Temporary Long Beach Shelter for Migrant Children Now Closed
On July 23, 2021, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) ceased operations of the temporary Emergency Intake Shelter at the Long Beach Convention Center ahead of schedule. In total, 1,583 migrant children were reunited with family members or sponsors.
The Long Beach facility, which opened on April 22, 2021, was one of several emergency shelters set up around the country when the federal government experienced an influx of children at the southern border. Long Beach mostly housed girls ages 5 and older. Most were housed for 19 days on average and had space for recreation and learning while they waited to be connected with family members or sponsors.
To make their stay in Long Beach as comfortable as possible during the reunification process, there was an overwhelmingly compassionate response from the community to provide the young women and children with welcome letters, professional services and basic necessities such as food, toiletries, clothing and baby care items. Approximately 130,000 items were donated, including 30,000 toys. Of that, 16,000 unique items were given to the migrants at the shelter; the rest of the donations were repurposed for other groups in need in the Long Beach area.
The Long Beach Community Foundation collected over $240,000 in monetary donations to provide comfort, education, and support to the children housed at the Long Beach Convention Center during the family reunification process. This was the single largest number of donations to the Long Beach Community Foundation in such a short period of time. Funds were used to provide:
- Fun and interactive learning programs provided by The Aquarium of the Pacific
- Kinder Konzert musicals in English and Spanish performed by the Long Beach Camerata Singers
- A reading lab program from the Long Beach Public Library Foundation which includes reading lessons from local Long Beach youth from Patrick Henry Elementary, Helen Keller Middle School, and other LBUSD Dual Immersion schools
- Concerts, dance classes, and performances from Musical Theatre West;
- A July 4th celebration from Centro CHA
- Gift cards to be used for necessities when the children are reunited with their families
- Legal representation services from Immigrant Defenders Law Center