Long Beach, CA – In an effort to more strategically conduct outreach to people experiencing homelessness in Long Beach, the City of Long Beach has begun centralizing emergency response efforts in the Downtown area, expanding street outreach and deploying a new Mobile Access Center vehicle. These mobilization efforts, which will continue over the next three weeks in the Downtown area, were announced during a press conference earlier today, where Mayor Rex Richardson and other City leaders delivered updates regarding the City’s proclamation of a local homelessness emergency.
“This focused activation in our Downtown area is critical to our overall emergency response. It allows us to reach more people experiencing homelessness and get them into shelter and connected to services,” said Mayor Rex Richardson. “We must be strategic during our emergency response, lower barriers to services and meet people where they are.”
Outreach teams from the Department of Health and Human Service’s (Health Department) Homeless Services Bureau have enhanced existing outreach efforts in collaboration with the Interdepartmental Team, consisting of the REACH team, Long Beach Police Department Quality of Life officers, the Long Beach Fire Department and Public Works Clean Team. These teams are educating people who are experiencing homelessness about the services and resources available to them. With increased staffing levels and expanded hours dedicated to conducting meaningful engagement with unhoused residents, the goal is to foster rapport with these individuals and connect them to housing and other services.
The City has also deployed its new Mobile Access Center (MAC) vehicle Downtown, which will significantly lower barriers to providing case management services and other resources for people experiencing homelessness. Unlike other forms of street outreach, the MAC allows Homeless Services Bureau outreach staff to start the intake process right on the street. Operated by outreach staff and a public health nurse, the vehicle offers nearly everything available at the Multi-Service Center, excluding services from co-located nonprofits, a full-scale medical clinic and showers. For the next three weeks, the MAC will travel around Downtown. Over time, the MAC will travel throughout locations in the city where people experiencing homelessness congregate. The City will be adding a second MAC later this year.
On Jan. 10, 2023, the Long Beach City Council proclaimed a state of emergency for homelessness in Long Beach. Since the proclamation, the City has established an Incident Command Structure, led jointly by the Health Department and Public Works Department and comprised of nine work groups consisting of 100 City staff to take on the various aspects of homelessness emergency response.
The emergency proclamation allows the City to mobilize local resources, coordinate interagency response, accelerate procurement of housing units and seek assistance from the County, State and Federal governments to increase focus, funding, resources and implementation of emergency assistance programs.
More information about the City’s efforts to combat the homeless crisis and how to get involved is available at longbeach.gov/homelessness.