Here's What City Hall Offers Taxpayers In Response To Seemingly Homeless Man Surrounded By What May Be Drug Items, Along 2nd St/Glendora Ave.
(Sept. 24, 2021, 9:55 a.m.) -- A photo circulated on a Belmont Shore-focused social network page, screen-saved and forwarded to us by a third party, shows an individual who appears to be homeless on the sidewalk on 2nd St @ Glendora Ave. surrounded by various items that may include drug paraphernalia. (We don't currently have the rights to the photo or we'd publish it here.)
LBREPORT.com reports below what Long Beach taxpayer-funded agencies told us about their responses to what the public could see along 2nd St @ Glendora Ave.
LBPD (via PIO Allison Gallagher): "On 9/22/21 at approximately 2:36 p.m., officers were dispatched to 2nd Street and Glendora Avenue regarding a subject possibly intoxicated on drugs. Upon arrival, officers contacted the male adult and determined that he was not under the influence and did not possess any illegal drugs, and thus, were unable to determine a crime had occurred. Officers offered the man services and to connect him with resources that he could possibly benefit from. Ultimately, the man decided to leave the area."
LB's Dept. of Health and Human Services (via PIO Jennifer Rice Epstein) 'The Health Dept. was alerted by community members to a concern in that area. As with all request for outreach made to the Health Department, an outreach team was sent out to follow-up on the request. The Health Department does not comment on its outreach to individual persons, both to maintain privacy and because some interactions, if shared, could violate HIPPA. The City regularly receives calls regarding people experiencing homelessness, including some who seem distressed or could be engaged in illegal or harmful activities. Depending on the situation, the call may be responded to by the Health Department's REACH team, LBPD Quality of Life Officers, Fire Department paramedics or other relevant service providers..."
In LBREPORT.com's view, the responses of both agencies prompt more questions than they answer.
LB Health Dept's PIO offered a skillfully written response that tells the public near nothing. It doesn't acknowledge what "concern" community members reported, what agencies responded to it (the Health Dept's REACH team, or LBPD Quality of Life Officers or LBFD paramedics or other service providers) and says the Department "doesn't comment" [we didn't seek "comment" but factual information] on its outreach to individual persons to maintain privacy [the individual and his activities were publicly visible] and because "some interactions" if shared [not citing this one] could allegedly violate HIPPA.
LBPD's response is likewise disturbing. It says the individual didn't "possess" illegal drugs despite being seemingly surrounded by what may be drug paraphernalia. It let him turn down offered resources from which it says he could benefit. It let him basically relocate himself to some other business district or residential neighborhood. In our view, this amounts to basically incompassiomate warehousing of a helpless addict and possibly mentally ill individual without a warehouse.
It coincides with fires from "encampments" visible along freeway medians, consuming already too thin LBFD resources.
It is galling to hear City Hall officials commend themselves for their records while they allow these conditions to persist, while well-paid non-elected bureaucrats consume increasing taxpayer sums and dispense endless excuses for the status quo.
The status quo is unacceptable to us and others.
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|On Sept. 23, LBREPORT.com contacted the office of Third District Councilwoman Suzie Price on the matter. The Councilwoman's chief of staff informed us their office is aware of the situation and has been in contact with LBPD and LB's Health Dept. on the matter.
LBREPORT.com acknowledges that this issue goes beyond Belmont Shore. Situations like this affect Long Beach business districts and residential neighborhoods citywide.
LB's elected policy-setting City Councilmembers are ultimately responsible for how LB taxpayer dollars are spent to deal with this issue and others. Five of the incumbents (CD1, 3, 5, 7 and 9) are seeking re-election in 2022.
Sept. 26, 2021, 4:25 p.m. Based on subsquently obtained information, initial title and some text were revised.. Previous title was "Here's What City Hall Offers Taxpayers In Response To Seemingly Homeless Man Surrounded By What May Be Drug Items, Along 2nd St/Glendora Ave."
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