During the pandemic, the state of California has found creative ways to find shelter for its unhoused residents in an effort to curb the spread of the virus.
Now, the city of Long Beach appears to have zeroed in on a location for more permanent housing, according to a recent tweet by Mayor Robert Garcia.
.@GavinNewsom announced that the state will partner with Long Beach on 150 new housing units for people experiencing homelessness as part of Project Homekey. This includes a 100 unit city project and an approx 50 unit project being developed with @CountyofLA. Thank you, Governor!
— Robert Garcia (@RobertGarciaLB) September 28, 2020
An extension of Project Roomkey, a program that temporarily housed otherwise homeless residents in local hotels and motels across the state, Project Homekey provides partial funding for cities and counties to purchase hotel or motel properties and convert them into longer-term supportive and transitional housing. The deadline for cities and counties to submit applications, which include a proposed site, was Monday.
Contracts are expected to last several years and involve on-site services and modifications to make the facilities more suitable for their new purpose. These changes include creating designated areas for supportive services and potential room modifications such as adding kitchenettes.
The city of Long Beach has yet to announce the selected property, but councilmembers reviewed a list of hotel and motel properties during a closed session on August 11. Out of the seven properties included on that list, only the Best Western of Long Beach, located at 1725 Long Beach Blvd., would offer the number of rooms cited by Garcia with regards to the city-led project.
While the list reviewed by councilmembers did not include a property with exactly 50 rooms, the county-led project may involve the purchase of one of three other facilities on the list: the Travelodge by Wyndham Long Beach Convention Center (63 rooms), the Colonial Pool & Spa Motel (60 rooms) or the Days Inn by Wyndham Long Beach City Center (47 rooms).
The deadline for cities and counties to acquire any properties to be supported by state funding under Project Homekey is December 30.