PRESS RELEASE

City of Long Beach 
Public Information Office
411 W. Ocean Blvd, 
Long Beach, CA 90802

3/12/2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEPress Release # 031221
Subject:
City of Long Beach to Open 102-Room Interim Housing Site for People Transitioning to Permanent Housing Solutions
Contact:
City of Long Beach Joint Information Center
562.570.NEWS
jic@longbeach.gov





Long Beach, CA - The City of Long Beach, on March 15, 2021, will begin to operate 102-rooms of interim housing to provide temporary housing for people working to transition to permanent housing solutions. The site is converted from a former Best Western hotel in the 1700 block of Long Beach Boulevard, and was made possible through the State of California Department of Housing and Community Development's (HCD) Homekey Program. 

“We know that interim housing provides important, needed stability to help people transition out of homelessness,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “There’s no question that lack of affordable housing in Long Beach remains a barrier for folks working towards their housing goals. This is an important step in our city’s continued work to eliminate homelessness.”

On Tuesday, Feb. 16, the Long Beach City Council unanimously awarded a contract to The Illumination Foundation, of Orange, CA, to provide site operations and interim housing services at the site, which will serve adults experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness, with at least one of the following criteria:

  • Are 65 years of age or older.
  • Have an underlying health condition that puts them in a high-risk category for complications from COVID-19.
  • Are engaged with services and are in the process of being referred to a housing resource.

“This program will provide shelter and other critical resources for those most vulnerable and at-risk,” said Long Beach City Councilmember Mary Zendejas. “It is a privilege to bring this initiative to the First District while we will continue to look for even more innovative and sustainable ways to combat homelessness here in Long Beach.”

Services available to clients either onsite or through referral will include:

  • Daily meals
  • Transportation to essential appointments
  • Accommodation for service/emotional support animals
  • Mental and Physical Health services
  • Client-centered case management
  • Individual stability plans
  • Employment development
  • Domestic violence programs
  • Stress/anger management
  • Health education and wellness
  • Substance use disorder services

Each room will have furniture and linens provided and a private bathroom. Staff and security will be on-site 24/7.

“The goal of the City's interim housing program is to move people into permanent housing as quickly as it becomes available,” said Health and Human Services Director, Kelly Colopy. “This project will fill a crucial gap by offering more pathways to permanent housing.”

Project Homekey is one of a series of new services for people experiencing homelessness. Prior to the opening of this Project Homekey site, the City worked to contain the spread of COVID-19 among people experiencing homelessness by providing non-congregate sheltering among persons at high risk for severe health consequences from COVID-19 through the availability of 133 rooms serving singles or couples experiencing homelessness in its Project Roomkey site. The Atlantic Farms Bridge Housing Community, a village-style development that can house up to 125 people experiencing homelessness, also recently opened its doors, and the Safe Parking pilot, which has the capacity for 15 cars and provides security, restrooms and supportive services for people living in their vehicles, is offered at the Multiservice Center.

Additionally, the Health Department has launched the Bridge Initiative, which increases outreach and engagement near newly-opened housing opportunities serving people experiencing homelessness. The initiative brings together City departments including Health and Human Services outreach workers, Police Department Quality of Life officers, the Fire Department HEART Team and Public Works Clean Team, as well as outreach workers from nonprofit organizations, to coordinate outreach and clean-up activities within the area. 

In July 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced $600 million in grants for the Homekey Program to further expand housing for persons experiencing homelessness and impacted by COVID-19.

For more information on the City’s homeless services, visit longbeach.gov/health.