PRESS RELEASE

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

6/9/2023
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEPress Release # 060923-2
Subject:
Long Beach City Council to Discuss Acquisition of Long Beach Rescue Mission Property to Serve as Permanent, Year-Round Shelter for People Experiencing Homelessness
Los Angeles County commits $6.5 million towards the acquisition
Contact:
City of Long Beach Joint Information Center
562.570.NEWS
JIC@longbeach.gov





Long Beach, CA – During the June 13, 2023, meeting, the Long Beach City Council will discuss and vote on the authorization for the purchase of property located at 702 W. Anaheim Street currently owned by the Long Beach Rescue Mission, Inc. that, if acquired by the City, will be utilized as a permanent, year-round shelter for people experiencing homelessness.



“This acquisition is game changer with many benefits, establishing a permanent space for the annual Winter Shelter program, increasing access to interim housing and, ultimately, connections to permanent housing for people experiencing homelessness, and also enabling our partners at the Long Beach Rescue Mission to expand their capacity and impact,” said Mayor Rex Richardson. “We are extremely grateful for the support of Supervisor Hahn and our County partners. I look forward to discussing this opportunity with the City Council next week.”

On Jan. 10, 2023, the City Council adopted a proclamation of a local homelessness emergency, allowing the City to facilitate requests to other local, State and/or Federal jurisdictions and allow the City Manager, or designee, to take preventative measures necessary to protect persons and property within the scope of the local emergency. The City has been in regular communication with Los Angeles County about partnership opportunities to address the homelessness emergency and, on Jan. 31, 2023, the City sent a letter to LA County Chief Executive Officer, Fesia Davenport, and the Board of Supervisors requesting assistance to strengthen coordination of emergency resources, expand opportunities for affordable housing and shelter in the region, expand mental health services, distribute funding more equitably, and streamline service delivery between the City and County. With the support of Supervisor Janice Hahn and CEO Davenport, the County has committed to providing $6.5 million toward the acquisition and rehabilitation of a permanent facility for shelter and homeless services.

“This property is going to be an asset in our effort to bring people inside in Long Beach. If we are going to get a handle on the homelessness crisis, we need reliable interim shelter beds that we can use at a moment’s notice to help a person off the streets,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn who spearheaded getting the $6.5 million from the County for the purchase. “I applaud Mayor Rex Richardson and Councilwoman Zendejas for their leadership in this effort, and I am proud that I could bring County funding to this deal to make it work.”

In response to the City’s emergency proclamation and the winddown of this year’s Winter Shelter Program, which concluded operations on April 28, 2023, City staff identified the availability of the privately-owned property, which had been listed for sale by the Long Beach Rescue Mission Foundation, Inc. The property, formerly utilized by the City as a Winter Shelter Program location, was made available to the City for short-term use, serving as a critical resource to continue providing emergency shelter after the Community Hospital Winter Shelter concluded operations. To that end, a short-term lease was negotiated under the emergency orders, and the City has been utilizing the property as an 85-bed temporary emergency shelter since April 27, 2023. 

Given the property’s former and current use as shelter space, as well as the partnership from the County to assist with the acquisition of a permanent facility, the City submitted an offer to the Long Beach Rescue Mission, which agreed to sell the property to the City for the purchase price of $7.2 million. In addition to acquisition costs, an additional amount not to exceed $5.7 million will be needed to provide upgrades to the facility including Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Systems, plumbing systems and sewer, bringing the total acquisition and tenant improvement costs to approximately $13.2 million. Funding for this acquisition 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.

“The City’s acquisition and use of this property will allow us to continue to provide much needed relief to our residents who are unhoused,” said First District Councilwoman Mary Zendejas. “I am honored to welcome this new City asset to our community, and I look forward to discussing this item with my Council colleagues.”

Shelter operations will continue to be provided by First to Serve Ministries, Inc., which provides services such as intake, case management, onsite showers and restrooms, and three meals daily, and will further provide security and transportation assistance for shelter participants to and from the shelter location. Additionally, shelter participants will have access to a variety of case management services, including housing-focused case management and case management that focus on establishing improved health and economic sufficiency; screening for housing programs; assistance obtaining identification and documents; and connections to behavioral health resources, among other services provided by the Multi-Service Center.

The Long Beach Health and Human Services Department’s Homeless Services Bureau will continue to coordinate and serve as a liaison between the City, First to Serve Ministries and the County to ensure the delivery of services as well as oversee the procurement process for a longer-term service provider for the property, which will be presented to the City Council.

Opening an ongoing interim shelter facility was identified as one of the short-term goals established at the start of the local homelessness emergency proclamation on Jan. 10, 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, where participants of the meeting were able to ask questions, engage in discussions and share their feedback, which was met with overwhelmingly positivity and expressed recommendations to make the shelter permanent. The City has upheld its commitment to perform additional community outreach and has notified surrounding neighborhoods about this potential opportunity and has committed to future outreach, should the current services provided at the site change to other uses to support those experiencing homelessness.

Community members are welcome to participate in public comment for this item in-person at the City Council meeting.

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.