Long Beach needs your help to tackle homelessness in round 2 of ‘Around the Table’

After bringing residents together during the initial “Around the Table” event more than a year ago, the Long Beach Community Foundation and We Love Long Beach are hosting a second event next week with residents focusing on one big, often divisive issue: homelessness and housing.

“Residents told us that the most important issue facing Long Beach is homelessness and housing, and that they want to help, but are not sure how,” a flyer for the event read.

At the first Around the Table, the discussion was more broad, asking residents to have face-to-face conversations at tables around the city in homes, libraries, restaurants, police stations, coffee shops, hospitals and schools.

Each person was asked to discuss with their table two questions: “What do you love about Long Beach?” and “What can we/you do to make Long Beach even better?”

About 3,000 community members participated in the one-day event and the survey results released in April revealed what many already knew: the biggest issues on people’s minds are homelessness and housing.

Unlike last year’s event, held on one day at numerous locations, this year’s discussions will take place over three days in three locations:

  • Monday, Dec. 3 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at Golden Sails Best Western on 6285 E. Pacific Coast Highway.
  • Tuesday, Dec. 4 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at Long Beach Petroleum Club on 3636 Linden Ave.
  • Sunday, Dec. 9 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at Assistance League of Long Beach on 6220 E. Spring Street.

This year, community members will be asked to listen and learn from nonprofits and community leaders, specifically:

  • Why are people affected by homelessness in Long Beach?
  • What is being done about it?
  • What can I as a resident or business owner do to help?

They will also learn how to give money, volunteer time or donate practical items. Additionally, the Foundation has established a special fund to support homelessness and housing issues that residents can contribute to.

To save your seat, sign up at https://www.aroundthetablelb.com/.

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Valerie Osier is a breaking news and crime reporter for the Long Beach Post. She’s a Riverside native who found her love for journalism while at community college. She graduated from Cal State University, Long Beach journalism program in 2017 and covered the Palos Verdes Peninsula for the Daily Breeze prior to coming to the Post. She lives in Long Beach with her husband, Steven, and her cat/child, Jones.
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