Mobile Office Helps in Many Ways Throughout San Diego County
Customer Spotlight: County of San Diego, Health & Human Services Agency
Written in collaboration with the help of Live Well San Diego and San Diego County
As California’s second largest city and the eighth largest city in the United States, San Diego has more than 3 million residents countywide. Known for their nearly endless sunshine and beautiful coastal views, San Diego has 70 miles of pristine beaches and world-famous attractions for kids and adults alike such as San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld San Diego and LEGOland California.
Check out the seals at the La Jolla Cove or people watch at the Pacific Beach Pier. Offering 92 golf courses, a bustling arts culture, and some of the best food in the country from over 6,400 restaurants and eating establishments, there is no shortage of fun to be had in San Diego.1
To ensure residents throughout the county are maximizing their life choices and living a better quality of life for themselves and those around them, The County of San Diego, and the Health & Human Services Agency (HHSA) adopted the Live Well San Diego vision.
“Live Well San Diego is our vision to improve the lives of San Diego County residents through a collective effort between us, individuals, and our partners,” says Albert Garcia, Chief, County of San Diego Health & Human Services Agency.
The Need for a Custom Vehicle
In order to extend their reach throughout the County, the Health & Human Services Agency knew they needed a custom vehicle. The vision behind the vehicle would be to create a mobile solution that could be forward facing in the community and assist wherever it is needed. The vehicle can be utilized for numerous things from health and wellness needs to local community events, including COVID-19 response. And just like that, the Live Well Mobile Office was conceptually born.
When designing the vehicle, the Health & Human Services Agency invited input from many different people and partners to ensure the vehicle would be extremely versatile. Some must-haves included: satellite internet, monitors, laptops, private counseling room, bathroom, refrigerator to transport and administer vaccinations, a pressurized water supply and air conditioning.
“We took delivery of the vehicle in March 2020 and a few weeks after it arrived, it was sent out to be used as a remote COVID-19 testing site,”said Ismael Lopez, Manager, County of San Diego Health & Human Services Agency.“We had a ribbon cutting and big unveiling planned but the vehicle was needed for testing. More than 16,000 residents in the community have been tested with the help of the Live Well Mobile Office.”
While the vehicle wasn’t intended to be used solely as a mobile testing site, it proved to be invaluable during the pandemic. The vehicle is equipped with convenient features like a bathroom, A/C units, onboard WiFi and more which make it a great asset as a mobile testing site.
On the Spot CalFresh Food Benefits
In early September, the San Diego wildfires were causing catastrophic damage in the county. HHSA’s custom vehicle was dispatched to help at a local library near the fires, as they set up a Local Assistance Center. The team set up workstations and installed a mobile Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card printer on the vehicle for California’s CalFresh Program. CalFresh benefits stretch food budgets which allow individuals and families to afford nutritious food including more fruit, vegetables and other healthy foods. This was the first real intended use for the vehicle. So how did it perform?
“Having the ability to help people that were displaced from their homes due to the fire was really rewarding. By installing the Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card printer in the vehicle, we were able to confirm eligibility and issue food assistance right on the spot. This was the first time this has been done in California and quite possibily in the country,” said Lopez.
The Health & Human Services Agency knew they wanted a reliable vehicle when it came time to purchase. They had plans to put the vehicle to work 7 days a week, really giving the vehicle a workout. This meant doing some research on their part. So who do you talk to that has first-hand experience with custom vehicles? Who works them really hard and could provide advice about how to select the right custom vehicle manufacturer?
“We consulted with multiple agencies throughout California when we were gathering our information about purchasing a custom truck, including our own local law enforcement. These agencies work these vehicles harder than anyone. LDV came up as great builder for our truck,” said Albert Garcia.
Our legendary quality and commitment to customer service made a significant impact with everyone in the County because we are building a second vehicle for Live Well San Diego. The second vehicle will be similar to the original with a few tweaks and changes. By adding a second vehicle, their reach within the community will grow.
“I had such a great experience working with LDV during the first vehicle build. We are looking forward to working with everyone again on the second vehicle,” said Kimberly Awramko, Principal Administrative Analyst, County of San Diego Health & Human Services Agency.
“The pandemic changed everything. We realize now we need more storage on the vehicle to haul materials and other items. We are adding additional IT equipment and making the WiFi signal a priority since it has been utilized a lot with the current truck. We learned a lot with the first truck and are applying that knowledge to the second one,” said Ismael Lopez.
The County of San Diego, Health & Human Services Agency, continues to pursue their goal of enhancing the lives of the community through both individual and community partnerships.
If your organization has a mission similar to Live Well San Diego and needs a custom vehicle to help achieve your goals, we can help. Learn more about the custom vehicles we manufacture at www.LDVusa.com.