Volunteers Encouraged to Help with Citywide Count of Homeless Persons on January 26, 2017

Picture from www.endhomelessness.org

Long Beach, Ca

Community volunteers are encouraged to participate in the count of persons experiencing homelessness in Long Beach on the morning of Thursday, January 26, 2017. The 8th biennial Homeless Count, required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), defines the scope of homelessness, both in the community and across the nation, and helps to determine existing resources, identify gaps, and highlight progress toward ending homelessness.

“The Homeless Count is a great opportunity for community volunteers to come together in this citywide outreach to some of our most vulnerable residents,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “Participating in the Homeless Count is an opportunity for volunteers to learn about services available to assist homeless people, meet service providers, and interact with others concerned about homelessness in our City.”

The Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services (Health Department) Homeless Services Division conducts the count. It is the lead agency for the Long Beach Continuum of Care, a local planning body that coordinates housing and services funding for homeless families and individuals.

Previous Homeless Counts, from 2007 to 2015, have documented the number of homeless/formerly homeless people placed in emergency shelters, transitional housing, and permanent supportive housing which has increased 50 percent from 1,679 to 2,345.

For the count, the City of Long Beach is divided into 47 GIS mapped segments. Teams of three to five individuals, comprised of community volunteers, service providers and homeless program participants, canvass each specific segment to count and survey people experiencing homelessness in each area. Each segment takes between two and three hours to canvass. Teams will be assigned and deployed from the Multi-Service Center, located at 1301 W. 12th Street, in Long Beach. Participants must be 18 years or older, and can request to be deployed at either 5:00 am or at 8:00 am.

One-hour orientations for volunteers will be hosted at the Multi-Service Center. Volunteers need only attend one of the following orientation dates:

• Tuesday, January 17, at 1:00 pm and at 6:00 pm
• Wednesday, January 18, at 1:00 pm and at 6:00 pm
• Thursday, January 19, at 1:00 pm and at 6:00 pm

The Homeless Count also involves City staff conducting a residential-based count of all people living in emergency and transitional housing programs within Long Beach.

Volunteers can assist in various ways:

Spread the Word: Raise awareness about the homeless count and help recruit volunteers by getting the word out through flyers and social media.

Donate: Provide in-kind donations, donate funds or secure store credits to support count activities. Host donation drives to collect items such as socks, travel size hygiene products and pre-packaged snacks. Donations should be delivered directly to the Multi-Service Center before January 26.

Download the Volunteer Form and Homeless Count Flyer and Fact Sheet at www.longbeach.gov/health/services/directory/homeless-services and submit completed volunteer forms via fax to 562.570.4066 or via email to Elsa.Ramos@longbeach.gov.

The Long Beach Continuum of Care is responsible for managing and tracking the homeless systems of care in the community, including the monitoring and analysis of local homeless population data through the Homeless Management Information System and biennial homeless counts.

For additional information about Homeless Count, please contact Elsa Ramos, Multi-Service Center Coordinator, at Elsa.Ramos@longbeach.gov or 562.570.4588.