Hello Long Beach! Here are the latest local news highlights to kick off the week of June 19, 2023.
Free summer food program for youth
From June 20 through August 25, Long Beach Parks, Recreation, and Marine will offer free meals to children and youth courtesy of the USDA Summer Food Service Program. From Monday through Friday (with times varying at each site between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.) youth ages 1 through 18 can show up to participating locations and receive well-balanced meals including fruits, vegetables, milk, and juice. Infant meals are not provided through this program, and these meals are required to be eaten at the location sites. The Summer Food Service Program has been running for 44 years to ensure that children would be able to receive the same meals they receive during the school year while on summer break. This program will be offered at 23 locations throughout Long Beach and Signal Hill; a full list of locations and more information can be found here.
City loans $3.6 million to help bring new affordable housing to Downtown area
The City of Long Beach is loaning $3.6 million to regional developer AMCAL Multi-Housing Inc. for a new affordable housing project that will build 100 apartment units for low and very low-income residents. AMCAL is a developer of affordable and market-rate apartment dwellings in the Los Angeles area and will be purchasing the property located at 946 Linden Ave. to construct a four-story apartment building. The 1.16-acre site will offer one, two, and three-bedroom units and will include a community room, fitness area, computer center, courtyard, barbecue area, and 125 underground parking spaces. The Long Beach Community Investment Company (LBCIC) awarded the loan to AMCAL as part of the city’s efforts to address the critical issue of housing availability and affordability in Long Beach. This housing project is also part of the city’s efforts to strengthen its preparedness and ability to respond to homelessness, ensuring that low-income earners do not find themselves unhoused. Learn more here.
Long Beach Public Library launches English as a Second Language Program
The Long Beach Public Library (LBPL) is now offering a free English language learning program as the newest component of LBPL’s adult literacy program, LB Reads. This accessible program is designed to help adults build their English skills and to build confidence in their roles as individuals, family members, employees, and members of the community in a multilingual city. LB Reads is celebrating the launch of this program with an English-Learners Resource Fair that will be free for all to attend on Saturday, June 24, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Burnett Neighborhood Library (560 Hill St., Long Beach). More than one-third of the Long Beach population speaks a language other than English, so the program aims to understand their perspectives and aid in reducing language barriers within the community. These services will be available in multiple languages including Spanish, Khmer, and Tagalog. Residents interested in joining the program or becoming a tutor can visit LB Reads (longbeach.gov), attend the resources fair, or visit any local Long Beach library. This program is made possible by the Long Beach Public Library Foundation and the California State Library through the California Library Literacy Services grant. Learn more here.
Park Ambassador Program is increasing park safety and maintenance
Long Beach Parks, Recreation and Marine (PRM) have launched a Park Ambassador program to increase staff presence in parks to address patron complaints, improve park cleanliness, provide a safe environment, and enhance the overall experience of visitors at parks. Up until now, only four parks have had limited park ranger hours, but the new program will support 39 parks citywide as well as several gated mini-parks. The current park ranger position will be converted into a park ambassador one and the number of budgeted positions will triple to provide more maintenance services, attention to parks, and expand staff presence. Currently, park restrooms are cleaned in the morning and checked again later in the day, but with the added staff, restrooms will be cleaned up to six times a day and ensure they are being used for their intended purpose. Park patrons will be able to report any concerns to Park Ambassadors as well as ask them questions about park matters. Ambassadors have undergone situational awareness training to be able to handle challenging situations and are supported by the Long Beach Police Department for emergency safety response needs. Learn more here.
Overnight Safe Parking Program expanded through the end of the year
While the city looks for a permanent site for the Safe Parking Program, temporary operations in the south of Downtown will continue to run until the end of the year. The Safe Parking Program provides a designated and protected environment for individuals sheltered in their vehicles to park overnight while receiving access to basic needs and being connected to resources. The site is located on the SouthShore Launch Ramp parking lot north of Queensway. The lot has a capacity for 26 vehicles and could expand if more people need to access the program. Security guards protect the lot and a Homeless Services Bureau staff member is in charge of connecting individuals with services and offering housing-focused case management. People interested in participating in the Safe Parking Program must first receive a referral from the Multi-Service Center (MSC) or through the Mobile Access Center. Learn more here.