City opens a third temporary homeless shelter at Silverado Park

Long Beach officials announced Saturday they have opened a third shelter, at Silverado Park in West Long Beach, to treat and house the homeless during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The opening of the city facility this week will add capacity to shelters already in place: The winter shelter in West Long Beach at 1718-1722 Hayes Ave.; and the former North Long Beach library, which the City Council agreed to open this week.

The North Long Beach facility, at 5571 Orange Ave., will provide shelter to an additional 80 people. The current winter shelter will then house 60 to 70 people, the city said.

The newest shelter at Silverado will house roughly 57 people.

The moves come as a study by UCLA showed as many as 400 homeless people in Los Angeles County could die from the coronavirus.

On Saturday, dozens of homeless people were gathered at the Silverado Park Recreation Center where the city had set up cots in the gymnasium.

A city employee said the new center, located at 1545 W. 31st St., currently had 47 homeless people. The cots are set 6 feet apart and those who agree to stay at the center must abide by social distancing rules. The center provides meals and hand washing stations.

The Silverado Park shelter will operate 24-7 and house about 50 people in the main room, and seven additional people in a separate isolation room to be used as needed, according to the city.

Anyone who enters the shelter will have a mandatory health screening and be encouraged to shelter in place.

Walk-ups to the shelter are not allowed and participants must be picked up by one of three shuttle services at 14th Street Park, Bixby Park or the Multi-Service Center, according to a news release.

The shelter will offer recreation with social distancing and additional social service resources as needed.

The state funded the temporary shelters with emergency aid to local governments specifically for homelessness.

City officials said this week that several more shelters are being set up to help vulnerable populations during the pandemic.

Officials are exploring other locations, including motels and other public spaces in Long Beach.

The winter shelter in West Long Beach and the former North Neighborhood Library location will also have extended operations through Sept. 30.

Those who want more information about the shelter can call 562-570-9328.

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Kelly Puente is an award-winning general assignment and special projects reporter at the Long Beach Post. She has worked as a journalist in Long Beach since 2006, covering everything from education and crime to courts and breaking news. Kelly previously worked at the Long Beach Press-Telegram and the Orange County Register before joining the Post in 2018. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in public policy and administration at Cal State Long Beach. Reach her at [email protected].