How Long Beach Cut 21 Percent of Its Homeless Population in Two Years

And what L.A. can learn from it

In his 2017 State of the City address, Mayor Eric Garcetti said his goal is to “end homelessness once and for all.” To that end, the mayor has proposed spending $176 million on homelessness this year, with the city now throwing down large dollars thanks to the passage of Measure HHH last fall.

Over in Long Beach, officials have doubled the amount of housing available for the homeless over the last two years, and homeless liaisons are conducting a more intense personal outreach with them. The results, according to Long Beach’s bi-annual homeless count, are a 21 percent reduction in the homeless population over the last two years.

KPCC reports: Long Beach attributed its 21 percent drop to the expansion of permanent housing options, “innovative” outreach methods and coordination between the city and community members.

In addition to increased housing:

Long Beach also changed the way it conducts outreach to homeless people. The Health and Human Services Department divided the areas of the city with highest homeless populations into quadrants. Then, the city staffed each quadrant with community liaisons who spent time getting to know the homeless people living there.

The personal connections made an impact, according to officials.

If you’re interested in learning more, go to KPCC.