The City’s stated mission is to reduce the number of people experiencing homelessness in Long Beach by increasing housing opportunities, enhancing current initiatives and addressing and improving overall public safety for the entire community. The City has an active Interdepartmental Team that works together to develop solutions, create procedures and protocols for street teams and address issues related to community members experiencing homelessness.
Connecting people to the right service is critical to ensure positive outcomes for the entire community. Resources regarding who to call, and when, are listed below.
What should I do if someone is asking for help?
If a person is asking for help and it is a health or safety emergency, let them know that you can call 9-1-1 on their behalf. If possible, remain with the person and provide comfort until response arrives.
If it is not an emergency, engage the person in conversation. If the person tells you they are experiencing homelessness, encourage them to reach out for assistance by visiting the Multi-Service Center (MSC), located at 1301 W. 12th St., or by calling 562.570.4500 or emailing HomelessServices@longbeach.gov. You can also request outreach staff on the person’s behalf at 562.570.4672 (4MSC).
What should I do if someone appears to need medical or mental health support?
If you see someone who is unresponsive or appears to be having a medical or mental health crisis and needs immediate help, call 9-1-1. Observe the situation and provide 9-1-1 dispatch with relevant information.
If the person is not in an immediate crisis or emergency, request the City’s specialized Restorative Engagement to Achieve Collective Health (REACH) teams at 562.570.4MSC. REACH teams consist of a mental health clinician, public health nurse and outreach worker who can come and provide assessments and linkages to care. REACH teams operate weekdays from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., with expected expansion into weekends when additional staffing is secured.
What do I do if someone is on my property?
If any person is trespassing on your property, call the City’s non-emergency phone tree at 562.435.6711 or 9-1-1 for emergencies.
What should I do if someone is blocking the entrance to my business or causing a disruption?
If a person is blocking your ability to open or enter the business, inform them that you are trying to enter and ask them to vacate the space. If they refuse, you can call the City’s non-emergency phone tree at 562.435.6711. If the person has been sleeping in front of your business for multiple nights, request outreach services through HomelessServices@LongBeach.gov or by calling 562.570.4MSC.
If a person is in mental distress or causing a disruption, ask the person if they need emergency services. If they do not respond, ask them to leave. If they refuse, inform them you are calling the Police Department and call 9-1-1.
If I see an encampment, should I contact someone about it?
If you see a new encampment, report it through HomelessServices@longbeach.gov or by calling 562.570.4MSC. This will allow outreach staff to come out and engage people for services. If the encampment has been there for a while, it is likely that outreach staff are already aware, but you can you still report it to ensure outreach is being conducted.
If you are worried about excess trash or waste in encampments, use the Go Long Beach app to report illegal dumping.
What should I do if I witness a crime by or against someone who appears to be experiencing homelessness?
If you witness any person committing a criminal act, report any suspicious activity by calling the City’s non-emergency phone tree at 562.435.6711 or 9-1-1 for emergencies.
Homelessness does not define someone and is not a crime. Community members experiencing homelessness are also brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, friends and even coworkers. With the support and expertise of trained professionals, community-based organizations and community members, we can help people achieve permanent housing with the tools and resources needed to continue in housing for years to come.
Outreach is a vital part of the City’s homelessness response efforts, allowing staff to meet people where they are, build relationships and inform people of resources available. In the past year, the Health Department’s Homeless Services Bureau outreach teams responded to 2,050 requests for outreach and engaged with more than 2,858 people. Of those, 69 people with significant mental health and physical health care needs were enrolled in ongoing services through REACH.
For more information on the City’s efforts to reduce homelessness in Long Beach, people may visit longbeach.gov/homelessness and follow @lbhealthdept and @longbeachcity on social media and follow the hashtag #EveryoneHomeLB.
Media inquiries may be directed to the City of Long Beach Joint Information Center at 562.570.NEWS or JIC@longbeach.gov.