Long Beach will build 24/7 homeless shelter at 3-acre site

There are more than 1,200 unsheltered people living in the South Bay city

Long Beach City Councilmember Rex Richardson and the site of the future shelter (Credit: Google Maps)
Long Beach City Councilmember Rex Richardson and the site of the future shelter (Credit: Google Maps)

Long Beach revealed the location of a year-round homeless shelter set to open next year, the city’s latest effort to combat Los Angeles’ growing homelessness crisis.

The shelter will be located on a 3-acre lot at 6841 Atlantic Avenue at the far north of the city, near Compton, according to the Long Beach Post. It will have 125 beds in separate quarters for men, women, families, and LGBTQ individuals.

The site currently has a liquor store and a warehouse that was made into a temporary shelter during winter months. The new facility will be open 24/7.

Long Beach has agreed to pay $9.6 million for the property through a combination of state and city funds. The City Council is expected to approve that agreement in February.

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The City of L.A. is trying numerous avenues to help address its homeless situation. The homeless population has grown by 50 percent since Mayor Eric Garcetti took office in 2013. In response, Garcetti created a program to open temporary bridge shelters in every City Council district with the goal of providing beds for 25,000 people.

The first such shelter opened in Downtown L.A. in September, and some others have opened elsewhere. But protests have stalled the establishment of shelters in some parts of the city.

Locals in Koreatown and in Venice have fumed over the proposed locations of shelters there.

There are around 1,800 people experiencing homelessness in Long Beach, including 1,200 who are unsheltered. Local Councilmember Rex Richardson hopes that the city will be able to expand the shelter into a campus with medical services and possibly parks on nearby vacant land. [Long Beach Post]Dennis Lynch