|(Jan. 28, 2019, 11:55 a.m., updated 1:00 p.m.) -- City staff has negotiated, and will seek Council approval on Feb. 5, to purchase property at nearly the most distant northerly location from downtown Long Beach -- at 6841-45 Atlantic Ave. north of the 91 freeway -- for a year-round homeless facility. Ninth district Councilman Rex Richardson (VIDEO below) strongly supported the action and described the future facility as a state of the art "village style campus," a "game changing opportunity to create "best in class shelter...that connects comprehesive health and wellness to economic development, housing opportunities and new amenities for the whole community."
The location (currently home to a liquor store which will disappear plus a large square footage building), has been used in the past as a winter homeless shelter (operated by the LB Rescue Mission.) (LB's winter shelter now operates from the former NLB library at 5571 Orange Ave. in the 8th Council district.)
Someone ensured supporters would be present at the press event (although city mgm't asked media outlets not to report its location prior to the event.) Supporters, lined up to be visible in video shots and available to speak with reporters, carried signs saying "Everyone In" and had Councilman Richardson's name on them. In coming to the microphone, Councilman Richardson quipped: "looks like someone let the cat out of the bag."
VIDEO of remarks by Councilman Richardson, Vice Mayor Dee Andrews and Health & Human Services Director Kelly Colopy is below.
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Vice Mayor Andrews joined Councilman Richardson at today's event. Mayor Garcia, quoted in the City's release (text in full below), wasn't present; Councilman Richarson indicated he's in Cambodia at the moment. L.A. County Supervisor Hahn, also quoted in the release, was represented by staffer Herlinda Chico.
[City of Long Beach release text] Earlier today, the City of Long Beach and Ninth District Councilmember Rex Richardson announced an acquisition agreement made with a North Long Beach property owner at 6841-6845 Atlantic Avenue (“Atlantic Farms”), Long Beach, California 90805. The final sale, which will be pending City Council approval on February 5, 2019, will set the stage for a state of the art village-style campus of supportive services for people experiencing homelessness. Supportive services will include a much-anticipated year-round homeless shelter with 125 beds.
LBREPORT.com asked how many individuals the City expects to use the new NLB facility and what will happen if more show up. LB Health & Human Services Dir.Colopy replied that LB's current winter shelter (four months per year) handles roughly 120-125 people per night (in its current location in the 5500 block of Orange Ave.) and if more than that show up at the new NLB facility, there'll likely be a waiting list, and in such circumstances the City already works with other shelters regionally.
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