This coming Tuesday, April 4 both consumers and providers of homeless services will sit on a panel during “4 Walls and a Door,” a discussion on innovative and effective solutions to end homelessness in Long Beach and throughout Los Angeles County.
Hosted by Organizing for Action - Greater Long Beach Chapter in partnership with Long Beach United, the public is invited to attend the discussion at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, from 7:00PM to 9:00PM.
“We hope to develop solutions that expand on current measures and create innovative approaches through [Measure] H funding,” Co-Chapter Lead of Organizing for Action Gregg Kawczynski wrote in an email. “We would like to hear that there is a commitment of political will and resources to homeless issues.”
Sitting on the panel of professional homeless program stakeholders, to discuss positive outcomes relating to outreach, service delivery and housing solutions will be Herlinda Chico, deputy for Fourth District Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn, Jerry Jones, former executive director of the National Coalition for the Homeless, Shannon Parker, City of Long Beach Homeless Services officer, Sheila Finch, commissioner for the City of Long Beach Homeless Services Advisory Committee and Elsa Ramos, coordinator of Long Beach’s Multi-Service Center.
“Although permanent housing is the preferred solution, it takes 5-8 years to develop,” said Kawczynski. “We propose looking at innovative structural solutions such as micro-homes, shipping containers, portable shelters or buses, where people can access services and transition to more permanent housing.”
Other solutions to be discussed include rapid re-housing efforts, connecting individuals and families exiting homelessness with programs to ensure their independence and connecting vulnerable populations with emergency services, temporary cash assistance and case management.
The hosts are also encouraging attendees to bring in their experiences with the homeless and providers, as well as their ideas for improving institutional, as well as personal, responses to homelessness.
Breakout session topics will include:
1. How do we assure a continuum of uninterrupted services?
2. How to create mentorships; shelter partnering programs; one-to-one advocacy
3. How can we help integrate homeless back into community engagement?
4. How can we make it safer for homeless folks on the street?
5. What are ideas for different shelter options that can generate rapid production of housing?
6. What innovative ideas do you have about the condition of homelessness in Long Beach?
Following the discussion, an Action List and resource agency material will be made available for attendees seeking to volunteer, advocate, contribute and continue to learn more about homelessness.
The breakout sessions held during the event will also provide an opportunity for follow-up networking, said Kawczynski.
Those who attend are encouraged to bring a new, unused pair of socks as a donation.
St. Luke’s Episcopal Church is located at 525 East 7th Street.