Listening to Residents’ Voices, Long Beach Community Foundation Establishes Fund for Homelessness and Housing Issues

Featured photo of Around the Table gatherings last September courtesy of We Love Long Beach.

Nearly seven months ago about 3,000 community members came together for the largest one-day citywide community event in Long Beach’s history to discuss the city and how to improve it.

On Tuesday the nonprofit Long Beach Community Foundation, which co-hosted the event with We Love Long Beach, released the results of a survey taken by residents during the Around the Table event, which took place September 23, 2017 at homes, libraries, restaurants, police stations, coffee shops, hospitals and schools.

Among the findings, organizers discovered that the most pressing issues in Long Beach are homelessness and housing.

“The positive connection residents have with our city resonated throughout the hundreds of conversations that took place,” said Marcelle Epley, president & CEO of LBCF, in a statement. “When talking about how they can make our city better, residents’ primary issue of concern centered on homelessness and housing.”

Organizers also discovered that residents overwhelmingly want to be active in helping the city but aren’t sure how, which led LBCF to establish a special fund to support homelessness and housing issues that residents can contribute to.

Funds will go to nonprofits and city departments working on the issue, Epley told the Post, first learning how these groups work to help people experiencing homelessness before funding them.

“We are in this process now and are learning about the many opportunities we can support, including programs that assist individuals or families from becoming homeless in the first place,” Epley said.

To view the full impact report click here. To learn more about the Community Fund for Homelessness and Housing click here.

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Stephanie Rivera is the community engagement editor for the Long Beach Post. After graduating from CSULB with a degree in journalism, Stephanie worked for Patch Latino and City News Service before coming to the Long Beach Post in 2015.