PRESS RELEASE

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

10/1/2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEPress Release # 100120
Subject:
City Unveils New Atlantic Farms Bridge Housing Community in North Long Beach
Site to Provide Year-Round Bridge Housing and Services for People Experiencing Homelessness
Contact:
Jennifer Gonzalez
Outreach & Risk Communication Specialist
Long Beach Department of Health & Human Services
562.570.4290
Jennifer.Gonzalez@longbeach.gov




Long Beach, CA - Today, via livestream, the City of Long Beach unveiled the new Atlantic Farms Bridge Housing Community (ABC). The village-style development, located at 6841-6845 Atlantic Ave. in North Long Beach, will help address a critical gap in the City’s Continuum of Care and offer a safe place and supportive resources for individuals experiencing homelessness.

“Homelessness remains a critical issue here in Long Beach and across the state,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “The new Atlantic Farms Bridge Housing Community we are opening this week delivers comprehensive support to transition people experiencing homelessness in Long Beach into long-term housing.”

The bridge housing model is designed to match people to housing options as they become available, with supportive services to help individuals move into permanent housing as quickly as possible. The 2.28-acre community consists of modular-style dormitories for adults with a total capacity of 125. In adherence with COVID-19 safety and physical distancing guidelines, the site’s capacity has temporarily been reduced to 100 adults. 

“The opening of bridge housing in Uptown reflects our community’s compassion and leadership in addressing a critical issue in our city, our capacity to deal with the homelessness and its effects on our community,” said Councilmember Rex Richardson. “The Atlantic Farms Bridge Housing Community demonstrates our commitment to building a more resilient community, while dispelling myths and misconceptions about neighborhood safety and quality of life.”

ABC is the first of a two-phase project on the site that will include a state-of-the-art campus for housing and services and a variety of supportive housing types focused on the specific needs of individuals experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, homelessness.

The Atlantic Farms Bridge Housing Community is a low-barrier facility designed to allow people access whenever they are ready for support. The campus will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, year-round. It features:

  • Intake, security and COVID-19 health screening space.
  • Spacious common areas, including:
    • A kitchen
    • A dining room 
    • A lounge
    • Laundry facilities
  • Gender-specific and gender-neutral restrooms and showers.
  • Case management/service connection offices.
  • A family respite room (for emergency overnight use).
  • Several outdoor amenities, including:
    • A dining area
    • A dog run and pet relief area
    • Charging station
    • Storage and parking

Participants at ABC will work to achieve permanent housing while having access to supportive services, including:

  • Rapid rehousing.
  • Health services.
  • Mental health and substance use treatment.
  • Employment training.
  • Benefits advocacy.
  • Education services.

“This is a first-of-its-kind project in Long Beach that will help address the issue of homelessness in our city and propel those most in need on a path to permanent housing and long-term stability,” said Deputy City Manager Teresa Chandler. “The ABC is a testament to our dedication to providing equitable opportunities, including safe housing and essential services, for everyone across our community.”

The non-profit organization Volunteers of America, Los Angeles (VOALA) has been selected through a competitive request for proposal (RFP) to operate the site, under a contract with the City of Long Beach. Their staff and security will be on site at all times to ensure the safety of residents and employees. Access to the site will begin at the Multi-Service Center (1301 W. 12th St.) or through outreach services.

“The Health Department leads a multi-pronged, coordinated approach to continue expanding capacity and enhancing service delivery to individuals experiencing homelessness and those at risk of homelessness,” said Health and Human Services Director Kelly Colopy. “The new Atlantic Farms Bridge Housing Community reflects our continued commitment to addressing homelessness and ensuring supportive services and resources for those most in need.”

“Public Works started working with our city partners to design this facility in late 2019, with the city’s necessities in mind,” said Department of Public Works Director Eric Lopez. “This project entailed a significant amount of coordination with our partners both within and outside of the city working under a tight timeline, and I am very proud that this facility is now ready to serve our city.”

In February 2019, the Long Beach City Council approved the acquisition of the site to operate and establish a permanent year-round bridge housing community for people experiencing homelessness. The project has been made possible by an $8 million in State Homeless Emergency Aid Program (HEAP) funding and more than $3 million in Los Angeles County Measure H funding. 

The planning and construction of the project were significantly expedited to be able to support community members experiencing homelessness and those who may become homeless during the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout the pandemic, Long Beach has also set up several temporary shelters to provide a safe haven and serve individuals in need. The City also expanded hours for the Multi-Service Center, which acts as the central hub for serving those who are at risk of or experiencing homelessness and serves nearly 13,000 clients every year.

These efforts build on the City’s Everyone Home Long Beach Plan to address homelessness in the city and the Mayor’s Fund to End Homelessness, which was reinvigorated last year to fund service gaps for people experiencing homelessness such as returning people to their families. It is anticipated that the site will be at full capacity by the end of 2020.

Over the past five years, Long Beach has housed more than 5,000 individuals experiencing homelessness, with an average of 1,000 individuals annually.

For information on the City’s homeless services, visit longbeach.gov/health. If you or someone you know is currently experiencing homelessness, please contact the Multi-Service Center at 562-570-4500.

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.

For more information about the City of Long Beach, visit http://longbeach.gov/. Follow us on social to keep up with the latest news: FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

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