The theme for our newsletter this month is
homelessness. Our District Office Director, Jack Cunningham, and I recently authored an editorial on this very important issue. I want to expand on the editorial a bit so that our residents know what the City is doing in regards to the issue.
Homelessness is indeed a serious and timely issue. It is serious for the Third District, for Long Beach, for California, and the nation, so when seeking out solutions it is important to understand that we are not alone as we work to address this issue. Everyone is grappling with this complicated problem that overlaps with countless concerns ranging from the housing shortage, the economic recession, education, addiction, criminal justice, mental health, city and state law, societal shifts, and availability of resources. With these many factors coming in to play, and with each individual homeless person having different needs, there are countless approaches and philosophies that could have an impact on reducing homelessness.
Recently we have seen a change in the faces of our Long Beach homeless. Yes, mental health, poor education, lack of opportunity are all still very common, but the current population of homeless are more likely than in previous years to be young and addicted to drugs or alcohol. This change comes on the heels of Proposition 47, and a nationwide increase in addiction, making it increasingly common for people to be homeless not because they lack the ability to work, are unable to find housing, but because they are instead choosing to live outdoors as a kind of urban camper, where they are not responsible for paying rent, or maintaining a job and instead choose to panhandle or engage in minor property theft to sustain their needs and often addictions.
Here in Long Beach we are truly among the best regional entity at providing resources and opportunities for homeless people to get off the street. We have dedicated police officers who work with various agencies including CalVet, the Health Department, Department of Mental Health, and various homelessness service providers that conduct outreach to homeless individuals and encourage them to accept the services they are eligible for to help get them off the streets. We have an interdepartmental team with Fire Department, Police Department, Public Works, and Parks, Recreation and Marine who work collaboratively to address areas of ongoing concern as well as many nonprofits and faith-based networks that offer supportive services to people experiencing homelessness. The city has made particularly good strides in addressing veteran homelessness resulting in a functional end to veteran homelessness in Long Beach. The city has also committed to a housing first pilot program that reduces the necessary hurtles for those seeking housing by providing them housing first and then getting them into the necessary programs that help to keep them housed second, like rehabilitation and jobs training.
Since 1995, the Long Beach Health Department has led the Long Beach Continuum of Care. The Continuum of Care is a body funded by HUD that coordinates housing and services for homeless families and individuals, and that recently received $6.9 million from HUD to support their work to provide services. Also led by the Long Beach Health Department, is the Multi-Service Center which is a facility that houses twelve public and private partner organizations working together to promote self-sufficiency and rebuild the lives of those experiencing homelessness. Annually, the Multi-Service Center averages 26,000 client visits, making this facility the primary point of entry for persons seeking homeless services assistance in Long Beach. Services range from basic amenities, to showers, laundry, mail and message center, to street outreach, van shuttle, transportation, medical care, mental health services, substance abuse treatment, HIV/AIDS services, integrated case management, and housing coordination. The mission of the MSC is to provide comprehensive supportive services to promote progress towards permanent housing and self-sufficiency, by creating a community where health, safety, and well-being are established.
I list all this not to say that the city has exhausted all options, but simply to illustrate that Long Beach is incredibly active in addressing homelessness, and it is important that the community be aware of the incredible work that is being done daily to fight homelessness. However, Long Beach's current approach is only one of many. Our City Council and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors recently voted to ask the state Assembly and Senate to urge the Governor to declare a state of emergency due to California's homeless crisis, and Assembly Majority Whip Miguel Santiago and Assembly Budget Chair Phil Ting have jointly introduced House Resolution 56 requesting the Governor to declare a state of emergency on homelessness. This is an issue being felt up and down the state, and now is a critical time for Long Beach to address homelessness along with all other cities in the state. Although the 2015 Long Beach homeless census measured a decrease in individuals experiencing homelessness, it is expected to increase in 2017.
Cities, individuals, and organizations throughout the nation have been working to address homelessness. This issue is incredibly complex and exists in the reality that being homeless is not a crime, but many of the issues and practices associated with homelessness are. As we move forward with seeking solutions we must acknowledge that homeless people have the same rights as everyone else. And the manner in which we approach this issue whether it be harsher penalties for panhandling, increased enforcement of beach and park hours, more outreach, environmental changes that make loitering or sleeping in public less appealing, the right to rest, sit-lie ordinances or any other suggestion, must protect individual rights, and improve the quality of life for Long Beach residents.
So, I am asking for your input on this issue: what are solutions you have seen utilized by other cities or organizations that may be useful for Long Beach? The city is not too proud to think we have all the answers, so we hope that if there are creative or impactful ways you have seen homelessness addressed, please help us by being a part of the solution and contact my office with your ideas and suggestions at
. Also, I invite you to join the conversation at our July community meeting, which will be dedicated to the topic of homelessness. The meeting will be held on July 27th at 5:30 pm at the Seaport Marina Hotel.
Looking forward to a great month!
3RD DISTRICT COMMUNITY EVENTS
3rd District Community Meeting - July 27
--- by Jack Cunningham
As Homelessness has become an increasingly important issue in Long Beach, as well as statewide, and nationwide the Councilwoman's Monthly Community Meeting will focus on this important topic.
July 27th at the Seaport Marina Hotel (
6400 E. Pacific Coast Hwy) at 5:30 PM our office will host East Division Commander Griffin, LBPD Resource Officer Dodson,
Chronic Homeless Initiative Coordinator Shannon Parker, and Homeless Services Coordinator Teresa Chandler to talk about homelessness and answer questions. We strongly encourage all residents interested in homelessness to attend this meeting and learn more about what the city is doing to confront this complex issue and better understand the causes, effects, and potential solutions. We hope you can make it and meet the city staff who are leading the effort to reduce homelessness in Long Beach.
3rd District, District Office Director
Shakespeare in the Park - July 23 & 24
I know what you're thinking... "Why would I want to go see a live performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream, written by the greatest play writer to ever live when I can stay home and reorganize my sock drawer while arguing loudly with an old episode of Wings?" First of all, stop whining like that, it really doesn't suit you. And secondly, you should go because it is a fantastic comedy that features fairies and lots of other mythical creatures. Also, it's free, so unless you've recently suffered a head injury this is the only way you'll get to see this many mischievous woodland sprites for free in a single night. So, mark your calendar for July 23 and 24th at 6:00 PM at the Rec Park Band Shell (4900 E. 7th St.) and bring your friends, your family, your neighbors, or even that mannequin you dress up and whisper all your secrets to, we won't judge just as long as you come and enjoy this great performance being put on by the Long Beach Playhouse.
--- by Jack Cunningham
3rd District, District Office Director
Queen Mary Land Development Task Force Meeting - July 9
3rd District Neighborhood and Association Meetings
Belmont Heights Community Association
2nd Wednesday of each month
7:00 - 8:30 PM
Belmont Heights United Methodist Church
Belmont Shore Resident Association
2nd Thursday of each month
6:00 - 8:00 PM
Bay Shore Library
Friends of Belmont Shore
First Thursday of each month at 6:00 pm (except for November & December)
July 2016 - No Meeting...next meeting is Thursday, August 4th
St. Bartholomew Meeting Hall
NW Belmont Park Community Watch
Approximately every 3 months as determined
Third District Field Office
Peninsula Beach Preservation Group
Multi Service Center - Homeless Services Division
Since it's opening in March of 1999, the Multi-Service Center (MSC) located in west Long
Beach, has functioned as a main entry point into the Long Beach Continuum of Care system.
The MSC has been recognized as a national best practice model, by collocating social service
agencies in order to provide comprehensive services for at risk and homeless individuals and
families in one location. The MSC operates as the centralized intake and assessment location,
providing case management and linkage to support services including: childcare, domestic
violence programs, employment and life skills training, HIV and medical treatment services,
mental health services, veteran services, shelter and housing placement. The MSC is also the
central hub from which street outreach response is coordinated. As our homeless population
increases it is important for us to utilize the multi-service center to our advantage.
There are different approaches the center has in order to provide services for homeless
individuals. If you call the center upon seeing homeless individuals, it is important to note that
the center is not open on weekends; there hours are M-F, 8:30am-4:30pm. One important tactic
the MSC uses is the Outreach Network where city staff canvases different areas of Long
Beach. The system targets groups such as veterans and victims of HIV. Staff will go out in
teams of three or four depending on the emergency. Street outreach is usually the first point of
contact for many homeless persons living on the street. A multi-disciplinary team of staff from
agencies within the CoC, uses a comprehensive approach that is coordinated and integrated,
yet flexible to address the varying needs of the street homeless population and is the critical link
between the streets and supportive housing services. The Outreach program asks the individual
for basic needs, seeing if they are interested in the services. If they are, there is a van that takes
them back to the Multi-Service Center. The next step is the intake process using VISPDAT, an
assessment tool that goes through a series of questions and tells the staff where the homeless
individual will be placed. VISPDAT, also, measures the vulnerability of the individual and based
on that the case plan is developed. The individual can then be placed into transitional housing
or permanent housing, but the ultimate goal is permanent housing. Emergency shelter can last
up to around 60-90 days, while transitional lasts up to one to two years.
On weekends please call: 211!
For more information on homeless services in Long Beach please visit:
--- by City of Long Beach Department of Heath & Human Services
--- by Jasmine Hosseini
3rd District, Intern
A Letter from our Resident...
Ride Along with LBPD-East Division Officer Johnny Dodson
With an invitation by LBPD officer assigned to help the homeless in East Long Beach, Johnny Dodson extended to all attendees at Councilwoman Suzie Price' s monthly community meeting a ride-along with him. On the appointed morning I signed waivers, was briefed and we started our morning.
We visited with 8 to 10 homeless, where all were invited to accept help through the Long Beach Multi-Service Center for housing, 3 meals a day, evaluation, and possibly mental help. Two were warned about fires (arson), and cleaning up where they were and deadlines for vacating. While investigating under the Pacific Coast Highway bridge near Ralphs (2nd St.) Johnny discovered a woman and spoke with her. Lenny Arkinstall across the bridge hailed Johnny and after one other quick encounter drove over to speak with Lenny. They discussed several other homeless that they were well acquainted with and made arrangements to "see what could be done later". Lenny & Johnny are awesome, knowing and caring so much for all the homeless here in Long Beach.
Then, a quick run back to the station to pick-up something and snagged a training session given by the day Sargent on the 4wheel Jeep winch system and its proper usage and storage.
Back on the street again, we encountered at a bus stop up 4th. St./near Park a 21 year old from Sun Valley, CA saying he traveled to Long Beach primarily by foot. Appearance of his sunburned and blistered feet in flip-flops confirmed a long journey. He was asked if he had some mental problems, confirming the officer's observations. During this friendly conversation Officer Dodson was also able to obtain his correct name along with all his other pertinent information so he could check on the radio for some additional particulars...and there were some that were confirmed by Andrew, the homeless youth.
Observing Johnny's method of offering friendship to all while also offering a smile, water, a granola bar to eat, and socks were greatly appreciated along with additional local help is a real gift he has from God, I believe. Andrew accepted the offered help so Johnny set up immediate transportation and admission to Community Hospital, all within an hour for the entire encounter. This is a Real success! Close coordination between so many services and LBPD is awesome.
Then we hurried to the entrance to 405 Fwy. near Studebaker where several other LBPD patrol cars waited for Johnny to arrive (he being the expert on homeless)...plan how to approach the encampment, and best way to apprehend someone wanted by the police (I GUESS?). Success again! Woops-quickly off to Temple/Ocean where another incident-in-progress is about another homeless person ("aggressive", says Johnny knowing him well) where several patrolmen working the scene and a helpful policewoman (I learned she was in training and seemed to be helpful everywhere). Past history about the suspect was relayed to all first responders (police & fire) so they knew what to expect while they planned a way to transport him in the waiting EMT Fire Ambulance. The suspect's bicycle loaded with "stuff" was picked up with protective gloves by Officer Dodson (Johnny) even though he knew he had a full afternoon of paperwork along with additional hours of inventorying all this "stuff" today/tonight. This was going to be another very long day after a long day yesterday that included a late community meeting with Friends of Belmont Shore on homeless problems ...and it's only noon today! I am impressed with all the teamwork of our city's protectors. Thank you all again for your service!
--- by Hap Wood
3rd District, Resident
Clark & Atherton Mercantile
One of our 3rd District neighbors, Chrysteen Braun, has just opened a thrift store called Clark & Atherton Mercantile located at 1772 Clark Ave. The store is operated by COA (Christian Outreach in Action) which is a non-denominational group that provides almost 200 meals a day to our Long Beach homeless community, along with numerous outreach programs like clothing and food bank distribution to not only the homeless, but to low income families and seniors! It's a huge constant endeavor, but the COA is really trying to do what they can with the current problems affecting our city.
"We have so many donations we decided a thrift store was a wonderful way to earn additional money to fund our many programs. We're volunteer run, and the store is really cute. It doesn't look like a typical thrift store," Chrysteen says. "We've been open since June 16th and are doing well. We're getting a lot of encouraging and positive comments, and that proves we've done our job right. We're always going to be looking for great donations and volunteers."
You're sure to find something special at Clark & Atherton Mercantile such as gently used clothing, home goods, jewelry, gifts and unique vintage finds. All proceeds help fund the programs at Christian Outreach in Action. Donations welcome!
Clark & Atherton Mercantile
1772 Clark Avenue
Long Beach, CA 90815
Store Hours: 11 AM - 4 PM
--- by Lisa West
3rd District, Business Relations Liaison
Ballast Point is now OPEN!
Breaking all kinds of opening week records, Ballast Point is now open with 118 beers on tap and a delicious menu to accompany those great tasting beers. If not for the beer and food, come to see this amazing location with views of our beautiful city.
110 N. Marina Drive
Mon - Sun: 11am - 11pm
--- by Antonella Schaub
3rd District, Communications Director
City Council Updates
City Council Meetings are held every Tuesday evening, with the exception of the last Tuesday of the month when council is "dark." Meetings are held in City Hall - Council Chambers (333 W. Ocean Blvd.) at approximately 5pm. Times do change, so please check with our office or website for exact times. City Council meetings are open to the public and we encourage your attendance, especially if there is an important topic up for discussion.
Charter (channel 3) and FIOS Verizon (channel 21) subscribers can view the City Council Meetings on their televisions or you can live stream the video through LBTV.com,
View City Council Meeting
Agenda items change on a weekly basis so please check the city website for the most current agenda. The City Clerk is required to post the City Council Agenda the Monday, a week prior, to the Tuesday of City Council Meeting.
View agenda items
Important agenda items coming this month are as follows...
July 5 - check council agenda
July 12 - check council agenda
July19 - check council agenda
July 26 - NO CITY COUNCIL MEETING
--- by Antonella Schaub
3rd District, Communications Director
This summer Councilwoman Suzie Price had the pleasure of offering four internships to the following individuals....
Ana Rebeca Linares is currently a student at Long Beach City College with the goal of transferring to California State University, Long Beach to purse a degree in Graphic Design. Ana was awarded the Assistance League of Long Beach, CAMEO scholarship and thanks to the student/mentor program, she was given the opportunity to intern with Councilwoman Suzie Price. Ana is originally from El Salvador and has been in the United States for three years.
is a recent graduate from Wilson Classical High School and will be pursuing a bachelor's degree in Political Science from California State University, Long Beach this fall. Ellis prefers to spend his free time drawing portraits, reading, traveling, dancing, and staying active in the community. Ellis has been involved with community organizations such as MacArthur Park Neighborhood Association, the Cambodia Town Beautification project, Latinos in Action, and Leadership of Long Beach.
is on summer break from the University of California, San Diego, where she is currently studying Management Science with a minor in Law and Society. Jasmine is originally from Palos Verdes, in addition to her studies, Jasmine is a NCAA Division 1 tennis player at her college.
is currently on summer break from Arizona State University where he is majoring in Political Science with a minor in Business Administration. Parker is a member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity where he served as corresponding secretary. When Parker isn't busy with his studies he enjoys golf, intramural sports, and traveling.
Our team of interns are instrumental in briefing the Councilwoman on such policy items as homelessness, medical marijuana, gun violence prevention, developing green zone policies, as well as performing policy research, updating our website and social media sites, drafting correspondences, creating press releases, and attending community meetings and events.
The 3rd District Council Office is seeking interns for this fall. An internship with the Third District Council Office offers valuable work/life lessons such as working in an office environment and most importantly working as part of a team. If you or someone you know is interested in participating in our internship program, please contact Julie Maleki at (562) 570-6300 or
--- by Julie Maleki
3rd District, Chief of Staff
Sunday, July 24, 2016
at Wine Crush
3131 E. Broadway
Long Beach Municipal Band schedule
July 7, 14, 21, 28 and August 4 at 6:30 PM at Marine Stadium
See you there!