State funding will allow the City to focus outreach and permanent housing efforts for people experiencing homelessness at one of the largest encampment sites in Long Beach
Long Beach, CA – The City of Long Beach has been awarded $1.3 million by the State’s Encampment Resolution Funding (ERF) to focus on comprehensive outreach, supportive services and shelter services for the encampment site clustered in Cambodia Town around MacArthur Park and the Mark Twain Neighborhood Library. These funds will be used to address specific, persistent encampments by providing meaningful pathways to safe and stable housing for people experiencing homelessness.
“All people deserve shelter and housing,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “These funds will assist our efforts to get more folks off the streets and get them the care and dignity they deserve.”
The ERF grant will allow the City to increase capacity for its innovative alternative response model, including the Health Department’s newly formed Restorative Engagement to Achieve Collective Health (REACH) team, which prioritizes the safety and well-being of the people experiencing homelessness living in encampments. This effort will be facilitated by the Long Beach Interdepartmental Team, which is a collaborative network of City departments including Health and Human Services, Public Works, Police, Fire, Library Services and Parks, Recreation, and Marine, as well as the Office of the City Manager.
Led by the REACH team, multi-disciplinary teams consisting of public health nurses, mental health clinicians and outreach team members will conduct outreach at this encampment site and offer temporary stays via the City’s Non-Congregate Shelter Program while they work towards permanent housing goals. In all, 40 unhoused residents can be housed for up to six months under this grant – funding that also includes connecting them to physical and mental health services, temporary housing with individual rooms, cleanups in the encampment site, restoration of the park and library area, and case management through the City’s Coordinated Entry System to permanent housing options.
“I am thrilled to have this funding that will allow us to further support unhoused members of our community by providing them with critical services and resources. It also allows various City departments to work collaboratively and implement methods to combat homelessness long term,” said Sixth District Councilwoman Suely Saro.
The State established the ERF grant to develop effective, scalable and replicable strategies that meet the complex needs of people living in encampments while also restoring public spaces to their intended uses. Long Beach was one of 19 communities throughout California to receive this competitive grant funding.
“The Health Department is committed to the holistic housing and health needs of our unhoused neighbors,” said Health Department Director Kelly Colopy. “This grant will help us scale our comprehensive response and allow the City to provide critical services and find long-term solutions to address homelessness in Long Beach.”
The City of Long Beach is committed to rehousing people experiencing homelessness with dignity while ensuring public safety. This year, to date, the Health Department has made 184 outreach visits, responded to 143 community calls and housed 109 people.