The City of Long Beach is seeking 200 volunteers to help conduct the 2020 Point in Time (PIT) Count, its street count of persons experiencing homelessness in Long Beach. The PIT Count is vital for determining the scope of homelessness, defining existing resources available and identifying gaps.
“One of the most common questions we hear from the community regarding homelessness is what can I do?” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “The Point in Time Count is a way people can make a difference.”
To volunteer for the PIT Count, people must meet the following criteria: be 18 years or older; attend an orientation prior to the day of the count; and commit to a three- to four-hour canvassing shift on Jan. 23. Volunteers can learn more by downloading the homeless count flyer or register directly online. Registration will close once 200 volunteers have been recruited.
On the morning of the count, volunteers will arrive at the Multi-Service Center (1301 W. 12th St.) at 4 a.m. Groups of three to five volunteers will form each canvassing team: some will conduct a residential-based count of all people living in emergency and transitional housing programs, and others will be assigned a GIS-mapped segment of the city for the street-based count. The field work begins at 5 a.m.
One-hour orientations for volunteers will be hosted at the Multi-Service Center in advance of the Jan. 23 count. Volunteers need only attend one of the following orientation dates:
In addition to canvasing a map segment, volunteers can help by raising awareness and recruiting other volunteers to participate in the PIT Count via social media; host donation drives to collect outreach engagement items such as socks, travel size hygiene products and pre-packaged snacks; and donate funds to support count activities. For more information, volunteers can call the Multi-Service Center at (562) 570-4499.
Long Beach’s homeless population has decreased by 40% since 2011, with a flat count recorded in 2019. That year, a total of 1,894 individuals were counted in emergency shelters, transitional housing, and living in places not meant for human habitation like parks, beaches and city streets.
Addressing the issue of homelessness continues to be a leading priority for the City. Long Beach has taken a multipronged approach, working across departments to provide wrap-around services for people experiencing homelessness as well as vulnerable populations. An Interdepartmental Team—which includes representatives from the Department of Health and Human Services, the Police and Fire Departments, Public Works, the City Attorney’s office, the Library and Parks, Recreation and Marine— communicates daily to share knowledge and discuss the City’s integrated approach to homelessness. Long Beach is also one of only three cities in Los Angeles County to operate its own Continuum of Care, a local planning body funded by HUD that coordinates and funds housing and services for families and individuals experiencing homelessness.
In an effort to prevent future incidents of homelessness wherever possible, last year the City launched Everyone Home Long Beach, a highly coordinated, multi-organizational approach to ending homelessness. Designed to build on the City’s comprehensive homeless assistance and affordable housing efforts already underway, Everyone Home Long Beach looks at innovative approaches to provide new pathways into homes and prevent residents from falling into homelessness. Everyone Home Long Beach is guided by a series of goals and recommendations brought forth in December 2018 by a task force of local leaders.
The Homeless Services Division, part of the City’s Department of Health and Human Services, organizes the PIT Count effort and provides leadership to the Long Beach Continuum of Care.
About the City of Long Beach
Home to approximately 470,000 people, the multiple award-winning and innovative City of Long Beach offers all the world-class amenities of a large metropolitan city while maintaining a strong sense of individual and diverse neighborhoods nestled together along the California coast. As a full-service charter city, Long Beach is home to the Queen Mary, Aquarium of the Pacific, several museums and theaters, a highly-rated school district, Long Beach Airport, the Port of Long Beach, as well as many award-winning City departments such as Health, Parks, Recreation and Marine, Development Services and more. The City also has a highly-respected university and city college, two historic ranchos, five hospitals, five golf courses, 171 parks, miles of beaches, marinas, bike paths, and a Bike Share program.
About Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services
The mission of the Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services is to improve quality of life by promoting a safe and healthy community in which to live, work and play. Long Beach Health is one of only three city-run health departments in California, which allows for better engagement with residents, neighborhoods, businesses and community partners, and fosters a greater understanding of the City's strengths. For more information, visit us at www.longbeach.gov/health, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.