Video Surveillance Solutions Help Father Joe’s Villages Protect the Homeless in San Diego
Father Joe’s Villages, a non-profit organization with a mission to prevent and end homelessness in San Diego, has chosen to install security cameras from Hanwha Techwin to ensure the safety of its clients, staff, and volunteers.
Established in 1950 in a small chapel in downtown San Diego to serve San Diegans experiencing homelessness and poverty, Father Joe’s Villages has since grown to include a comprehensive campus and scattered-site programs that provide comprehensive housing and services to people struggling with homelessness in San Diego. The organization provides housing to over 2,000 people every night and serves more than one million warm, nutritious meals annually.
In addition to offering hope to those experiencing homelessness in San Diego, president and CEO, Deacon Jim Vargas, and the organization’s senior leadership team made a commitment to provide a safe and secure environment for program participants, volunteers, and employees.
“The safety of our staff, volunteers and clients is one of our top priorities, so we initiated a new surveillance project as soon as we had someone on the team who had the experience to help with this type of project,” Vargas said.
In 2016, shortly after Frank Paredes joined Father Joe’s Villages as director of information technology, the organization evaluated their physical security solution to determine how they could upgrade their existing collection of mix-and-match analog cameras to achieve an overall improved video surveillance system. After an RFP process and with input from security integrators JMG Security Systems and American Security Group, Paredes and his team chose to replace their existing solution with Hanwha video surveillance cameras managed by Hanwha’s Wisenet WAVE Video Management System (VMS).
“Our cameras were the best in class when they were purchased years ago, but we had an aging, disparate analog system and it was time to step up to a platform that was innovative and would bring us the latest in technology,” Paredes said. “We did our research and looked at several manufacturers. Ultimately, we selected Hanwha due to the innovation of their cameras, which provide crystal clear images; but more importantly, Hanwha’s overall solution is very cost-effective.”
For the Father Joe’s Villages deployment, they installed cameras from the Hanwha Wisenet Q series — including the QNO-7080R 4MP Network IR Bullet Camera, QNV-7010R 4MP Network IR vandal-resistant camera, PND-9080R 4K IR dome camera — as well as IP PTZ cameras including the SNP-6320RH.
Father Joe’s Villages currently operates more than 400 video surveillance cameras across their facilities including housing, program, administrative, retail and warehouse space.
Paredes said they are very pleased with the WAVE VMS because it is so easy to use. Additionally, it has given them the capability to consolidate operations and easily manage video surveillance across the different locations. Even though blocks of cameras at each different facility might have a separate NVR, they unified the system via WAVE, enabling them to call up cameras from any of the locations throughout their campus and scattered site locations.
“Wisenet WAVE … makes it extremely easy to operate for all our users,” Paredes said. “We are all very happy with it. Whether they’re beginners, intermediate, or advanced users, it’s just as easy to manage because it’s all drag and drop. The ability to customize WAVE to your liking with all of the different building layouts is also impressive. It’s just a well-thought-out video management system.”
Paredes said in addition to ease of use, cost was a determining factor in choosing WAVE to manage their video surveillance cameras. “We like that with our Hanwha camera solution we only pay a one-time license fee per camera for the WAVE VMS,” he said. “I’ve had experiences with other VMS providers that require users to pay an annual licensing fee every year or have astronomical recurring costs — that made those types of solutions unaffordable for us.”
Father Joe’s Villages will soon break ground on an exciting addition — a high rise building that will double their affordable housing inventory by adding 407 units and additional program and administrative offices. This expansion will call for the addition of 250-plus cameras to their existing video surveillance system. Paredes said they plan to add Hanwha cameras that feature analytics as they expand the system to the new facility.
“Being a nonprofit organization, cost is very important, but we can’t sacrifice quality when it comes to security,” Paredes said. “The Hanwha camera and WAVE VMS solution we have installed have provided us both outstanding quality and affordability. The pictures we get from the cameras — the vividness and the colors — are just phenomenal. We are grateful to have a solution that provides our community with a top-notch security solution.”