Winter Shelter Operations Extended

Daniel Pineda
LBFD's Heart1 unit checks on a homeless man.

On Dec. 16, 2022, Beachcomber published an article about the Long Beach City Council voting to use the East Long Beach Community Hospital, for the city’s annual Winter Shelter. The hospital-turned-shelter was used to provide the city’s homeless with temporary housing, food and other resources.

Long Beach’s Winter Shelter was scheduled to conclude all operations on Thursday, March 30. However, on March 24, the city announced that it will be extending the Winter Shelter’s operations through April 30, as part of a humanitarian effort to ensure the safety and wellbeing of people experiencing homelessness.

According to an official statement from the city, Long Beach’s decision for the Winter Shelter’s extension follows the recent cold, rainy season the state of California has experienced over the past few months.

“With the unprecedented amount of rain and extremely cold temperatures, people experiencing homelessness have endured unusually harsh elements this winter,” said Mayor Rex Richardson. “The extension of our Winter Shelter will continue to provide a warm place for people to rest with safety and dignity. This is a much-needed asset for these community members, and I am grateful for the support we’ve received for this extension.”

In order to extend shelter operations, the city was required to amend the lease agreement between Long Beach and MWN Community Hospital LLC., which owns the building. The extended lease agreement was authorized by Long Beach City Manager Tom Modica, permissible under the city’s homelessness emergency proclamation.

Prior to extending shelter operations, city staff hosted a community meeting at the Brewitt Neighborhood Library on March 9, in partnership with Third District Councilmember Kristina Duggan, to discuss plans for the extension with residents ahead of time and offer an opportunity for people to ask questions.

“The Winter Shelter is a critical resource for people experiencing homelessness,” said Duggan. “Many people have utilized this shelter so far this year – some who have been there nightly since December. I am pleased it will continue operations through April so even more people can rest comfortably at night.”

The extension of Long Beach’s Winter Shelter is not all the city has done to help the homeless, during the cold season, either. In late February, the city opened up 60 additional beds at the Long Beach Multi-Service Center (MSC), in an effort to protect people experiencing homelessness from the unusually low temperatures. According to the city, the beds are continued to be available on select nights, typically when there is forecasted rain or temperatures below 45 degrees. The beds, however, are also on a first-come, first-served basis.

The city of Long Beach is also continuing its work to provide a secondary location for the homeless. On April 18, the city announced it will open a new temporary emergency shelter, located at 702 W. Anaheim St., which will have space for more than 85 beds and provide the homeless with access to ongoing care and services, with the goal of connecting them into permanent supportive housing.

The temporary shelter will operate for a period of three months, from April 28 through July 28, 2023, with the possibility for services to be extended at the site in the future, as well as potentially becoming a permanent shelter facility.

The Winter Shelter is only accessible through the Winter Shelter Bus, which makes daily pick-ups from the MSC in the early evening, and drops residents back off at the MSC in the morning. The Winter Shelter operates 24 hours a day in partnership with nonprofit First to Serve Outreach Ministries and the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA).

Findings of the 2022 Homeless Point In Time Count, the first count conducted since the beginning of the pandemic, revealed that there were 3,296 people experiencing homelessness in Long Beach. For more information on the city’s efforts to reduce homelessness in Long Beach, you can visit their official website at For more information about the Long Beach Winter Shelter, you can contact the MSC at (562) 570-4500.


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