Regardless of your opinion on the subject, there is a homelessness problem in Long Beach, particularly in Downtown and Lincoln Park, which has become a haven for those without homes. The Downtown Long Beach Associates hope to alleviate the issue by partnering with Outreach Specialist Jose Martinez.

Martinez will be heading the DLBA’s effort to provide more resources and reduce the homelessness in Downtown Long Beach, DLBA President and CEO Kraig Kojian said. Martinez, who is the DLBA’s newest member, is an employee of Block-By-Block, the contract provider for the DLBA’s Safety Guide Program. He has more than seven years of experience in counseling and homeless assistance, working most recently for Mental Health America as an Outreach Worker.

“As someone who both lives and works in Downtown Long Beach, I am very committed to this challenge and neighborhood,” Martinez said. “I am grateful for the opportunity to contribute to my community and I look forward to helping some of our most vulnerable neighbors get back on their feet.”

Martinez’s main focus will be to establish relationships with individuals experiencing homelessness through street outreach, collaboration with community partners, overcoming barriers to service for individuals, and detailed reporting of outreach.

Through these relationships, Martinez and the DLBA will be able to help identify why this homelessness is occurring and provide the correct resources for each case.

“There are a lot of services that are available for preventing homelessness in Long Beach but not everyone realizes they are there,” Julie Meigs Korinke, communications manager for the DLBA said. “That’s the missing link that we are trying to fill.”

Kojian cites this as being one of their biggest challenges.

“One more person addressing homelessness may not end the issue, but exposing the available services to one person at a time could have a profound impact on an individual’s life,” Kojian said.