Long Beach: Say yes to housing
This year, nearly 4,000 people will experience homelessness in Long Beach. They are foster kids, seniors, veterans, survivors of domestic violence, and working adults.
Homelessness is Long Beach’s number one problem and it’s time we make ending it Long Beach’s number one priority. We need to invest in permanent housing and emergency shelters for our most vulnerable residents today.
In the last five years, the average rent in Long Beach has gone up 26%, forcing more working families into homelessness. There also is a critical shortage of treatment and support for people who suffer from mental illnesses, physical disabilities, and addiction. Everyone deserves a home and no one is beyond our help.
We know how to end homelessness. Supportive housing with mental health care and substance abuse treatment is 90% effective at helping people stay off the streets for good. Increasing access to affordable housing and job training will level the playing field and prevent struggling Long Beach families from slipping into homelessness. We also need more shelter beds to serve as bridges to permanent, stable homes. These solutions are all within reach.
That’s why we’re organizing a movement of residents and advocates to educate our neighbors and make sure our elected leaders take action. If, like us, you do not accept that homelessness is normal or inevitable, join us.
On January 7, Long Beach City Council voted to delay drafting a ballot measure that would create supportive and affordable housing for our homeless seniors, veterans, and people with disabilities—even though 65% of voters said they would support such a measure and more than 300 people showed up to City Hall to demand progress. We don’t have time to delay any longer. Long Beach voters deserve a choice.
We know how to end homelessness and solutions are on the table. This is our moment. 4,000 homes would end homelessness in Long Beach forever.
Join us. Let’s build the coalition and advocate for the homes and services that will bring Everyone In for good.
Not convinced? Maybe we can answer some of your concerns…
“I want to help people, but I don’t want these homes in my neighborhood.”
You may not realize it, but supportive and affordable housing is already all around us. These buildings are designed to blend in to their neighborhoods. It also is important to remember that most people experiencing homelessness stay in the communities where they lost their homes regardless of whether they’re housed. These are our neighbors. Moving them from encampments into supportive housing improves the health of our communities. That’s why supportive housing has been found to lift property values in neighborhoods where it is built.
“I want to know more about the financial implications—this sounds expensive.”
Providing housing for people experiencing homelessness is much cheaper than ignoring the problem. In fact, supportive housing costs taxpayers 43% less than treating people on the streets. And it’s cheaper per unit, over the life of the building, than a shelter bed or motel room.
Affordable housing prevents homelessness and the ensuing cost to taxpayers. It also keeps working, taxpaying adults employed and contributing to their communities.
“I don’t think homelessness is really that big an issue in Long Beach.”
At the time of the most recent homeless count, there were 1,894 people experiencing homelessness in Long Beach. It is estimated that 4,000 people will experience homelessness in the city this year. The total number may not seem like a lot compared to neighboring Los Angeles, but that is no reason to avoid taking action. 2,106 additional people experiencing homelessness in one year is a crisis that demands action. This is a problem we can truly solve if we work together.
The fact is this: One person experiencing homelessness is a big issue. 4,000 is a moral crisis we cannot ignore.