Find out how you can help those who are homeless in Long Beach during a town hall in Belmont Shore Monday night featuring nearly two dozen speakers from a variety of local agencies.
Hosted by community activist Justin Rudd, the Compassionate Town Hall: Homelessness in Long Beach event will take place Monday, January 30 at Bay Shore Church, located at 5100 East The Toledo, from 7:00PM to 9:00PM.
Speakers will inform attendees of how best to help those who are homeless and also talk about what is currently being done for those experiencing homelessness.
There are approximately 3,000 homeless people in Long Beach, according to Rudd.
Among those scheduled to speak will be Long Beach Fire Department (LBFD) Chief Mike DuRee and members of the LBFD’s Homeless Education and Response Team.
Launched about two months ago, the HEART homeless outreach team is currently a year-long pilot program striving to help the city’s homeless in a cost-effective manner.
“Their job is to go out and identify people who are experiencing homelessness and then try and get them plugged into one of the myriad of services that exists in the city,” DuRee told the Post earlier this week. “It’s been very, very beneficial so far.”
The HEART team works Monday through Friday during daylight hours, DuRee said, collaborating with the Long Beach Police Department’s (LBPD) mental evaluation team and the city’s health department.
The team of two has, to date, pulled about 20 people off the streets and plugged them into social services available to them, DuRee said.
By intercepting calls of a “person down” or similar distress reports, the HEART team will evaluate patients and at the same time keep certain units available, such as a fire engine and paramedic ambulance.
“Basically these guys are doing some preventative medicine and getting them [the homeless] plugged into places that already exist that they may or may not know about,” DuRee said. “Since they’re paramedics they can evaluate the patient and see if there’s a medical issue and nine times out of 10 there’s not a medical issue.”
Other town hall speakers include Councilwoman Suzie Price, LBPD Police Chief Robert Luna, Health and Human Services Bureau Manager Teresa Chandler, Dale Neal of the Long Beach Rescue Mission and Cal State Long Beach social work assistant professor Rashida Crutchfield.
Speakers will be allowed to speak for five to seven minutes each. Guests will be able to speak with with them and other agency representatives before and after the town hall, according to Rudd.
Attendees are asked to consider bringing a pack of new socks to the town hall to donate for Rudd’s “Sock It to ‘Em” sock drive for the homeless.
For tickets to the event and a full list of speakers, click here.