- Reporters Desk
LONG BEACH — More homeless people, especially veterans, are off the street and in shelters in Long Beach, according to a biennial survey conducted by the Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services, from 2007 to 2013.
The number of homeless people in emergency shelters and transitional housing increased 25 percent, from 1,319 to 1,654.
The number of homeless people without shelter decreased 13 percent, from 2,150 to 1,879.
The number of formerly homeless people in permanent supportive housing more than doubled, from 360 to 854.
The number of veterans in shelters increased 53 percent, from 618 to 946.
The number of veterans without shelters decreased 28 percent, from 228 to 164.
The national focus on ending veteran homelessness has resulted in additional housing resources to link Long Beach veterans with local supportive services and housing. The Health Department received more than 400 Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing vouchers from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, for rental assistance for homeless veterans with case management and clinical services provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The number of homeless in Long Beach increased less than 2 percent, from 3,469 counted in 2007 to 3,533 in 2013.
The Health Department and its Continuum of Care partners reached out to more than 24,000 residents last year, and increased coordination between Police Department quality of life and health outreach units. In addition, more community members are contacting the service system to address homelessness. The Continuum of Care system effort, which includes the city and non-profit partners, spends about $8 million each year in federal dollars to address the issue of homelessness.
The survey, which is a requirement to receive HUD funding to provide services to the homeless, involved about 270 community volunteers deployed citywide earlier this year.