|(July 14, 2019, 5:10 a.m., updated July 15, 9:33 a.m.) -- Long Beach will soon have its first homeless "Navigation Center" -- a facility where homeless persons can store their property and also receive access to homeless services intended to help them progress to permanent housng. It's planned for property that the City Council agreed to buy at 1718-1722 Hayes Ave. in a WLB industrial area about three blocks west of Santa Fe Ave. and a little over a block south of PCH.
A March 5, 2019 agendizing memo (co-signed by Economic Development Director John Keisler and Health/Human Services Director Kelly Colopy) didn't use the term "Navigation Center" and simply noted it will cost $1.83 million to acquire the 6,520 sq. ft property (with a 5,400 sq. ft building on it) and the City will use $1.85 million received from Sac'to in "Homeless Emergency Air Program" (HEAP) funds (from Sac'to's FY19 budget "surplus") allocated for "storage of belongings of individuals experiencing homelessness while attending work or utilizing services at LB's Multi-Service Center " (LB's Multi Service Center is roughly a mile SE at 1201 W. 12th St. near the 710 freeway.)
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LB's Homeless Services Coordinator, Shannon Parker, tells LBEPORT.com via an email that in addition to providing a place where persons experiencing homelessness can store their belongings, LB's "Navigation Center" will provide "an access point to homeless services and assist them with the linkages, resources and services that will facilitate their progress to permanent housing. These will include outreach and basic needs, access to shelter, case management, housing navigation other services necessary to address their homelessness." [July 15 clarifier added: LBREPORT.com has double-checked and confirmed [source: City of LB Multi-Service Ctr Coordinator Elsa Ramos] that the WLB facility won't include beds. LBREPORT.com notes that the term "Navigation Center" can mean many things; a number of Navigation Centers in the City/County of San Francisco do include beds, but not so [at least for now] in Long Beach.]
The City of Los Angeles has approved a storage-type "Navigation Center" in San Pedro between the 110 freeway and the western end of the Port of Los Angeles, next to LAPD's Harbor Division station.
LB city management's agendizing memo said one-time costs of $170,000 for the WLB Navigation Center's "tenant improvements to prepare the facility for operation" would come from "citywide budget savings in FY 19" and added "it is uncertain whether the General Fund will end the year in a net surplus or deficit and it is possible this one-time cost could add to the budget shortfall."
It said "additional operating and maintenance costs, including staffing, security, utilities, and other costs are expected to begin as soon as October 2019":but noted that the "operating costs, as defined by Measure H [L.A. County's homeless-related sales tax] can include staffing costs associated with the management and oversight of the facility, computer costs, and other items. The estimated ongoing operating and maintenance costs of this new facility are approximately $275,000 annually, of which $250,000 will be covered through Measure H funding. Measure H funding is ongoing on an annual basis and is in its second year of a ten-year implementation, after which the City will have to find another funding source for the operations of this facility. The remaining $25,000 for maintenance of the facility will be requested through the FY 20 budget development process..."
1st dist. then-Councilwoman [now state Senator] Lena Gonzalez made the motion to approve, seconded by Councilman Al Austin; the only public speaker was Andy Kerr (in support), vice-chair of a Mayor-chosen "Task Force" on homeless issues.
The Council vote to approve was 9-0.
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