City Council to consider ways to help Long Beach’s newly or nearly homeless
2009-12-10 · By Editor
Sixth District Councilman Dee Andrews, is putting forth an agenda item on Tuesday, December 15, at the City Council meeting to help Long Beach’s newly homeless.
Throughout Long Beach, there are many people facing foreclosures and evictions due to the rise of unemployment and the poor economy. Some of these individuals will have to resort to living on the streets or transitioning to living in their cars.
At next Tuesday’s City Council meeting, Councilman Andrews, along with Councilmembers Suja Lowenthal and Rae Gabelich, will attempt to get City Council to adopt three strategies to address homelessness and vehicular occupation in conjunction with the city current “Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program” (HPRP).
The three strategies suggested to provide assistance to residents in danger of becoming or already homeless are:
- Prevention: Assist people who are within three months of being evicted, and could be at risk of being homeless.
- Outreach: Reach out to people who are living in vehicles on the streets of Long Beach in order to identify who they are, what their needs are, and how to connect them to services and housing.
- Rapid Re-Housing: Refer people in vehicles to Beyond Shelter located at the Multi-Service Center to access services and housing for people already homeless and living in vehicles.
After great deliberation and reaching out to the many businesses, neighbors, and community organizations that serve the homeless, Councilman Andrews pulled the original item from September 1 City Council Agenda, which addressed helping Long Beach Economic Refugees.
The revised item being presented to City Council, next week, will no longer seek exploring publicly owned property to be used as safe havens for people who live in their vehicle. Currently, under existing City Law, any private sector can have a safe haven for homeless. What is suggested is that any nonprofit or private entity to call it “Ports in the Storm” so it will be easily identified and communicated to the public and those in need.
“The City has a real problem on their hands and the need to come together to assist our neighbors, is now”, said Councilman Andrews. “We are in a new era of poverty and homelessness in our community collaboration with nation, state and our great city. Everywhere I look, I see families or individuals seeking basic assistance in support of their life. Many of our neighbors have lost their jobs, their homes, and their support network. Many people are left with no choice but to live in their vehicles as they try to get back on their feet”, continued Andrews.