Bringing you the latest local news highlights to kick off the week of Monday, Jan. 8, 2024.
Long Beach Unveils Details for 2024 Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade
The city of Long Beach has announced the schedule and participants for its 2024 Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade and Celebration set to take place on Jan. 13th. This annual event, aimed at honoring Dr. King’s values, will feature a parade and a park celebration at Martin Luther King Jr. Park on Lemon Avenue. The parade will commence at 10 a.m., led by distinguished Grand Marshals including Councilmember Al Austin II, Chan and Mark Hopson of the Khmer Parent Association, Tonya Martin from Long Beach Pride, and Griselda Suarez of the Long Beach Arts Council. The route will begin at Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue and Anaheim Street.
Following the parade, the park celebration from noon to 5 p.m. will offer a spectrum of entertainment and activities, including live performances by local talents such as Gravity Dance Company, The Block PARTY Band, DW3, and Virgil Gibson. The festivities will also feature a presentation of the 2024 Peace Maker Awards honoring community figures like Keith Lilly, Karen Reside, Tito Rodriguez, and Susana Sngiem for their significant contributions. Learn more here.
Long Beach Rescue Mission Appeals for Donations After Shelter Fire
The Long Beach Rescue Mission has issued an urgent appeal for donations following a devastating fire that ravaged the Lydia House, a shelter for homeless women and children. The fire, which occurred on Dec. 22, caused substantial damage to the shelter’s first floor and compromised essential supplies, leading to a critical shortage of blankets, women’s and children’s clothing, and hygiene kits. Jeff Levine, the Executive Director of Long Beach Rescue Mission, emphasized the immediate need for these items due to the smoke damage that forced the disposal of all blankets. He urges the community to contribute new warm blankets, clothing, hygiene kits, canned food, and other essential items at the mission’s location on 1335 Pacific Ave.
Initially, the fire was attributed to an artificial Christmas tree, but it is now under investigation as a possible case of arson. A former shelter resident has been arrested on suspicion of starting the blaze. While details from the Long Beach Fire Department were not available, most of the 47 women and children housed at the shelter were relocated to a nearby site on the night of the fire. Presently, these residents are temporarily using classrooms within the Lydia House as sleeping quarters while the first floor undergoes extensive remodeling. Monetary donations are encouraged and can be made through the Long Beach Rescue Mission’s website, lbrm.org, as the organization continues its tireless efforts to support those experiencing homelessness in the community. Learn more here.