Helping Get Everyone HomeRelease Date: 2020-01-22
This week hundreds of volunteers, public safety teams, and city staff will be out in the streets, parks and alleys of Long Beach at dawn to take a count of people experiencing homelessness. This "Point in Time Count" is required in order for the city to be eligible for millions of dollars in funding to help us combat homelessness and bring "Everyone Home."
Our city relies on federal, state and county funding to support local efforts that address homelessness.
This Point in Time Count will help us get the most accurate and up-to-date information possible about who is experiencing homelessness and what kind of help they might need to get off the street and back into housing.
The Point in Time Count and the Mayor's Fund to End Homelessness are two ways we support the many resources and services provided to assist people in getting into permanent housing. Though we are making progress, housing remains the biggest challenge facing our city-and the entire state.
To address this crisis and get "Everyone Home" we are:
- Helping approximately 1,000 people get off the street and into permanent housing every year
- Opening the city’s first city-run, year-round shelter this June
- Building a new navigation center to assist people with storing possessions and accessing services
- Opening a Safe Parking facility next month for people who are living in their vehicle
Year after year we:
- Make more than 13,000 service contacts with people experiencing homelessness
- Disburse tens of thousands of dollars in grants to community agencies working on preventing homelessness
I am proud our city is already stepping up in meaningful ways. To address homelessness we have already:
- Placed a clinician in our jail to assist people with mental illness
- Launched a new Clean Team program that matches people experiencing homelessness with paid work crews
- Combined our Police Department's Quality of Life and Mental Evaluation Teams to streamline and strengthen services
- Built hundreds of affordable and very affordable units, especially along public transit lines
But this is not enough and more needs to be done. At my State of the City address last week, I called on the City Council to consider inclusionary housing policies that will make it easier for people to find housing. I am also constantly challenging our city to think creatively and boldly about programs that can help individuals experiencing homelessness find, earn and keep jobs that will support their housing costs.
You can read about the city's response to homelessness and see our plan going forward in the Everyone Home Task Force Report.
I want to thank the many volunteers who contribute their time at an hour when most people are fast asleep. There are many ways each of us can get involved in the work to end homelessness, including making a donation to the Mayor's Fund to End Homelessness.
Together, we will get Everyone Home.
Go Long Beach,
Mayor Robert Garcia