Change for change: City launches homeless fund, meters installed to collect donations
October 2, 2019
On Wednesday, Oct. 2, the City of Long Beach unveiled one of four Donation Meters that are in place to raise money for and awareness of the Mayor’s Fund to End Homelessness. The vision of the Mayor’s Fund to End Homelessness is that the experience of homelessness in Long Beach will be rare and brief. It’s a key component of Everyone Home Long Beach, which identifies new and innovative solutions to reduce homelessness, including prevention, services and connections to housing.
“Homelessness is the biggest issue facing Long Beach right now,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “The Mayor’s Fund to End Homelessness is one way our community members can make a difference on this important issue.”
The idea for installing donation meters was first brought forward in May 2016 by Eighth District Councilmember Al Austin and two former council members and approved by the entire Council.
“I want to empower people to create meaningful change with these donation meters, while also raising awareness around the many aspects of homelessness,” said Councilmember Austin. “This is an opportunity for the community to give directly to services and be part of the solution.”
The City first created a Mayor’s Fund to address homelessness in 1990. Donations to that fund were not tax-deductible; now, the fund is administered by the Long Beach Community Foundation. Under the Long Beach Community Foundation, the fund is more donor-friendly and allows the Health and Human Services Department to use the funds for traditionally under-funded aspects of addressing homelessness, such as prevention.
“Sometimes, an act as simple as helping someone get their car fixed when they are having car trouble is enough to prevent them from falling into homelessness,” said Kelly Colopy, Director of Health and Human Services. “Having tools like the Mayor’s Fund to End Homelessness allows the people on the ground to assess the needs of our most vulnerable residents and help in a way that has maximum impact.”
People interested in donating to the Mayor’s Fund to End Homelessness can visit longbeach.gov/endhomelessness to donate online or put change in one of the four Donation Meters throughout Long Beach. The locations are as follows:
2017 E. 4th St.
135 Pine Ave.
4708 E. 2nd St.
5251 E. 2nd St.
Contributions support the City and its partners in their efforts to house individuals and families experiencing homelessness, and to provide access to transportation services, medical care, mental health services, substance treatment and more.
The Mayor’s Fund to End Homelessness is a charitable fund administered by the Long Beach Community Foundation.