Friday Photo: Sssensational Scarf


What a sssensational ssscarf! Park Ranger Allison Lee dons a snake that is used as a park ambassador during educational events for the public. Find all County Parks and Recreation programs in their Fall Program Guide.

Share your fabulous photos! If you see a coworker getting the job done, a beautiful sunset over your office or wonderful County program being offered—snap a pic and submit it. Be sure to include information about the photo and your name. One image will be posted to InSite every Friday.

See the Friday Photo gallery.

Record Attendance at Innovation of Day

Hundreds headed to the County Operations Center on Thursday to get a peek inside Innovation Day, an event showcasing new technology designed to make the County more efficient.

If you were unable to attend or were looking for additional information about the technology displayed at IT Innovation Day, visit the Innovation portal. Details can be found in the “Innovation Day 2019 Solutions Descriptions” section.

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Bridging the Gap No More

A 144,000-pound pedestrian bridge suspended above Front Street downtown is no more, after a complicated and delicate operation to remove it from between two buildings.

The 100-foot long bridge was once used to transfer inmates to and from the old County Courthouse and Central Jail but it hasn’t been used since the new State Courthouse opened over a year ago.

Bringing down the structure was no small feat. Front Street is a busy corridor, but it was shut down for the weekend of Aug. 3-4 for the bridge’s removal. A crane was brought in to hold the weight of the bridge as four welders with torches cut the eight steel attachments connecting the walkway between the two buildings.

Once the welders severed the connections, the bridge broke loose and was supported solely by the crane. Slowly and carefully, the bridge was safely lowered to the ground where it was dismantled. Front Street was reopened to traffic by 4 a.m. the following Monday morning, as planned.

Demolishing the bridge is the first step toward the construction of a new 350-foot long tunnel that will run underneath the old courthouse and be used to transfer inmates between the Central Jail and the new courthouse.

The old courthouse will be torn down and replaced with the Courthouse Commons project. Developers plan to build a 37-story high rise on the southern portion of the site fronting Broadway. The building would house 431 apartments, plus retail and office space. More than 80 of the units will be set aside for affordable housing. 

Pet of the Week - Gray

Meet Gray! A 1.5-year-old cat looking for his new forever home.

Gray is a sweet boy who loves human interaction. He doesn’t mind being around other felines, but isn’t too fond of dogs.

Gray will love being your shadow and will follow you around, so you’ll have an instant companion! He loves cuddles and is litter box trained. So let’s get him adopted!

You can see Gray at the Department of Animal Services’ shelter in Carlsbad or visit to give another animal their furever home.

HHSA Homeless Outreach Team Brings Services to People in Need



Typically, they help clients at the Family Resource Centers in Central and South Regions of Health and Human Services Agency.

Not today.

Social workers Shalissa Olmeda and Alejandra Palafox and Human Services Specialist Deborah Murguia are working at Clay Park in the Rolando neighborhood of San Diego.

They’re working at a table in the middle of Clay Park at the request of the Rolando Community Council, which asked HHSA to come to the area to offer homeless people public assistance and other services, including resources to mental health and substance use treatment—services that are available at Family Resource Centers.

“Some people are hesitant to go to an office, so we come to them,” said Olmeda. “We offer them all eligibility services as well as case management.”

The Central and South Regions Homeless Services Team consists of social workers and human services specialists. Some are stationed at the local homeless shelters, some partner with local business associations and other homeless services providers, and some of them are part of HOT (Homeless Outreach Teams).

Found in many regions of the county, Homeless Outreach Teams usually consist of police officers, a Psychiatric Emergency Response Team clinician and HHSA human services specialist. They go out on a daily basis and try to engage persons ready to commit to getting off the streets. The team will assist them by facilitating their placement into an emergency shelter and linking them with appropriate services.



The trio of employees has been working at Rolando’s Clay Park a few hours on two days each week since early August and will be there through the end of the month.

The Central and South Regions Homeless Services team offers services at parks, churches and different community events. At Clay Park, they were able to help several clients, including a woman and her three children who needed a permanent place to live and is now getting assistance with the Section 8 rental assistance program. They also helped a man who inquired about shelter information and employment resources.

The team has recently done outreach at Willie Henderson Park and earlier this year did a month-long outreach in the Hillcrest area of San Diego. These are only a few examples of the work they do in the community.

“When we’re out, we see a little bit of everything,” added Olmeda. “We see people with substance use, mental health and other issues.”

Palafox said that by being outside in the community, it helps them build trust with prospective clients who may not want to visit an office and wait.

“We give them hope and a sense of stability so that they can turn their lives around,” said Palafox. “It’s very rewarding.”

Because the Homeless Services Team members are mobile, they can work remotely and help people in need.

“It’s good to get out of the office and bring services to the areas where they’re needed,” Murguia said.

Friday Photo: Lily of the Nile and Insects


Manuel Casillas, an insect detection specialist with Ag, Weights and Measures, captured this photo of a beautiful Lily of the Nile in front of the historic County Insectary in Chula Vista.

The insectary building was built in about 1920 to help with the lemon groves surrounding the site. Currently, it serves as an office for about 10 inspectors in the County’s Pest Detection Program and has a dedicated room to all the memorabilia the department has obtained throughout the years.

Share your fabulous photos! If you see a coworker getting the job done, a beautiful sunset over your office or wonderful County program being offered—snap a pic and submit it. Be sure to include information about the photo and your name. One image will be posted to InSite every Friday.

Resources Available to Help Employees in Distress

From Helen Robbins-Meyer, Chief Administrative Officer

Some employees are aware, but we want to let all staff know of a tragic incident at a County facility. A member of the public, not an employee, died after falling from a parking structure at the County Operations Center Wednesday. The Medical Examiner has ruled it a suicide. Unfortunately, some employees saw it happen.  

Employees’ well-being is extremely important to us, and we understand that events, either directly or indirectly, can take an emotional toll.

We want to remind all staff the Employee Assistance Program can provide counseling services 24 hours a day, every day. There is no charge, and it is anonymous. You can always find a link in the Top Links section of the InSite homepage.

EAP counselors will also be at the COC in person, Friday, Aug. 23. They will be available from 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. at 5530 Overland Ave., Suite 210.

If you are feeling emotional distress, you can also feel free to speak with your supervisor or contact your departmental human resources officer.       

County behavioral health experts believe that for every suicide, six other people who were close to the victim suffer lasting emotional trauma.

They also say the great majority of people who die by suicide show warning signs and knowing how to spot them and what to do may help save a life.

Warning signs of suicide may include:

  • Talking of hurting or killing oneself

  • Hopelessness or helplessness

  • Sudden calmness after depression

  • Divorce, separation, stress on family

  • Loss of health (real or imaginary)

  • Loss of job, home, personal security

  • Increased alcohol or drug use

  • Isolation from family and friends

  • Daring or risk-taking behavior

The County also sponsors the Access and Crisis Line where trained counselors offer advice on how to handle a mental health crisis and can help callers with a specific issue. The number is (888) 724-7240.

If a person comes to you for help and is in immediate danger, call 9-1-1.

You should also:

  • Take it seriously

  • Listen; suicidal behavior is a call for help

  • Ask: Are you having thoughts of suicide?

  • Don’t leave person alone

  • Urge professional help

  • Get help right away

When a friend or a loved one comes to you for help, take it seriously. Ask if he or she is having thoughts of suicide or ending it all. That simple conversation can help save a life.

We all pull together in so many ways to accomplish our work at the County. This is a time we’re reminded of the need to support each other. Please continue to take care of yourself and look out for the well-being of your colleagues.   


DCSS Partners with Departments for Super Saturday

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The Department of Child Support Services is teaming up with several County departments to provide services during weekend non-business hours. Earlier this month, DCSS hosted its third Super Saturday event at the North Inland Live Well Center in Escondido, providing the community with an opportunity to connect to a variety of County and community resources in one convenient location.

The 140 people who attended Super Saturday were able to meet with staff members from the County’s Department of Human Resources, Public Defender’s Office, Family Law Facilitator, Health and Human Services-Family Resource Center, Office of Military and Veteran Affairs, Community Health and Public Health.

Providers held on-the-spot interviews, screened attendees for eligibility, provided free legal advice, took applications for the Fresh Start Program for past justice-involvement attendees and provided information on continuing education and childcare resources. In addition, DCSS staff and the YMCA of San Diego handed out 137 donated and school supply-filled backpacks to families who attended the event.

While Super Saturday was focused on connecting the community resources and providing support during weekend non-office hours, the event also rang in Child Support Awareness Month, celebrated across the nation each August. In addition, DCSS was able to collect nearly $5,000 in child support payments during the event.

DCSS plans to team up with County partners for similar events this fall. The next Super Saturday event is scheduled for Saturday, November 2 and will be held in the South County. For more information, contact Norma Ramirez at (858) 650-6538.

Video Tour: Crime Lab Artifacts Put on Display

Did you know the Crime Lab at the County Operations Center has an informative artifacts display? Housed within the building’s lobby is a large exhibit showcasing evidence, crime-fighting artifacts, photographs and more. While it is located in a secure facility, you can take a behind the scenes tour in this video.

You can also take a trip back in time with video tours of the displays at the County Administration Center, interesting artifacts at the Cedar/Kettner parking garage and exhibits at the County Operations Center.

Pet of the Week – Kenai

Meet Kenai! A 4-year-old Siberian husky/Lab mix looking for his new forever home.

Kenai is a diamond in the “ruff”! This guy has a lot of energy and loves to run around, so he’s looking for someone with lots of space. He is trained to run the obstacle course at the shelter, gives high-fives and is good on a leash.

While Keani loves being around people, he is looking for a home where he can be an only child. So let’s get him adopted!

You can see Kenai at the Department of Animal Services’ shelter in Carlsbad or visit to give another animal their furever home.