • On November 2nd, a team began an onsite assessment of Camp Hope to determine how to support those remaining and identify available shelter or housing.
  • On a daily basis, drug and alcohol addiction service providers, along with mental health services, will be at the site to work with those remaining at the camp.
  • A private security service with experience working with homeless encampments is being coordinated to supervise the encampment during evening hours.
  • Fire and hazardous materials mitigation will be carefully considered in anticipation of clean-up of the site.

The City is also tracking the expiration of local, County and State emergency health orders, which initially provided some flexibility for Camp Hope to exist.

The City’s overarching goal is to facilitate the transitioning of persons remaining at the camp to housing or treatment, ensuring they can receive the proper care and services they need, all while working to return the site back to a city recreational amenity.

Along with recognizing the Homeless Action Coalition for their dedicated community service over the last two and a half years at Camp Hope, the City wants to recognize numerous nonprofits and partners who are assisting in the clean-up effort. These groups include Contra Costa County; Coordinated Outreach, Referral, and Engagement (CORE); Support 4Recovery; Loaves and Fishes; RESTORE; and Bibett, among others.


Here is a video posted a year ago regarding Camp Hope Martinez


Senator Dodd Names Noralea Gipner as Contra Costa County Woman of the Year

MARTINEZ – Noralea Gipner, a former Martinez City Council member who led a successful public safety sales tax campaign and was instrumental in efforts to improve services for the homeless, has been named Contra Costa County Woman of the Year by Sen. Bill Dodd.

“Over three years ago I had a dream to aid our homeless citizens of Martinez,” Gipner said. “With the help of friends, we formed Homeless Action Coalition, my non-profit. The pandemic gave me the opportunity to create Camp Hope and the results so far are amazing; better health, a sense of belonging, opportunities for rehab, housing, and employment for many of our folks.”

Gipner, a Martinez native, is president and CEO of Homeless Action Coalition and founder of Camp Hope. The licensed cosmetologist and longtime community volunteer was elected to the Martinez City Council in 2016 and served through 2020. During that time she is credited with leading the city’s 2018 campaign for Measure X, the half-cent public safety sales tax, and for helping to bring a second baseball team, the Martinez Sturgeon, to town. She also was responsible for obtaining services such as showers and clothing and long-term places to live for the homeless. At the same time, she developed strong partnerships with the police department, county health workers, faith groups and other advocacy groups in her efforts to address the needs of the homeless community. — full story

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