Mayor Robert Garcia today presented on the City of Long Beach’s work to end Veterans Homelessness, at the White House’s Veterans Homelessness Summit, where the City of Long Beach was recognized for its outstanding efforts. Since December 2015, every Veteran who has experienced homelessness in Long Beach is offered a path to permanent housing. The capacity to provide housing for all Veterans interested in permanent housing is called achieving “Functional Zero.” This “Functional Zero” status is awaiting final certification from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
“I am proud that Long Beach has been able to provide housing to 657 formerly homeless Veterans in the last two years and that First Lady Michelle Obama recognized this achievement at the White House today,” said Mayor Garcia. “Veterans have given so much to our country – we must do all we can to ensure that every Veteran has a home.”
City Manager Patrick H. West also attended the White House capstone event for community leaders from across the country to celebrate the successes of and share best practices to continue the work of the Mayors Challenge to End Veterans Homelessness, which the City of Long Beach joined in May 2015.
“We are so proud of the efforts of the Homeless Services Division, Housing Authority, and all our employees who helped make this happen, and the City Council for their tremendous support for ending Veterans homelessness,” said City Manager West.
The highly successful multi-year effort to address Veterans homelessness was led by the Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services in partnership with the Long Beach VA Healthcare System, Century Villages at Cabrillo and several additional dedicated community partners.
Since 2015, 657 Veterans who were homeless in Long Beach received support and services necessary to find permanent homes. They had immediate access to shelter, and were quickly screened and offered service-intensive transitional housing if desired before moving swiftly into permanent housing.
The City of Long Beach and its partners created an integrated system of care that leverages millions of dollars to prioritize, prepare and provide for Veterans experiencing or at risk for homelessness, including.
• A Housing First Model, based on the principle that people need quick access to permanent housing with no conditions for compliance regarding physical health, mental health and/or substance addiction treatment.
• Critical Time Intervention, to support and promote a continuity of care during critical times of transition as people move from homelessness to housing.
• Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) application and utilization processes are linked to Veteran-specific supportive services and financial assistance programing.
• Enhancing coordination among all partners.
• The Villages of Cabrillo, a 27 acre campus built to replace naval housing, actively works to break the cycle of Veterans homelessness with housing and service engagement. It provides 520 Veteran-specific permanent housing with an additional 75 set aside units in its new development, Anchor Place.