Construction Begins on Youth Homeless Shelter

By Daniel Pineda

The City of Long Beach celebrated the beginning of renovations for its forthcoming Youth Shelter and Navigation Center, the City’s first-ever permanent shelter facility for youth experiencing homelessness, that will offer temporary shelter and supportive services for youth ages 18 to 24

“The Long Beach Youth Shelter and Navigation Center will provide a safe haven and lifeline for young adults who need our support at their most vulnerable moments,” said Mayor Rex Richardson. “By placing a focus on youth, we can prevent a lifetime of homelessness for future generations.”

According to Mayor Richardson, the new youth shelter is a part of the West Side Promise, a 10-year community empowerment strategy first introduced on Aug. 4, 2023, that focuses on efforts to continue investing in and uplifting West Long Beach.

According to a press release issued by the City of Long Beach, the 5,400-square-foot center, located at 1718 Hayes Ave., will house 12 shelter beds complete with restrooms, showers, laundry facilities, a kitchenette and lounge area.

According to a press release, all homeless youth residing in the shelter will be provided with connections to comprehensive social service support, as well as on-site case management. Voluntary storage will also be offered and provided for people who are working to access resources through the City’s Coordinated Entry System at the Multi-Service Center (MSC) or mobile outreach services.

“We are proud to welcome the Youth Shelter and Navigation Center to our West Long Beach community,” said Seventh District Councilmember Roberto Uranga. “Our goal is to ensure that youth who are experiencing homelessness in Long Beach have a safe place to stay and the resources they need to thrive.”

According to the press release, as well as detailed rendering provided by the city, renovation for the Youth Shelter will include a complete remodeling of the interior, “transforming from an empty shell into a warm and welcoming space.” The shelter will also include new interior walls, doors, showers, remodeled restrooms, new interior ceilings, interior lighting, and exterior paint and finish. The center will also include a new storefront facade, in addition to sidewalk and driveway improvements in front of the building.

“We are committed to investing in the well-being and future of Long Beach youth,” said Deputy City Manager Teresa Chandler. “The Youth Shelter and Navigation Center is a testament to our unwavering commitment to increase interim shelters and services that are rooted in compassion, understanding and inclusivity

According to city officials, the Youth Shelter will be co-managed by the April Parker Foundation – a local non-profit organization located in Long Beach – as well as the Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services.

Construction for the Youth Shelter and Navigation Center Project is funded by $1.8 million in Measure A funds, $900,000 from the State of California through the Homeless Emergency Aid Program received by the Department of Health and Human Services, and $1.4 million from the State of California AB32 funds.

Construction for the new Youth Shelter is scheduled to begin in February, with the city estimating it will be fully-completed by 2025.

For more information on the city’s efforts to reduce homelessness in Long Beach, people may visit longbeach.gov/homelessness.

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