Hello Long Beach! Here are some news highlights to kick off the week of April 24, 2023.
Sewage spill in Downey causes Long Beach coastal swimming areas to close
A 250,000-gallon sewage spill in the Los Angeles River has caused the City of Long Beach to close open coastal beaches until further notice. The spill was reported to be the result of a sewer main line overflow caused by a blockage, according to the Los Angeles County Sanitation District. Since water from the Los Angeles River connects to the Pacific Ocean in Long Beach, pollution in the river can flow into the coastal waters of the city. The city’s Health Department’s Recreational Water Quality team is currently collecting water samples to test bacteria levels and will give notice when the results comply with State water quality standards. The community is encouraged to keep a lookout for warning signs the city has posted at the beach that tell which areas are not safe to swim in. For the latest status on the water quality, you can visit longbeach.gov/beachwaterquality or call the Water Hotline at (562) 570-4199. Learn more here.
$25,000 in grants offered to eligible business owners to improve storefronts
The City has recently announced grant applications for business property owners located along business corridors in areas of Long Beach designated as high-need neighborhoods. Under the Commercial Corridor Facade Improvement Program, these grants intend to improve the appearance of businesses that are visible from the street. Eligible property owners can receive up to $25,000 per storefront for exterior improvements to their businesses and up to a maximum of $175,000 per multi-tenant building. These improvements can include painting, awnings, signage, lighting, address plaques, and/or artwork. It should be noted that all work performed under the grant must meet development standards in the City’s adopted zoning, building, and safety codes. To see a map of what areas of Long Beach qualify for the program, click here. Learn more here.
$5.2 million in grants will support housing opportunities for people experiencing homelessness
Over the next three years, the City’s health department will allocate $5.2 million in grants to fund the City’s housing efforts for people experiencing homelessness. This grant will be provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), who made the announcement of the funds last week. HUD announced that these financial opportunities were meant to “enhance communities’ capacity to humanely and effectively address unsheltered homelessness by connecting vulnerable individuals and families to housing, healthcare, and supportive services.” The city intends to use the money for projects that will provide rehousing and support for 45 families, provide permanent housing for up to 140 people, and provide outreach and connection to mental health services. Learn more here.
Long Beach opens temporary homeless emergency shelter
A new emergency shelter, located at 702 W. Anaheim St., is set to be the new site for people experiencing homelessness and will be run by the nonprofit organization First to Serve Outreach Ministries. This new site will operate until the end of July, with plans for the site to be considered a permanent shelter facility in the future. Shelter residents will have access to amenities including three meals per day, showers and restrooms, and an outdoor area for service animals and pets. The shelter will also be providing services that offer screening for housing programs, referrals to other permanent shelter programs, assistance in obtaining identification and documents, and connections to behavioral health resources. As is the case for most homeless programs in the city, individuals will first need a referral from the Multi-Service Center in order to access the shelter. Homeless individuals receive assistance from the City’s outreach team in order to help them go through the proper process of getting a referral. Learn more here.
Long Beach to host meetings on food truck regulations
The City is in the process of developing food truck regulations and will be hosting two meetings in the upcoming weeks so that the community can provide feedback. The first meeting will be held in person on Thursday, April 27 at Martin Luther King Jr. Park from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and the second will be held virtually on May 3 at the same time. Those interested in attending the virtual meeting can register here to receive the Zoom link. The City hopes that feedback from the community meetings will address the needs and concerns of food truck owners, residents, and business owners. The meetings will also share the results of the survey launched last month that collected people’s perspectives on current food truck operations in the city. An interest form has been made available for those who are interested in receiving updates about food truck policies and regulations. Learn more here.