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Pro Bono Efforts Revitalize Orange County Clinic and Social Services Center

SOS_ReceptionNEWPORT BEACH, Calif. — Team members from several of the region’s leading architectural and construction firms, including TAYLOR, Suffolk-Roel, C.W. Driver and Questar joined collaborators from Hoag Hospital’s Real Estate, Facilities, Construction, and Operations (REFCO) and Share Our Selves (SOS) to celebrate the completion of the redesign of the SOS facilities in Costa Mesa on Friday, Aug. 19.


What began as a “paint-up, fix-up” project to update the image of the busy 13,000-square-foot clinic and social services center evolved into a full-scale renovation and a remarkable collaboration that brought the community together to create a functional, patient-centric design that reflects the SOS culture of respect, dignity and professionalism.

Share Our Selves is one of the largest, most comprehensive, volunteer-based agencies providing free, safety net services for homeless and low-income individuals and families in Orange County. Hoag Hospital has had a long partnership with SOS and the initial request for assistance was made to REFCO, who in turn asked TAYLOR, the Newport Beach architecture firm, to provide design guidance.

“After meeting with SOS staff and volunteers, we saw the need for a much more comprehensive renovation plan that would not only refresh the spaces, but would provide an environment that is warm, welcoming and healing,” noted Elise Drakes, the project coordinator from TAYLOR. “From the reconfigured spaces to bright colors and artwork, the design decisions were as much about creating a more uplifting and respectful place as improving efficiency.”

“There has been an incredible alignment of mission among all of the over 90 contractors, designers, subcontractors and vendors,” observed Karen L. McGlinn, executive director of SOS. “They all shared a common goal, united in caring for the poor and vulnerable in our community by creating an environment that restores the spirit and gives hope. The effort has been a phenomenon that transformed not just our facility but the team itself.”

The power of the experience that McGlinn describes is echoed in comments from team members. Jesse Jenner, superintendent for Suffolk-Roel, one of the general contractors on the project said, “I have been on the project full-time for over four months; in my 34 years in construction, this is the most rewarding project I have ever done. It’s all about community; it’s about giving back. Being on site, I have seen first-hand who SOS serves; they are a lifeline to those in need.”

The end results — from the new entrance and facade to updated registration and checkout areas; improved client/patient experience, confidentiality and privacy; upgraded volunteer, staff and donation/receiving areas; and refreshed brand graphics and logo — are as remarkable as the unprecedented effort. In addition to the generous donations of time, materials and furnishing — including over $400,000 in construction costs — the team tapped into the artistic community who responded with equal enthusiasm. Artwork from local artists Ruben Acosta, Irene Abraham, Bill Couture, Bill Quiriam and Laurie Zagon enliven the walls. Dylan Tellesen, a Chico, Calif.-based artist, donated a custom mural that depicts the SOS story with images of past and present.

The official celebration marked the completion of over a year of planning and four months of construction for the team, but it is just the beginning for the individuals and families that depend on SOS. For more on the SOS Redesign Collaboration see: http://www.taa1.com/sosproject/.

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Posted August 24, 2011

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