A Plan to Address HomelessnessRelease Date: 2018-12-06
In May the City of Long Beach launched a major initiative to address the statewide homelessness crisis and its impacts on Long Beach. The Everyone Home Long Beach Task Force was led by CSULB President Jane Close Conoley and was comprised of 30 leaders from across the City and those who have experienced homelessness. Its purpose was to build on the City’s comprehensive homeless services and affordable housing efforts and to identify innovative approaches to provide new pathways into housing, while preventing residents from falling into homelessness.
It’s the most significant plan to address homelessness in more than a decade.
The City of Long Beach just released the final report of the Task Force. You can download a complete copy here.
This is an important report which deserves serious consideration and concrete steps to implement its policies and recommendations. These recommendations will be presented to the Long Beach City Council this Tuesday.
The report makes policy and service recommendations to improve our responses to this issue in Long Beach, including expanding mental health and prevention strategies and sets clear goals for housing that are needed to reduce the number of people who experience homelessness each year in Long Beach.
Here are some of the key recommendations from the report:
•Strengthen Governance and Increase Funding by restructuring our service delivery operations and leadership structure. We expect the state and county to play a significant role in this funding.
•Improve Communication, Education and Advocacy to increase community support for solutions and to reduce stigma and fear surrounding homelessness.
•Increase Housing Access by creating 200 new permanent shelter beds, 200 new homes with permanent support, and 2,000 units to get low income folks and those experiencing homelessness into housing.
•Reducing Homelessness by preventing 2,500 people from falling into homelessness, rehousing 75% of people within 6 months, and reducing the number of chronic homeless individuals to 350.
•Creating new Employment opportunities for those adults and youth who have experienced homelessness, including 600 new jobs for people experiencing homelessness.
•Supporting Families with 400 new childcare spots for low and very low income families.
•Increasing access to behavioral health, substance abuse and physical health services.
I want to thank all the members of the EHLB Task Force for their hard work and especially CSULB President Jane Close Conoley and Andy Kerr, who served as the Chair and Vice Chair, respectively, and helped guide the work of the Task Force.
I also want to thank Kelly Colopy and the entire Homeless Services Staff and the City’s Interdepartmental Team and Continuum of Care for their efforts to support the Task Force, to develop the recommendations in this report, and for their work every day to provide services to those experiencing homelessness in Long Beach.
I look forward to working with the City Council and our many partners to achieve the statement of possibility that guides this report: to make the experience of homelessness in Long Beach rare and brief when it occurs.