With the abrupt end of an emergency housing program at a Downtown motel, some of the city’s most vulnerable residents face few options for a permanent home.
The City Council could vote Tuesday to buy the Luxury Inn for $16.6 million. It would be converted into housing for people experiencing homelessness.
Now that Gov. Gavin Newsom’s court system for people with severe mental illness cleared the state Legislature, counties face a series of practical questions critical to turning the fuzzy concept into a reality.
“Those showing up for food come and never leave,” said the man behind a petition calling for the relocation of Christian Outreach in Action, which some say has led to an increase in crime, violence, yelling, loitering and other problems.
That plan would establish a court system that could order people with severe mental illness into long-term treatment.
The estimated 100 or more housing units the grant will fund, however, will likely not be available to people seeking shelter until late 2023.
Long Beach has issued about 400 housing vouchers to people who are currently homeless. Despite the vouchers paying for a large portion of their rent, the city is having issues finding landlords willing to accept them.
City health officials said there are about 500 people who are currently unhoused who have vouchers that will pay for their rent or to stay in a motel but they are having trouble finding willing landlords.
Long Beach’s REACH teams consist of a nurse, clinical and outreach workers that work to connect people experiencing homelessness with services and housing. Adding another team could cost about $500,000.
In 2019, a pilot program provided funding to nonprofits and local jurisdictions to offer pet food, crates, toys and veterinary services in homeless shelters. Now pending legislation would make the program permanent, while expanding it across California.