Addressing Homelessness and Housing: The H.O.P.E. Plan

 

 

HOW WE WILL LEAD

The HOPE Plan - Housing first, Outreach, Pathways, and Expanding support

HOUSING FIRST

Creating a "Long Beach Housing Promise" that promotes housing, education, and quality jobs

We will form a cross-agency collaboration between the City, Long Beach City College and the Long Beach Unified School District to establish a ‘Housing Promise’ – a commitment to work together to ensure Long Beach’s children and families are provided the housing stability that they need to ensure educational outcomes, economic opportunity, and a lasting community where everyone thrives.

The partnership will strive to coordinate and invest in building housing that prioritizes students on free and reduced lunch, unhoused college students, seniors, and those with low and fixed incomes while preparing our local workforce with the training, skills, and opportunity to build the housing we need for Long Beach’s future.

Expanding shelter capacity, and transitional and permanent supportive housing

For our neighbors experiencing homelessness, temporary emergency shelter and transitional supportive housing provides a safe place with resources that help individuals achieve permanent housing. Building on the success of the City’s first municipal shelter in North Long Beach, Atlantic Farms Bridge Housing Community (ABC), we will continue to identify facilities for temporary shelter and transitional housing that provide comprehensive support such as health services, mental health, and substance use treatment, employment training, and education training, to transition people experiencing homelessness into long-term housing.

Ensuring Long Beach achieves a "Pro-Housing Designation" under AB 101 to maximize the flow of state resources to our city

The Pro-Housing Designation Program provides incentives and additional resources to cities for taking steps to increase housing production and meet California’s housing goals.

OUTREACH

Designing data-driven neighborhood-level outreach plans to connect unhoused individuals to shelter and services

People experiencing homelessness should have access to a robust infrastructure of support in every neighborhood of our city. We can better reach unhoused residents by expanding our city’s Restorative Engagement to Achieve Collective Health (REACH) outreach teams to be deployed in collaboration with tailored, neighborhood-level outreach teams in priority areas of the city. As an example, downtown Long Beach’s outreach plan could consist of our City’s REACH teams, emergency services, Downtown Long Beach Alliance (DLBA) outreach teams, community-based organizations, and the deployment of additional shelter capacity in the downtown area.

Neighborhood-level outreach plans would enroll local businesses and residents to respond to homelessness in a proactive and compassionate way to better connect unhoused individuals with services and shelter. Neighborhood-level outreach teams would build on and formalize efforts that neighborhoods such as AOC7 and Rose Park are currently piloting.

PATHWAYS

Building robust pathways to economic opportunity to prevent families from slipping into homelessness and promote community stability 

To end homelessness and create more stable communities, we must address the problem upstream and prevent homelessness before it begins. Half of the people experiencing chronic homelessness in our city became unhoused due to poverty – the inability to keep up with the rising cost of living in the context of stagnant, low wages. Creating pathways to economic opportunity will not only prevent homelessness, but it will also create stable communities that stay and give back for decades to come. We can achieve community stability with measures such as:

Expanding rental assistance programs for low-income families, seniors, and differently-abled communities

Providing tenants with the right to counsel and tenant’s rights education to support tenant-landlord disputes

Attracting quality jobs that pay a living wage

Ensuring every resident has access to training and education programs that provide access to quality, family-sustaining jobs

Increasing pathways to homeownership 

Homeownership remains the number one way to build intergenerational wealth and close the racial wealth gap, yet homeownership is out of reach for the average family, more than ever before. The most significant barriers to homeownership include affording a down payment, along with an inflated housing market. Pathways to homeownership include:

- Providing greater down payment assistance to aspiring homeowners

- Establishing more HUD-Certified Home-buying Education and Counseling Centers

- Building more homes available for ownership to increase supply and lessen demand

- Engaging banks in a major effort to reevaluate their mortgage lending practices and increase lending to communities of color

- Exploring the creation of a Community Land Trust and other cooperative homeownership models to promote wealth building and land ownership

Expanding Mental Health Support

Localizing mental health and substance abuse services in Long Beach

Half of those experiencing homelessness in our city is in need of mental health and/or substance use support. Currently, the administration and location of mental health and substance use services largely fall under the LA County Department of Mental Health, rather than the City, creating a disconnected system of care for those receiving mental health services in Long Beach.

Within the first 100 days as Mayor, Rex will work to partner with LA County to put in motion a plan to establish a local mental health bureau within the Long Beach Health Department. A local mental health bureau will support a more robust local infrastructure for mental health and substance use services by strengthening the availability and funding for current mental health providers, supporting an expansion of wellness facilities across town, including at Community Hospital of Long Beach, as well as take pressure off the local hospital system by adding more recuperative care beds and mental health step-down facilities. A local mental health bureau will also reduce bureaucratic processes that cause service delays, and ultimately, support more unhoused residents receiving the treatment they need to achieve permanent housing.

WHAT WE'VE ACCOMPLISHED TOGETHER SO FAR

Atlantic Farms Bridge Housing Community (ABC)

Vice Mayor Richardson was the driving force behind  Long Beach’s first municipal homeless shelter located in North Long Beach with supportive bridge housing that has helped unhoused individuals move off the streets. The bridge housing model is designed to match people to housing options as they become available, with supportive services to help people move into permanent housing as quickly as possible. The 2.28-acre community has a total capacity for 125 adults and is preparing to start construction to add 240 more units by the end of this year

Everyone In Initiative

In 2017, Vice Mayor Richardson sponsored the Everyone In Economic Inclusion Initiative to create a local economy that includes and benefits every Long Beach resident. The Everyone In Implementation Plan includes policy recommendations for small business and diverse entrepreneurship; local, inclusive procurement; workforce and youth development; connectedness (economic resiliency) and pathways to homeownership. This vision has come to fruition with funding from the American Rescue Plan, which allowed the city to fully fund a new $3 million down payment assistance program to help low-income Long Beach families buy their first home.

 

Thank you to the community leaders who shared their expertise and helped shape our platform:

  • Brian D’Andrea, Affordable Housing Developer*

  • Elise Buik, President and CEO, United Way of Greater Los Angeles*

  • Rashida Crutchfield, EdD, MSW, CSULB Associate Professor, School of Social Work, Director, The Center for Equitable Higher Education*

  • Alan Greenlee

  • Andy Kerr, Measure H Citizen Oversight Advisory Board Member/Affordable Housing Advocate*

  • Leanna Noble, North Pine Neighborhood Activist

  • Dr. Dinesa Thomas-Whitman, Community Advocate

*Title for identification only