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News Highlights for the Week: Jan 29 – Feb. 4

News Highlights for the Week: Jan 29 – Feb. 4

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Bringing you the latest local news highlights to kick off the week of Monday, Jan. 29, 2024.


City of Long Beach Launches Interactive HIV Data Dashboard
Stock photo via canva.com

The Long Beach Health Department has introduced a groundbreaking HIV Data Dashboard, designed to provide the public with timely and interactive information on local HIV statistics. The HIV Data Dashboard covers comprehensive data on HIV in Long Beach since 2019, offering insights into key demographic factors such as race, ethnicity, gender, zip code, and age. The data is sourced from the City’s HIV/STI Surveillance Program and the California Department of Public Health’s Office of AIDS Program. Users can interact with several fields, applying filters for calendar year, sex at birth, and race/ethnicity, enabling a nuanced understanding of HIV trends in Long Beach over time.

The dashboard’s development was influenced by feedback from the Long Beach HIV Planning Group, responsible for HIV prevention and care program planning in the area. It is intended to inform ongoing efforts to address HIV in Long Beach, aligning with the city’s mission to reduce annual HIV infections. The Health Department aims to enhance current initiatives using an equity lens by providing recent and relevant data. Those interested in learning more about the city’s endeavors to combat HIV in Long Beach can visit longbeach.gov/knowmore.


LB Community Crisis Response Team Enhances Mental Health Support and Safety
Photo via longbeach.gov

The Long Beach Health Department is extending the service area of its Community Crisis Response (CCR) team, a three-person unit addressing mental health calls-for-service. Launched as a pilot in July 2023 and currently serving West Long Beach, the CCR team will now include Downtown and the East Village in its coverage, starting late January. The team operates on weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and responds to nonemergency calls where mental health expertise is crucial.

Noteworthy outcomes since the program’s inception include 95% of calls resulting in direct community resource distribution, 38% leading to referrals for additional services, and 47% of referrals addressing housing and homelessness. Only 10% of calls required assistance from other Public Safety services. Community members seeking support or referrals related to mental health or basic needs can contact the city’s nonemergency line at 562.435.6711. For immediate mental health crises, 9-1-1 is recommended. Further details about the CCR team’s operations can be found here.


LB Public Library Launches ‘Our History, Our Future’: A Celebration of Black History and Culture
Photo via Instagram: @lbcitylibrary

The Long Beach Public Library proudly introduces “Our History, Our Future,” a month-long celebration dedicated to honoring and showcasing the richness of Black history and culture. The festivities kick off on Feb. 3 with a “Black Excellence Professional Development Day” at the Billie Jean King Main Library, offering networking opportunities, live music, resume-building sessions, and professional headshot opportunities for Black professionals. The month will unfold with events for all ages, including performances by CHAZZ, a musical safari with African djembe drums, and a Special Storytime with guest author C.M. Harris.

The celebration will culminate in a Black Voices Open Mic event on Feb. 24 at the Burnett Neighborhood Library, welcoming all ages to an inclusive gathering where Black artists can share experiences, express creativity, and celebrate the richness of Black culture. No registration is required to participate in any of these events, and more information on events throughout the month can be found on the library’s events calendar. Learn more here.


Long Beach Introduces Parent Education Workshops on Early Childhood Development
Stock photo via canva.com

The City of Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services and the Long Beach Public Library are collaborating on a series of parent education workshops, focusing on children aged 0 to 5. Local experts specializing in various early childhood fields will cover topics such as special education, early start intervention, and mental health. The initiative aims to connect Long Beach families with timely services when facing developmental concerns for their children.

The workshops, starting late January, will also serve to connect families with resources. Each session covers different subjects and allows caregivers to attend as many or as few workshops as they wish, with no registration required. The workshop schedule includes topics such as special education, healthy speech development, managing behaviors, eligibility for Harbor Regional Center, and encouraging emotional awareness. The collaboration aligns with the Library’s Dive into Learning program, supporting early education for children ages 0 to 5 through reading incentives and parent education workshops. For the schedule of workshops and more information, click here.


Youth Power PB Long Beach Empowers Youth through $400K Public Project Funding
Photo via investinyouthlb.org

The Office of Youth Development, in collaboration with The Nonprofit Partnership and Invest in Youth Coalition, has launched the second year of Youth Power PB Long Beach. This participatory budgeting initiative allows youth, aged 13 to 26, to decide how $400,000 in public funds should be allocated to youth projects. The three-phase program includes Idea Collection, where youth and youth-serving organizations can submit project ideas; Proposal Development, where selected ideas move to the proposal phase; and Voting, open to youth ages 13 to 26 in April. Last year’s successful pilot resulted in 823 validated votes and prioritized projects aligned with Long Beach’s Youth & Emerging Adults Strategic Plan goals. The Youth Power PB Long Beach program is also supported by the Wallace Foundation through a partnership anchored by the Mayor’s Fund for Long Beach. For more details and project submissions, visit investinyouthlb.org.

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