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News Highlights for the Week: August 28 – September 3

News Highlights for the Week: August 28 – September 3

Jeanette Lem

Here are the latest local news highlights to kick off the week of Monday, August 28, 2023.

Long Beach youth will lead cultural neighborhood tours under the “My Hood, My City” program
Image via Instagram: @yli.lbc

The Youth Leadership Institute, along with Long Beach’s Health Department,  is hosting the My Hood, My City program’s youth-led neighborhood tours for the second year. These tours, taking place in late August and early September, feature youth-guided walks to raise awareness about the cultural and structural aspects of their neighborhoods. Lasting 20 to 40 minutes, each tour will commence in a park before progressing into the surrounding neighborhood. Dates and locations for the tours include Silverado Park on August 29, Houghton Park on August 31, and Seaside Park on September 1. Around 30 individuals aged 14 to 24 engaged in the My Hood, My City neighborhood storytelling initiative this summer. Guided by the Youth Leadership Institute, they employed photography to document their neighborhood’s strengths-based narratives. To participate in the tours, registration is required due to limited space. Residents can register for free neighborhood tours via the My Hood, My City Showcase Registration form. Learn more here.

After-school programs available for youth in the fall 
Image via Instagram: @longbeachcity

The Community Learning Hubs and Mobile Recess Programs will provide after-school activities for Long Beach Unified School District students aged 5 to 14 for the upcoming fall season. The Community Learning Hubs program will feature academic support, sports, fitness, and more. These hubs, available on weekdays from August 28, 2023, to June 14, 2024, will operate at Houghton Park, McBride Park, Orizaba Park, and Veterans Park. Registration is mandatory; to enroll; participants can visit any of the listed parks to receive a registration packet. Simultaneously, the Mobile Recess Program, starting on September 5 and ending on December 22, 2023, will offer supervised recreational spaces for youth aged 5 to 14. Conducted by Long Beach Department of Parks, Recreation and Marine staff, this initiative includes physical fitness, games, and arts and crafts. The program will be hosted at Grace Park, Rose Park, and Hudson Park on different days of the week. Registration can be completed in person during program hours and will continue until capacity is reached. For park hours and more information, click here.

Long Beach Secures $5.3 Million Grant to Address Homelessness and Enhance Public Spaces
Image via Instagram: @longbeachcity

The City of Long Beach has secured $5.3 million to address homelessness in Downtown Long Beach from the Encampment Resolution Funding (ERF) grant given out by the State of California. The funding will focus on parts of Downtown with a high level of need, particularly around Lincoln Park, the Billie Jean King Main Library, the Downtown Entertainment District, Metro platforms, the Promenade, and Harvey Milk Promenade Park. The aim is to provide outreach services to homeless individuals, offering interim and emergency shelter options, and eventually transitioning them into permanent housing. The ERF grant will support the creation of 60 additional non-congregate shelter units for a year and assist in transitioning 125 encampment residents to permanent housing. Coordinated efforts will involve the City’s Interdepartmental Team and community partners, offering case management, mental health, substance use, physical health services, non-congregate shelter access, and access to permanent housing resources through the Coordinated Entry System. This marks the second time Long Beach has received State ERF funding in recent years. The Governor announced this funding while visiting MacArthur Park in Long Beach, which was the focus of the first round of ERF. The initial efforts resulted in immediate shelter access for 40 people, with 13 individuals securing permanent housing over the past year. The ERF grant aims to address the multifaceted needs of those in encampments while restoring public spaces for their intended purposes. Learn more here.

Long Beach launches round of initiatives to address pandemic inequities and systemic barriers
Image via Instagram: @longbeachcity

The City of Long Beach is looking to collaborate with community organizations in addressing systemic barriers that have contributed to local inequities during the pandemic. The aim is to mitigate COVID-19’s impacts in historically underserved and under-resourced areas. Selected organizations will receive funding to carry out essential health initiatives falling under categories such as Mental Health Support, Parent and Child Health, Economic Inclusion, and more. The COVID-19 pandemic’s disproportionate effects, especially in hospitalization rates, prompted data analysis by the Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services. The findings revealed concentrated impacts in specific regions and communities like West, Central, and North Long Beach, particularly among Black, African American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, Hispanic/Latinx, and Southeast Asian groups. Collaborative engagement with community groups and reference to existing plans addressing systemic racism informed this initiative. In the previous year, over $3 million in funding was allocated to 21 community organizations as part of the Health Equity Community Projects program. Interested organizations can submit proposals via Long Beach Buys, the City’s Vendor Portal, until September 20, 2023, to address project scope areas, eligibility criteria, and submission guidelines. Further information is accessible at Long Beach Buys, supplemented by an instructional registration video. Learn more here.

Long Beach Public Library Expands Service Days at Select Locations
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Starting Monday, Aug. 28, the Long Beach Public Library is set to extend its service days to include Mondays at three neighborhood library locations: Alamitos, Harte, and Michelle Obama. This expansion, with two more locations to follow in late September, is the outcome of structural and one-time enhancements to Library Services, funded by $1.25 million from the City’s Fiscal Year 2023 Budget.

The extended schedule for the Alamitos, Harte, and Michelle Obama Neighborhood Libraries, beginning August 28, will be as follows:

  • Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays: 12:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • Wednesdays: 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • Fridays and Saturdays: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The Burnett and El Dorado Neighborhood Libraries are expected to follow suit and initiate Monday operations in late September, adhering to the same six-day schedule. The expansion was carefully selected based on geographic distribution, socioeconomic factors, and regional service redundancy. The remaining LBPL locations will maintain their existing five-day operational hours. For a full list of LBPL locations and their operating hours, visit Learn more here.

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