PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING BLOG POSTS FOR AN IN-DEPTH DISCUSSION ON HOMELESSNESS IN LONG BEACH:
- Homelessness in Long Beach – Part 1
- Homelessness in Long Beach – Part 2
- Homelessness in Long Beach – Part 3
Pragmatic Steps to take to end Homelessness
Before we start talking about practical solutions, the City needs to hire mental health professionals and social service professionals to do the initial and continuum of care contact with the Homeless. Without these experts, we will not be able to affect any substantive change.
1.) Certify the beds we already have as required by law to match the Homeless Yearly Count, 1895. This allows for the police or social services to pick up the homeless, take them to our triage center, The Multi-Service Center for the Homeless on 12thSt. off of Anaheim
2.) Create a Downtown Triage Center for the Homeless, (perhaps on the parking lot at Pacific and 3rd St, which the City owns) The Homeless will not walk all the way to the MSC.
3.) Have vans that go back and forth from the MSC to the Downtown Triage Center at least twice a day.
4.) Increase the number of and the length of stay of our immediate housing program. ( $100.00 per night paid to motels adjacent to the MSC to house the homeless)
5.) Make an immediate connection for each client with LAHSA (The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority) In this way we sign people up for housing on the first contact, not waiting for 6 months to pass.
6.) Complete the Transitional Housing Construction we have started on Long Beach Blvd.
7.) Complete the Low-Income housing program construction which we partnered with Link, a non-profit, on Long Beach Blvd.
8.) Integrate all services which serve the homeless into a large database, so we can coordinate services.
9.) Reform the MSC so we have more than a couple of people up there serving the Homeless. This must be a priority in the budget. Hire more staff, and make sure it is not nepotistic.
10.) Outreach to more Homeless housing providers to increase our bed stock. Drugs and Alcohol are not relevant at this time. We have to accept people exactly the way they are if we are to make progress here. Once in service, they can address those additional issues.