PRESS RELEASE

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

6/14/2023
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEPress Release # 061423-4
Subject:
Long Beach City Council Approves City’s Acquisition of Long Beach Rescue Mission Property to Serve as Permanent, Year-Round Shelter for People Experiencing Homelessness
Contact:
City of Long Beach Joint Information Center
562.570.NEWS
JIC@longbeach.gov





Long Beach, CA – At the June 13, 2023, meeting, the Long Beach City Council approved with a 9 to 0 vote the authorization for the purchase of property, located at 702 W. Anaheim Stand currently owned by the Long Beach Rescue Mission, Inc.to be utilized by the City of Long Beach as a permanent, year-round shelter for people experiencing homelessness. This acquisition comes in response to the City’s local homelessness emergency proclamation and expanded efforts to increase access to interim housing, services and connections to permanent housing for people experiencing homelessness in Long Beach.  

“The acquisition of this facility is a key milestone in our progress since proclaiming a local emergency on homelessness and a key component in our efforts expand pathways out of homelessness,” said Mayor Rex Richardson. “By offering a safe place to sleep and supportive resources, interim shelters offer a fundamental foundation for rest, stability and assistance. I am grateful to our City Council and to Supervisor Hahn and the entire Board of Supervisors for their commitment.” 

Interim shelters are critical components to addressing the immediate needs of people experiencing homelessness while the City, County and other regional partners continue to work towards addressing the root causes of homelessness and increase permanent housing resources and options. Interim housing programs offer safe and stable sleeping environments and basic needs like restrooms, showers and daily meals. Offering a foundation so that individuals can meet these basic needs, coupled with case management services, allows people the time, stability and connection to resources needed to work toward permanent housing and other life-changing pathways out of homelessness. 

While the City has significantly increased the number of locally funded interim beds since 2020, there is still a gap in permanent, year-round shelter services, especially considering City shelters are regularly at capacity. Opening this permanent year-round shelter would be the third City-owned shelter in Long Beach, with three more shelters about to enter construction and each with an anticipated opening date in less than a year. These efforts will help address the service gap in the City’s Continuum of Care.  

Implementing an ongoing interim shelter facility was identified as one of the short-term goals established at the start of the City’s local homelessness emergency proclamation on Jan. 10, 2023. Shortly following the proclamation, the City sent a letter to Los Angeles County requesting assistance to strengthen the coordination of emergency resources and, as a result, the County, with support from Supervisor Janice Hahn and Chief Executive Officer Fesia Davenport, committed to providing $6.5 million toward the acquisition and rehabilitation of the permanent facility for shelter and homeless services.    

“This is another example of how Long Beach has shown leadership time and time again with their willingness to address the homeless crisis head on. We are going to need these shelter beds as we work to bring people off the streets and get them the help they need to move into permanent housing,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn of the Los Angeles County Board of SupervisorsThis project is an important part of the partnership between the City and the County of Los Angeles and puts Measure H tax dollars to work right here in Long Beach.”  

The Long Beach Rescue Mission agreed to sell the property to the City for $7.2 million. Funding for this acquisition, totaling approximately $13.2 million including tenant improvements, will come from the $6.5 million commitment from the County, $5.7 million from the City's Measure A Funds and the remaining one million dollars from the City’s General Fund. Once the acquisition process is complete, the property will eventually undergo necessary upgrades such as Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Systems, plumbing systems, sewer, ongoing remediation activities and other enhancements, to ensure suitable, safe and welcoming conditions. An exact timeline for these repairs to be conducted is still being determined. The City has been leasing the property from the Long Beach Rescue Mission and utilizing it as a temporary emergency shelter for people experiencing homelessness since April.  

We’re thrilled to officially welcome this new City asset as a permanent, year-round shelter for people experiencing homelessness here in Long Beach,” said First District Councilwoman Mary Zendejas. “Having served as a Winter Shelter location in the past, coupled with its current use as an emergency shelter, we are confident this facility will help enhance our outreach, engagement and case management for these residents. 

The permanent shelter will offer three meals per day, onsite showers and restrooms, and access to a variety of case management services, including housing-focused case management, screening for housing programs, assistance obtaining identification and documents and connections to behavioral health resources, among other services provided by the Multi-Service Center. Sleeping quarters will be congregate at first, with plans to create individual living spaces in the future. Shelter operations will continue to be provided by First to Serve Ministries, Inc. until a longer-term service provider is determined through the City’s official procurement process. The Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services Homeless Services Bureau will continue to coordinate and serve as a liaison between the City, First to Serve Ministries and the County. 

I’ve been so encouraged by this process with the City. It has been a collaborative effort to make this happen with the result that more impactful programs will be offered to those experiencing homelessness in our city. Greater bed capacity gives us the ability to help more men, women and children receive the support they need to overcome homelessness,” said Long Beach Rescue Mission Executive Director Jeff Levine. “This collaboration does not end when the sale closes. It is an ongoing partnership to alleviate the suffering of those in greatest need in our city.”  

In order to access shelter services, people will first need a referral from the Multi-Service Center (MSC), located at 1301 W. 12st St., or Mobile Access Center (June schedule available here). 

The City first shared news of the impending acquisition during a press conference held on June 9, 2023. Prior to opening the temporary emergency shelter at the property, the City conducted a community meeting on April 13, 2023, to share the proposed plans of an emergency shelter, which was met with overwhelmingly positivity and expressed recommendations to make the shelter permanent. The City conducted additional community outreach regarding the pending acquisition and has also committed to future outreach, should the current services provided at the site change to other uses to support those experiencing homelessness. Community members also had the opportunity to participate in public comment for this item in-person at the City Council meeting, which was met with support. 

Additional information about other shelter beds and interim housing offered by the City and its partners is available at longbeach.gov/homelessness/homeless-services. 

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.