During the recent storms in Long Beach, the city’s Multi-Service Center has been providing overnight shelter for the unhoused community from 5 p.m. to 7 a.m. each night, and it’s been consistently reaching capacity.

Located in West Long Beach, the Multi-Service Center offers support for homeless individuals, providing a wide variety of resources and assistance. During cold or wet weather the facility transforms overnight to offer cots to homeless people who may have nowhere else to sleep in inclement conditions.

The shelter has been in high demand as Long Beach has been hit by a series of rain storms recently. Long Beach is expected to receive 2 to 5 inches of rain in total this week, with more showers forecast for Monday.

During the recent storms, the shelter has been full each night, according to Jennifer Rice Epstein, spokesperson for the Long Beach Health Department

“It has been filling up consistently,” Rice Epstein said. “Because it is a drop-in shelter, the same people may or may not come back every day.”

This week, the shelter is expected to stay open until Thursday morning due to forecasted weather.

Even when the shelter reaches max capacity, the staff at the center coordinate with the county and other local shelters to help find a safe space for homeless individuals to stay during harsh weather conditions. It’s unclear how many people have been turned away from the Multi-Service Center.

“This weather is awful for people sleeping outside, so we are trying to do everything we can to keep people safe during this specific type of weather condition,” Rice Epstein said.

The shelter will continue to open during nights with forecasted harsh weather conditions, such as temperatures of 45 degrees or lower, flood watch or warning issued by the National Weather Service or forecasted rain or storm that exceeds light showers.

“The best thing the public can do is be aware. Keep an eye on your neighbors, if you see someone that looks like they might be in need of service, reach out,” Rice Epstein said.

The shelter is at 1301 W 12th St.  For more information, visit their website here or call 562-570-4500 to check the bed availability.

Christal Gaines-Emory, a Cal State Long Beach student, is an intern at the Long Beach Post. She also serves as the editor-in-chief of the Daily 49er.