City of Long Beach logoThe City of Long Beach announced its Homelessness Strategic Plan Update Initiative, a major milestone in the City’s ongoing efforts to address homelessness and housing insecurity in Long Beach. As part of the initiative, a five-year strategic plan, with an expected release in November 2024, will be developed to address the root causes of homelessness in Long Beach, improve the City’s service system assisting people out of homelessness, and further prevent people from falling into homelessness. Residents, business owners and stakeholders are invited to participate and get involved in the strategic planning process.

“Long Beach has demonstrated that, when we collaborate we deliver results,” said Mayor Rex Richardson. “We are beginning to see progress—and the work is not done yet. The Homelessness Strategic Plan represents our commitment to ensuring that Long Beach is a city where everyone has a safe, stable place to live and the opportunity to thrive.”

Following the February 2024 end of the City’s local homelessness emergency, the Homelessness Strategic Plan Update, led by the new Office of Homeless Strategy and Partnerships with guidance from the Department of Health and Human Services, will serve as the next step in better responding to this crisis, and will ensure the City prioritizes programs, projects and funding towards effective solutions over the next five years. While the 2024 Homelessness Point in Time Count results identified a 2.1% decrease in homeless from last year, identifying 3,376 people experiencing homelessness in January 2024 compared with 3,447 people in 2023, there is still much more work to be done.

To develop the update, the City has partnered with City Fabrick, a Long Beach-based design and planning firm, to conduct a comprehensive community engagement strategy that will ensure staff, service providers, people with lived experience, subject matter experts, residents and businesses are represented throughout the planning process. The team will also utilize data modeling to estimate the expected demand on the homeless services system and the capacity to meet this need. These inputs will drive recommendations for effective and innovative solutions to address the complex issue of homelessness in Long Beach. The updated strategic plan will also offer a holistic framework for the City to address needs such as housing, supportive services, outreach, prevention and public engagement.

“Solving homelessness is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Every person experiencing homeless has their own unique story and needs of support,” said Deputy City Manager Teresa Chandler. “We are building off of the positive momentum from our local homelessness emergency and we are confident that, through the development of this new five-year plan, we can further our understanding of the root causes of homelessness and in turn improve our City response.”

Initial community engagement efforts have begun by hosting specialized listening sessions to learn from experts in different relevant sectors, including Health Department staff, those with lived experience, people currently experiencing homelessness, City staff in relevant departments, community service providers and the Long Beach Continuum of Care Board. Feedback and insights gathered from these listening sessions will guide the City’s strategic planning process and areas of focus.

Long Beach residents, businesses and stakeholders are invited to participate in a short, five-minute online survey, available in EnglishSpanishKhmer and Tagalog, to help guide the City’s Homelessness Strategic Plan Update. The public survey is available now until June 17, 2024. Those who complete the survey will be entered into a raffle for the chance to win a $50 gift card, provided by City Fabrick.

Community members will have several other opportunities over the next few months to get involved. A community open house to provide feedback on the draft plan will be held in August, and public meetings such as the Continuum of Care Board, Homeless Services Advisory Committee and Long Beach City Council will be held later this summer. Additional details on these events will be shared as the dates approach.

The City Team will also host roundtable discussions with experts from specific relevant sectors, two focus groups with people currently experiencing homelessness or with lived experienced of homelessness, and one meeting with the City’s Advisory Board on Lived Experience, to ensure those most impacted are central to this planning process.

“The creation of this strategic plan is an important step in our commitment to fostering a healthier environment for all,” said Health and Human Services Director Alison King. “By focusing on community informed, evidence-based solutions, we are taking the necessary steps to meet the unique needs of those experiencing homelessness.”

In 2018, the Everyone Home Long Beach (EHLB) Initiative convened staff, experts and stakeholders to develop recommendations to better address homelessness and housing affordability. In the following five years, the EHLB Taskforce Recommendations served as a strategic plan guiding the City’s comprehensive response to homelessness.

For more information on the City’s efforts to reduce homelessness in Long Beach, people may visit and follow @lbhealthdept and @longbeachcity on social media.

About the City of Long Beach
Long Beach is nestled along the Southern California coast and home to approximately 466,000people. As an award-winning full-service charter city, Long Beach offers the amenities of a metropolitan city while maintaining a strong sense of individual and diverse neighborhoods, culture, and community. With a bustling downtown and over six miles of scenic beaches, Long Beach is a renowned tourist and business destination and home to the iconic Queen Mary, nationally recognized Aquarium of the Pacific and Long Beach Airport, the award-winning Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center and world-class Port of Long Beach.