Long Beach CONNECTIONS to survey local homeless

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long-beach-homeless-surveyLater this month, July 21– 23, more than 125 volunteers will converge on central Long Beach and take part in a three-day effort aimed at helping Long Beach’s most challenging homeless individuals.

The Long Beach Homeless Survey is a community initiative, known as Long Beach CONNECTIONS, that will cover neighborhoods from the beach to Anaheim Street, and Alamitos Avenue to the Los Angeles River.

“Small groups of people will perform interviews to identify the most vulnerable people living on our streets,” said Martha Long, of Mental Health America. “This will help us identify our most needy homeless neighbors and design targeted strategies to get them housed.” Long co-chairs the community initiative along with Joel John Roberts, CEO of PATH Partners.

The homeless survey is the first component of Long Beach CONNECTIONS, a grassroots community engagement initiative geared towards helping develop coordinated responses to address homelessness in Long Beach. Participating stakeholders include the City of Long Beach, Police and Fire departments, CSULB, local hospitals, business groups, residents, faith groups, and service agencies.

“This is a powerful opportunity to demonstrate our collective commitment to ending homelessness in Long Beach,” said Mayor Bob Foster. “Resolving homelessness in Long Beach is a win-win situation for the homeless, businesses and residents,” said Mary Coburn, of the Downtown Long Beach Associates. “We all benefit from enjoying a vibrant community to work, enjoy and call home.”

In addition to the homeless survey, the CONNECTIONS Initiative will partner with California State University Long Beach (CSULB) to conduct a community engagement analysis called the “CONNECTIONS Index”. The CONNECTIONS Index will evaluate how key stakeholders (within the homeless survey boundaries) respond to homelessness. Information obtained will assist in optimizing service integration amongst faith groups, businesses, emergency services, law enforcement, homeless agencies, and the medical services community.

Long Beach CONNECTIONS is recruiting volunteers to assist with the homeless survey. A mandatory volunteer training session will take place Monday, July 20 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Contact Grace Yi for more information at gracey@epath.org.

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