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As the groundbreaking of the new Civic Center in DTLB draws nearer—led by developer Plenary/Edgemoor Civic Partnership (PECP)—the importance of addressing the population that calls Lincoln Park home becomes paramount. This is precisely why the City of Long Beach has partnered with the Downtown Long Beach Associates (DLBA), Mental Health America of Los Angeles (MHA), and Urban Community Outreach in order to have outreach sessions at the park to deal directly with its denizens.

When dealing with homelessness—and especially something as sensitive as having to redirect the homeless population away from the place they, for better or worse, call home—the need for partnership and collaboration become essential.

“The presenting issues are complicated by nature and require a multidisciplinary approach in order to be effective,” said Teresa Chandler, Homeless Services Officer for the Long Beach Department of Health & Human Services. “There have been several successes and there also continues to be areas for continued improvement, but overall this area continues to be addressed from a collaborative of partners who are invested in continuing these efforts.”

The group’s initial outreach, conducted in March, brought forth an incredible result: nearly twenty individuals experiencing homelessness were connected with the Multi Service Center in order to assure their safety and health during construction.

“It was exciting to join our community partners in this outreach effort. The City of Long Beach is fortunate to have a group of agencies and partners dedicated to serving those in need achieve a greater quality of life and to integrate into our community,” said Leslie Giambone, Executive Director of MHA’s The Village in DTLB. “Each partner in this effort has a demonstrated history of dedication to making a difference with addressing this very complicated and challenging issue, and we know from experience that pooling our resources together means we can have an even greater impact. We look forward to continue working collaboratively with our partners.”

What this essentially proves is that Long Beach has an extensive outreach network, a multi-faceted team comprised of service providers and knowledgeable, caring people who target the specific needs of those experiencing homelessness across the city.

“In a proactive and responsive approach, outreach efforts are conducted regularly in Lincoln Park as well as across the city,” said Chandler. “The team engages with people and assess their needs with the ultimate goal of getting people into permanent and safe housing.”

Another outreach effort directed at Lincoln Park is set to commence in the coming weeks.