Father Joe’s Villages, a nonprofit organization with a mission to prevent and end homelessness in San Diego, has installed security cameras from Hanwha Techwin to help ensure the safety of its clients, staff and volunteers.
Established in 1950 in a small chapel in downtown San Diego, Father Joe’s Villages has since grown to include a comprehensive campus and scattered-site programs that provide housing and services to people struggling with homelessness citywide. The organization provides nightly housing to over 2,000 people 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,” states Vargas. 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 legacy 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,” says Paredes. “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: QNO-7080R 4MP network IR bullet camera; QNV-7010R 4MP network IR vandal-resistant camera; PND-9080R 4K IR dome camera; plus, 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 explains 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 has an outstanding user interface which makes it extremely easy to operate for all our users. We are all very happy with it,” Paredes says. “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 explains 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 says. “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.”
Paredes and his team installed and maintain the system, while security personnel view the cameras from an upgraded 24/7 control center outfitted with several large monitors. If the surveillance team sees something of concern in a certain location, they dispatch security personnel to investigate. Father Joe’s Villages developed a video surveillance policy for governance, which allows their security department — along with the legal department — to manage requests from throughout the organization to review footage in the event of an incident.
Paredes and his IT team completed Hanwha training and earned certification. As a result, they can design, implement and support Hanwha cameras internally which means they do not have to rely on the cost and time associated with depending on a third party.
“Earning Hanwha certification was a great move that we made to be more efficient in the operations of our security solution and to show our commitment to Hanwha and to the product we’ve invested in,” he says.
Father Joe’s Villages will soon break ground on a high-rise building that will double its affordable housing inventory by adding 407 units and additional program and administrative offices. The expansion will call for the addition of 250-plus cameras to the existing video surveillance system. Paredes says they plan to add Hanwha cameras that feature analytics as they expand the system to the new facility.