PRESS RELEASE

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

10/25/2023
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEPress Release # 102523-2
Subject:
Long Beach Seeks Volunteers for 2024 Homeless Point in Time Count
Contact:
City of Long Beach Joint Information Center
562.570.NEWS
JIC@longbeach.gov





Long Beach, CA – The City of Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services (Health Department) is seeking 300 community volunteers to help conduct the 2024 Point in Time Count, its street count of people experiencing homelessness in Long Beach, which will take place on Jan. 25, 2024.

Long Beach is one of only three cities in Los Angeles County to operate its own Continuum of Care, a local planning body funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that coordinates housing and services for individuals and families experiencing homelessness. HUD requires that Continuums of Care conduct an annual count of unsheltered people experiencing homelessness on a single night in January in every odd year. To better serve the community, Long Beach conducts its Count annually. The Homeless Services Bureau, part of the City’s Health Department, organizes the Point in Time Count effort and provides leadership to the Long Beach Continuum of Care. 

The Count is a communitywide effort that provides an opportunity for residents and local businesses to learn about people who are experiencing homelessness, gain an understanding of the resources available, and actively contribute to the City’s efforts to address homelessness in Long Beach. The Count is vital in determining the scope of homelessness, defining existing resources available and identifying gaps to better serve these community members.

Volunteer registration is now available online and will remain open until the available volunteer slots are filled. If more than 300 people register to volunteer for the Count, people will be added to a waitlist.

To volunteer for the Count, people must:

  • Be 18 years or older.
  • Attend a two-hour orientation and training prior to the day of the Count. Orientations will be held both virtually and in person and will occur in early January.
  • Commit to a four-hour canvassing shift on Thursday, Jan. 25, 2024. Volunteers will be expected to report at 4:30 a.m. and dispatched to the field by 5 a.m.

People registering as volunteers should expect to arrive at the Grand Long Beach (4101 E. Willow St.) at 4:30 a.m. They will be assigned a segment of the city for the street-based count in groups of three to five volunteers. Most importantly, volunteers will administer a survey to any people experiencing homelessness who are willing to share their information. Volunteer teams will be provided with gift cards, hygiene kits and water to distribute to the people experiencing homelessness with whom they engage. In areas of the city with less density, people may be assigned to canvas by car, but most will be on foot.

To prepare volunteers for this important work, the City requires a two-hour orientation that will educate canvassers on best practices to engage people experiencing homelessness, how to use a mobile application to administer the Count, and the logistics of the Count itself.  Volunteer orientations are mandatory, regardless of prior participation in the Count, and will be hosted on the following days and times:

  • Wednesday, Jan. 10 from 6 to 8 p.m. via Zoom
  • Thursday, Jan. 11 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Long Beach Multi-Service Center (1301 W. 12th St.)
  • Tuesday, Jan. 16 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Long Beach Multi-Service Center
  • Thursday, Jan. 18 from 6 to 8 p.m. via Zoom

To learn more about the Long Beach Homeless Count, visit the longbeach.gov/HomelessCount, email HomelessCount@longbeach.gov or call the Multi-Service Center at 562.570.4500.

Other Ways to Get Involved
In addition to canvassing, community members are also encouraged to help raise awareness and recruit other volunteers to participate in the Count by sharing this volunteer opportunity on social media or by providing physical and/or monetary donations.

To financially contribute towards Count incentives, people may donate online to the Mayor’s Fund for Homeless Action (Mayor’s Fund), administered by the Long Beach Community Foundation, and type “Homeless Count - Mayor's Fund” in the Additional Comments box. These tax-deductible donations will be used towards gift cards and other incentives for individuals being surveyed on the day of the Count. People can also donate by sending a check to Long Beach Community Foundation (400 Oceangate, Suite 800, Long Beach, CA 90802). Please make check payable to Long Beach Community Foundation and write “Homeless Count - Mayor's Fund” in the memo section of the check. 

Community members can also donate needed items, such as socks, travel-sized hygiene products and bottled water to be distributed during the Count. Items may be dropped off at the following locations:

  • All Long Beach Public Library locations during regular operating hours (libraries are closed Sundays and Mondays)
  • Boys and Girls Club of Long Beach (3635 Long Beach Blvd.), from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays.
  • Scherer Park Community Center, (4654 Pasadena Ave.), from 3 to 6 p.m. on weekdays 
  • Long Beach Multi-Service Center, (1301 W 12th St.), 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays. The Multi-Service Center also will accept small gift cards ($5 to $10).

To learn more about ways to donate, visit the Volunteer, Donate and Get Involved page at longbeach.gov/homelessness or email questions to HomelessCount@longbeach.gov.

About the City’s Response to Homelessness
The City proclaimed a state of emergency on homelessness on Jan. 10, 2023, with the mission to reduce the number of people experiencing homelessness in the city and region by increasing housing opportunities and by enhancing current initiatives that provide field-based outreach, engagement and supportive services while maintaining the safety and security of people experiencing homelessness, the general public and staff, and improving overall public safety for the entire community.

Since the emergency was proclaimed, the City has met major milestones and continues to work diligently to tackle the issues of homelessness through a multi-department response. Details about the City’s efforts are documents on its Emergency Response Timeline.

Some of the City’s accomplishments since the emergency was proclaimed include:

  • Increased staffing, resources and programs in the Homeless Services Bureau
  • $13.1 million in one-time funds to support the City’s emergency response to homelessness. 
  • $5.3 million in State Encampment Resolution Funding to address key areas of need in Downtown. 
  • $5.2 million in grants from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development to support rapid rehousing and permanent housing opportunities for people experiencing homelessness.
  • Expanding library outreach to seven days a week.
  • Live answering of the outreach request line.
  • The diversion of non-criminal, non-violent, non-emergency 9-1-1 calls related to homelessness to Restorative Engagement to Achieve Collective Health (REACH) Outreach Teams and outreach workers. 
  • Expanded operations through the Mobile Access Center, which allows Homeless Services Bureau staff to connect with those experiencing unsheltered homelessness and provide direct 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.

Media inquiries may be directed to the City of Long Beach Joint Information Center at 562.570.NEWS or JIC@longbeach.gov.