The United States Veterans Initiative (US Vets), a nonprofit organization located in Long Beach, will be the provider for the 2019-2020 Winter Shelter Program for Service Planning Area (SPA) 8. The shelter, located in West Long Beach, is slated to open the week of December 1 and will operate through Mar. 31, 2020. The site is currently under construction, with December 7 as the intended opening date, but it could open sooner if construction finishes ahead of schedule.
The shelter will operate between the hours of 5 p.m. and 7 a.m. seven days a week. In the event of rainy weather, these hours may be extended by the operator. The shelter is a closed facility; once checked into the facility, participants are required to stay on site until 7 a.m. All participants must be transported to and from the shelter from the designated pick-up/drop-off areas located throughout the city; no one will be admitted if they walk up to the front door of the shelter on their own. There are three pick-up locations, two of which are in Long Beach: 14th Street Park (14th Street and Palmer Court near Long Beach Boulevard) and the Multi-Service Center (1301 W. 12th St.).
Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), the administrative authority responsible for selecting the winter shelter operator, selected the United States Veterans Initiative as the operator through a release for proposal (RFP) process; this is the third year of a three-year contract. On Nov. 12, City Council voted to adopt a resolution authorizing the operation of a winter shelter in West Long Beach.
Other local year-round shelters in Long Beach include the Samaritan House and Lydia House, operated by the Long Beach Rescue Mission, and Project Achieve and Elizabeth Anne Seton Residence, operated by Catholic Charities of Los Angeles.
Throughout the year, staff from the City of Long Beach Health and Human Services Department’s Homeless Services Division and its community partners canvass Long Beach daily, engaging people who are experiencing homelessness and offering emergency shelter, transportation, access to service providers and opportunities for housing. The City also leads the Long Beach Continuum of Care (CoC), which collaborates with multiple partners, including business and neighborhood associations, nonprofit and faith-based agencies, and medical and educational institutions to proactively address homelessness.
The Multi-Service Center, which serves as the coordinated entry for homeless services citywide, serves about 13,000 individual contacts per year, linking individuals to comprehensive services including shelter services, connection to mainstream benefits, mental health, medical care, employment, childcare, veteran benefits, housing linkage, prevention services and access to mail service and shower facilities. The Multi-Service Center also serves as one of the primary access points to the Winter Shelter Program and facilitates shower services for shelter attendees.
The first phase of the Atlantic Avenue Bridge Housing Community, the City’s year-round shelter and permanent supportive housing community, is expected to open by June of 2020.
SPA 8 is the southernmost part of Los Angeles County that serves the communities of Athens, Avalon, Carson, Catalina Island, El Segundo, Gardena, Harbor City, Hawthorne, Inglewood, Lawndale, Lennox, Long Beach, Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, Palos Verdes Estates, Rancho Dominguez, Rancho Palos Verdes, Redondo Beach, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, San Pedro, Wilmington and others.