“Unhoused individuals are just like you and me, but with a lot more barriers to face,” said Veronica Giron, who began her tenure as Downtown Long Beach Alliance’s Homeless Outreach Coordinator in December. “I try to be the person who listens to them and helps them find their way.” 

Giron, who holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB), does her listening in person, making contact with 15 to 20 unhoused individuals daily during her in-the-field excursions, acting as a bridge between Downtown’s homeless population and the help available to them through the Long Beach Multi-Service Center (MSC). 

The MSC, which offers basic services such as housing, counseling, personal hygiene, family reunification services, and transportation assistance, is located in Long Beach’s west side and has mobile sites available throughout the city.  

Born in Guatemala, Giron came to the United States at age nine and grew up in San Bernardino County. After earning her degree from CSUSB, she began working for Child Protective Services in 2005, with a focus on homeless teens. Her experience equipped her to help connect unhoused folks with services, and also enlightened her about why many homeless people are resistant to assistance. 

Long Beach’s 2023 Homeless Count revealed a 4.6% increase in the local unhoused population from 2022 — the smallest increase since 2019. In a perfect world, Giron sees this issue being solved more easily. “I do see it improving, however,” Giron said. “We are offering more services, such as in-depth counseling and more extensive case management.

“We have a huge need for clothing,” Giron continued, mentioning that people can drop off their donations at the office of Block by Block, the company contracted by DLBA to administer the Clean and Safe Team and its homeless outreach efforts. Donation pick-ups can also be arranged through Block by Block.   

During her off days, Giron loves spending time with her two children. She is also an avid reader: “I’ll often sit down and read a book from beginning to end,” she shared. “When I was 10, I received a Best Reader Award at school!”  

Giron acknowledges that homelessness is a deepening issue, but she remains optimistic. “Our society is becoming more aware of this problem,” she said. “More help is on the way.”  


Contact Veronica Giron at vgiron@blockbyblock.com to arrange a clothing donation drop-off or pick-up. 

To contact the MSC directly, call (562) 570-4500. 

For a list of local food banks accessible to individuals experiencing homelessness, click here.