Rex Richardson Meets with President Biden, Declares State of Emergency on Homelessness in Long Beach in First Act as Mayor

Dear Long Beach Community,

I am honored and humbled to serve at the moment when our city is facing the humanitarian crisis of our time: homelessness and the rising cost of housing.

On Friday, I had the opportunity to meet with President Biden and a cohort of new mayors to discuss challenges and solutions to homelessness, and the President issued a call to go “All In” on bold, innovative policy solutions.

Long Beach, we are answering the call, and the work begins today.

In my first act as Mayor of Long Beach, I asked City Manager Tom Modica to prepare a declaration of a State of Emergency on Homelessness in partnership with Councilwoman Mary Zendejas.

Last year, we reported a 62% increase in homelessness citywide. Although that is significant, the number of people we placed in shelters and emergency housing services grew by double that percentage—a 123% increase, demonstrating how committed and effective Long Beach is in creating housing solutions.

Secondly, the City unveiled today a new homelessness website that combines links to resources, services, data, community engagement opportunities, and more into one place intended for both persons experiencing homelessness and housed residents.

To truly address the challenges of this crisis, Long Beach must be nimble and quick. We need our entire community to go “All In”.

By partnering with community organizations, businesses, clergy and faith leaders, City agencies, the County of Los Angeles, and regional partners like the City of Los Angeles, we can bring unprecedented resources to bear on solving homelessness. I look forward to collaborating with our new city council members as we lay this foundation for a strong and resilient Long Beach.

Together, we will take on Long Beach’s biggest challenges and build a future where everyone, no matter their background or status, thrives.

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