Survey Shows Reduction of Homeless Population on Long Beach Streets

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Access to Shelter

Fewer homeless people – especially chronically homeless adults and children in families – are on the street, with more people having access to housing and homeless services in Long Beach.

“I am very proud of our citywide efforts to get homeless people the services and support they need,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “We continue to make great strides in reaching and helping some of the most vulnerable people in our community.”

According to a biennial survey conducted by the Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services, from 2013 to 2015, there was:

  • 18 percent overall reduction in the total number of persons. experiencing homelessness, 2,847 to 2,345.
  • 13 percent reduction in chronically homeless persons, from 1,061 to 927.
  • 24 percent reduction in the number of children experiencing homelessness, from 334 to 255.
  • 42 percent increase in permanent housing beds, from 854 to 1,214.

Since 2011 there has been:

  • 26 percent reduction in the total number of persons experiencing homelessness, 3,164 to 2,345.
  • 18 percent reduction in chronically homeless persons, from 1,127 to 927.
  • 32 percent reduction in the number of children experiencing homelessness, from 371 to 255.
  • 177 percent increase in Permanent Housing beds, from 438 to 1,214.

The increase in permanent housing resources is due to new programs funded and developed for specialized subpopulations, and expansion of rapid rehousing units.

The biennial survey, which is a requirement to receive U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funding to provide services to the homeless, involved more than 300 community volunteers deployed citywide earlier this year to conduct a “street count” of unsheltered homeless persons. To better align the count data collection with other CoC jurisdictions and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development requirements, the 2015 count focused only on homeless-designated beds for the shelter count. The 2015 results are comparative to 2011 and 2013 results reflected in the HUD Homeless Data Exchange (HDX) submissions.

“The Homeless Services Division of the Department of Health and Human Services works in connection with every City department to align our efforts, maximizing the effectiveness of citywide resources, an effort that has contributed to this reduction in street homelessness,” said Susan Price, Bureau Manager of Community Health. The Long Beach Continuum of Care (CoC) collaborates with every known partner in the City, from business and neighborhood associations, nonprofit and faith-based agencies to medical and educational institutions to proactively address homelessness.

To ensure the greatest impact, a street outreach network has been conducting very organized and targeted outreach, reaching out to faith-based and food distribution sites to ensure connectivity to resources that end homelessness.

The central hub for intake and assessment for the Long Beach CoC is the Multi-Service Center (MSC), which averages 26,000 client visits annually, making it the primary point of entry for persons seeking homeless services assistance in the City of Long Beach. The MSC facility houses staff from the Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services and 11 other public and private partner organizations that work together to promote self-sufficiency and rebuild the lives of those experiencing homelessness.

The MSC has been a critical resource in facilitating opportunities for homeless men, women, and children to achieve housing stability and empower clients by actively engaging them in service planning, building on their strengths, and helping them to achieve their goals. This focus on the goals of economic stability, employment, stable housing, and reintegration has had positive impacts for those served and the broader community.

Additional data from the Biennial Homeless Count is available at http://bit.ly/1HxICZF.

More information regarding veteran specific results will be available next week after a press event hosted by Mayor Garcia, the Long Beach Veterans Healthcare Center and the Department of Health and Human Services.

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