Homelessness is an ongoing social issue nationally as well as on the local level. On June 4, 2019, City of Long Beach sent out a press release revealing a 2% increase in homelessness from 2017 to 2019. Despite the 2% increase feeling like strides being taken backwards, it is still low compared to regional increases. “Homelessness is a statewide crisis that impacts all of us,” states Mayor Robert Garcia, “The data show that Long Beach continues to make progress in housing people in need, but we must do more to get folks into permanent housing and to protect vulnerable populations.” With a 2% increase in homeless street count in Long Beach, the data in question, does not seem to align with Mayor Garcia’s statements. Nevertheless, there has been an 8% reduction in chronically homeless persons from 686 in 2017 to 632 in 2019.
An interdepartmental team composed of different sectors of Long Beach: Department of Health and Human Services, LBPD and LBFD, Public Works, City Attorneys’ Office, Library and Parks, and Recreation and Marine have monthly meetings addressing the issue of homelessness.
Through a small questionnaire survey of approximately 50 non-homeless Long Beach civilians, results found that citizens believe the largest leading issues that contribute to homelessness are: unaffordable housing and a lack of resources (including, but not limited to; a lack of mental health services). While this is a small scale research inventory, unaffordable housing and a lack of resources continue to be an ongoing issue and alleged contribution to homelessness.
By Micaela Dalzell IG: @mickdalzell
Watch the latest Top Trends in Long Beach with Yasmine Tanres segment joined by Mayor Robert Garcia’s Senior Advisor and Deputy of Homeless and Housing, Daniel Brezenoff.