The largely vacant former Community Hospital property is about to get a new tenant that will provide recuperative care, a sobering center, and training for community health workers, with plans to eventually add an urgent care and supportive housing for seniors.

Officials from National Healthcare and Housing Advisors (NHHA) will discuss their plans and hear from residents at a community meeting on Thursday, Jan. 11.

The proposed new services and facilities would revive the historic hospital, which closed in 2021 after losing more than $26 million over a four-year period.

The closure helped hospital operator MWN Community Hospital LLC avoid having to make state-required earthquake safety upgrades estimated at $80 million. Those costs would have been split with Long Beach, which then owned the property, but the city ultimately transferred ownership of the hospital to MWN to honor the unusual terms of their lease agreement.

Now NHHA is leasing the hospital campus from MWN with an option to buy, NHHA CEO Paul Leon said. National Healthcare and Housing Advisors is a for-profit company that brings together and oversees nonprofit service providers, and it’s got three providers lined up for the Community Hospital site, he said.

The state’s seismic standards apply to acute care hospitals but not the kinds of facilities now planned for the campus.

MWN campus administrator Jennifer Marsh said the new tenant’s first-phase projects will use about 40% of the campus; some services will be in the former Heart Center, which was used as a winter homeless shelter from December 2022 to March 2023.

“I think that it’s a new day for the hospital and this property,” Marsh said. “This is really going to provide the outstanding services that the community needs.”

Leon said the goal is to serve the community’s most vulnerable residents, starting with recuperative care for people who no longer need hospitalization but don’t have stable housing to return to.

The first phase also includes a place public safety workers can bring people to sober up “so you don’t have people laying around on the street inebriated,” Leon said, and police don’t have to wait around to get them admitted to an emergency room. He stressed it will not be a walk-in, walk-out facility; anyone brought there will be offered off-site medical detox, and if they refuse they’ll be returned – once they’re sober – to where they were picked up.

Leon said several more public meetings are planned to hear from residents what the community needs, but he hopes to get the initial services going in the next few months. Over the long term, NHHA hopes to add an urgent care to serve the community, connect people with housing and social services, and build supportive housing for seniors.

National Healthcare and Housing Advisors will hold a community information session on its plans for the Community Hospital campus from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the campus, 1720 Termino Ave. Click here for more information on the project and meeting details.