Catholic Charities-run homeless shelter in Long Beach may become a 24/7 facility

The Planning Commission on Thursday will consider a request by Catholic Charities of Los Angeles to convert its homeless shelter in Long Beach into a 24-hour facility.

The nonprofit is requesting to modify its permit for the site at 1368 Oregon Ave. in an industrial area of the city’s Washington neighborhood in order to meet a funding requirement from the County of Los Angeles Homeless Initiative, which uses Measure H tax funds, according to a city staff report.

The request includes converting the shelter into a 24-hour facility (it currently operates from 4:30 p.m. to 9:30 a.m.), allowing clients to leave the premises at any time between 7:30 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. (this allows clients to attend classes, support services or employment opportunities), and provide a security guard to monitor the inside and outside of the facility 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The shelter has been in continuous operation since 2005. Catholic Charities has been operating it since 2007 under the program Project Achieve. According to the program’s website, the shelter provides 43 beds for men and 16 beds for women. The clients, who are single adults, are provided two meals a day and receive case management.

City staff said the project aligns with the Everyone Home Long Beach initiative meant to address the homelessness crisis that the city launched this past May.

Mayor Announces Homeless Task Force As Part of Everyone Home Long Beach Initiative 

“The taskforce determined specific categories for focus including increasing emergency shelter housing access,” the report stated. “This modification request is consistent with the goal of increasing housing access by providing 40, 24-hour emergency shelter beds.”

The city is still working on finding a location for its own year-round shelter—a promise the mayor made during his State of the City speech last January—that can hold 125 beds.

While that project is more long-term, the taskforce’s vice chair Andy Kerr, who is also a member of the Measure H Citizens’ Oversight Advisory Board, said nonprofits like Catholic Charities can help fill immediate gaps in housing.

“It’s a good example where nonprofits can play a role because they can be more nimble than the city,” said Kerr.

The meeting is at 5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 3, in Council Chambers, 333 W. Ocean Blvd.

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Stephanie Rivera is the immigration and diversity reporter 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.