Long Beach Homeless Campus

While not strictly modeled on the homeless campus in San Antonio we advocate Sacramento emulate, the Haven for Hope program http://www.havenforhope.org/downloads/docs/H4H%20Brochure%2010-31-2016.pdf  , it is a campus of Long Beach’s own design and looks very interesting, though still too small to really completely address the city’s homeless problems as Haven for Hope can in San Antonio.

An excerpt from the article in the Long Beach Post.

City officials today revealed the location of a much-anticipated year-round homeless shelter they hope to open in 2020 and announced plans for a large campus that would eventually provide wraparound services for those experiencing homelessness.

The 3-acre lot at 6841 Atlantic Ave. in North Long Beach, which includes a liquor store and a warehouse that was previously used as a temporary homeless shelter during the winter, is expected to provide 125 beds with separate quarters for men, women, families and LGBTQ individuals.

It will be a pet-friendly shelter, include limited storage and be open 24 hours. No one will be bused in (as is the case with the winter shelter) but no one needing immediate help will be turned away either.

“It’s going to look a lot better. It’s going to feel a lot more humane,” Councilman Rex Richardson, who represents the 9th District where the shelter will be located, told the Post.

While multiple nonprofits provide shelter beds across town, what is lacking is a comprehensive space, Richardson said, a place with open doors to everyone and resources to figure out the best place to put someone.

“If it’s a family, they can just come in, they don’t have to sleep in the car,” Richardson said. “We’ll get them situated.”

The acquisition agreement for the property comes with a price tag of $9,591,540 and is expected to be approved by the City Council in early February. A combination of state and city funds will pay for it, officials said.

The county is also funding the project to the tune of $3 million—money earmarked to temporarily retrofit the building on site while the city begins plans for a more comprehensive campus.

Kelly Colopy, director of the city’s health and human services department, hopes to get the shelter operational by summer 2020, possibly a bit sooner, but not any time this year.

While results from this month’s homeless count are not yet available, 2017 figures put the city’s homeless population at 1,863 persons. That number includes 1,208 unsheltered persons, 354 in emergency shelters and 301 in transitional housing.

What makes this project different from any other shelter is the future vision for the location as a campus, Richardson said.

“Rather than just seeing this as a year-round municipal shelter, imagine if we had medical offices serving the entire community,” Richardson said. “Imagine if we had nursing students from community college getting integrated hands-on education experience. Imagine if we had students from Cal State Long Beach—social work students—getting service credit on site, and imagine if all of those people could also live on site because we would have built transitional housing, student housing, workforce housing.”

With 5 acres of Southern California Edison-owned right-of-way land on one side of the property and 11 acres of vacant land behind it, including the Los Angeles River, Richardson hopes to activate open spaces (think urban farm or park) through public-private partnerships. Currently, there is no city park north of the 91 Freeway.

Retrieved January 31, 2019 from https://lbpost.com/news/homeless-shelter-location-long-beach/

About David H Lukenbill

I am a native of Sacramento, as are my wife and daughter. I am a consultant to nonprofit organizations, and have a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Behavior and a Master of Public Administration degree, both from the University of San Francisco. We live along the American River with two cats and all the wild critters we can feed. I am the founding president of the American River Parkway Preservation Society and currently serve as the CFO and Senior Policy Director. I also volunteer as the President of The Lampstand Foundation, a nonprofit organization I founded in 2003.
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