By Eric Gray (LBLN Contributor)
Long Beach, CA
With spring in the air and the Grand Prix arriving to town, Long Beach residents are getting outside to enjoy the weather. For those who are experiencing homelessness and who have been staying at the Los Angeles Homeless Service Authority Winter Shelter here in Long Beach however, sleeping outside may just become the new normal.
The reason being is the Winter Shelter which provides emergency overnight shelter to single individuals experiencing homelessness closed down at 5am this morning, April 1st, due to funding resources running out.
David Shrader, a homeless advocate who lives along Ocean Boulevard hopes to see a year round shelter in Long Beach. He says, “The shelter takes people off the streets, provides food, and offers a little bit of case management. Now that the Winter Shelter is closed, I am seeing a lot more people on the streets today. I have seen at least 50 to 100 homeless individuals that have nowhere to go.”
He goes onto say, “I hope some of the funds from Measure H go to a full time shelter here in Long Beach because if you are homeless, you know you have a place to sleep and a hot meal every night. I’m sure I speak for many residents who would rather see homeless individuals get the help they need as opposed to sleeping on our beaches and at our parks.”
The Winter Shelter provided free transportation to the Muti Service Center in Long Beach which offers job training, medical resources, and bus tokens for individuals who are experiencing homelessness to get to job interviews.
For more information on the Los Angeles Homeless Service Authority Winter Shelter program, click here