Long Beach, CA – The Long Beach Winter Shelter, which shields people experiencing homelessness from inclement weather and provides shelter, food, safety and services during the coldest time of the year, is expected to open this week at Community Hospital, located near the traffic circle in East Long Beach. The facility will operate in partnership with nonprofit First to Serve Outreach Ministries and the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA).
“Our Winter Shelter continues to provide unhoused residents with access to shelter, food and resources,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “Thank you to the City staff as well as our local and regional partners who will help ensure this facility is a safe, comforting environment for community members in need.”
The Winter Shelter will operate 24 hours per day through March 31, 2023. The new location replaces the 2021 Winter Shelter in West Long Beach. In addition to the Winter Shelter, the City and its partners operate 796 beds year-round.
Shelter participants can only access the Winter Shelter via the Winter Shelter bus, which will make daily pick-ups at the Long Beach Multi-Service Center (1301 W. 12th St.) in the early evening and provide transportation back to the Multi-Service Center in the mornings. People will not be able to walk up to the shelter site for services. Unless a special accommodation is needed, such as work or medical appointments or ADA accommodations, people will not be able to leave the shelter except on the shuttle bus. For the safety of shelter participants and the community, security will be on site 24/7.
“Unfortunately, homelessness continues to be a pressing citywide issue,” said Third District Councilwoman Suzie Price. “I believe that every district needs to play a part in helping where we can, especially during the winter months. Which is why Community Hospital will be an important asset this year serving as our temporary winter shelter.”
Operational approval for the Winter Shelter was authorized by the Long Beach City Council during the Tuesday, Dec. 13 meeting, and approved with a 7 to 0 vote. For more information about the Winter Shelter, people can call the Multi-Service Center at 562.570.4500 or review the FAQs.
The City continues to work diligently to tackle the issue of homelessness. To continue expanding capacity and enhancing service delivery to those most in need, the Department of Health and Human Services leads a multi-pronged approach across all City departments and 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 that coordinates housing and services for individuals and families experiencing homelessness.
Throughout the year, staff from the Health Department’s Homeless Services Bureau and its community partners canvass Long Beach daily, engaging people who are experiencing homelessness and offering emergency shelter, transportation, access to service providers and opportunities for housing. Homeless Services has also expanded outreach services including dedicated outreach workers in libraries, expanded outreach seven days a week, live answering of the outreach request line, and the diversion of non-criminal, non-violent, non-emergency 911 calls related to homelessness to REACH and outreach workers. The Homeless Services Bureau has also expanded partnerships at the Multi-Service Center, including with providers supporting issues such mental health, substance use and dental services.