Legal-name: Interval House
Address: 6615 East Pacific Coast Highway, Suite 170
City: Long Beach
Officer: Carol A. Williams, Executive Director
ContactName: Carol A. Williams
Title: Executive Director
Tel-952: (562) 594-9492
GrantPurpose: Interval House is requesting emergency funds ($20,000) from the Long Beach Community Foundation to provide emergency funding for Long Beach households that have been financially impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) public health crisis (i.e., layoffs, work reduction, business closures, etc.) to help bring economic stability for distressed individuals and families.
Periodoftime: April 1, 2020 through June 30, 2020 (3 months)
Audienceserved: Unemployed and underemployed individuals and families in Long Beach who are in need of but lack access to available resources such as emergency financial assistance (rent, utilities, food, etc.), housing relocation/stabilization services, children and youth services, domestic violence services, and a wide range of supportive services that are critical in preventing financial debt and homelessness during times of great uncertainty.
Demoofaudience: Vulnerable individuals and families in Long Beach who have been economically impacted by the health pandemic, including diverse immigrant families and households with children and youth.
1. What disaster recovery service have already been provided? : As an essential services provider and the largest operator of rental assistance programming in Long Beach, Interval House has been inundated with referrals for households seeking homelessness prevention services in the past several weeks. The outbreak of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in our community—currently 70 reported cases according to the City of Long Beach Department of Health & Human Services—is significantly affecting the day-to-day life of residents at an increasingly rapid pace. While mandatory closures for non-essential services are necessary for public health and safety precautions, the large-scale workforce reductions are causing devastating financial impacts on working individuals and families in the community. Those assuming the greatest burdens are low-wage hourly employees who are not compensated if they do not/cannot work and do not have the option to work from home.
Interval House has been working around the clock with our public and private sector partners to provide seamless coordinated responses to those impacted by COVID-19 in our community. For example, we are collaborating closely with longtime housing partners (e.g., Apartment Association CA Southern Cities, landlords, rental management groups), business owners (e.g., grocery stores, food establishments, etc.), local high schools (e.g., Wilson High School, Jordan High School), government entities (e.g., Long Beach Dept. of Health & Human Services), and philanthropic organizations to assist Long Beach residents with immediate urgent needs. Services include, e.g.,: emergency housing assistance to help individuals and families remain safely and stably housed; moving assistance for households that need to relocate due to job loss and housing affordability; purchase and delivery of groceries, foods, and home supplies (e.g., bread, milk, eggs, rice, canned foods, prepared meals, toilet paper, hand soaps, etc.) for clients in need; and social services and safety nets for children, youth, and families.
Interval House has also purchased supplementary cleaning and safety supplies such a hand sanitizers, disinfectants, masks and gloves for use in our shelter, community clinics, and outreach programs to protect our frontline workers, program participants, and community members. Many of our non-shelter administrative staff are now working remotely from home and we have purchased additional computers, laptops, and printers and set up secure remote connections for our staff to facilitate this transition. To ensure safe, healthy, and sanitary working conditions for our service locations, we have hired a cleaning company to sanitize and disinfectant our sites several times a week for the foreseeable future.
During this time of public health crisis, Interval House continues to operate a full continuum of housing services (24-hour emergency shelters, transitional housing, rapid rehousing, homelessness prevention) and comprehensive supportive services in the highest risk and lowest income communities in Long Beach and surrounding communities. Our dedicated and compassionate team of culturally diverse staff have the unique capacity to provide services in 70+ languages in-house, specializing in serving individuals who face complex cultural, ethnic, personal, and socio-economic barriers.
2. What disaster recovery service will be provided by this grant? : Interval House is seeking the support of Long Beach Community Foundation to provide flexible emergency funding for individuals and families who are struggling financially as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. As employment and income grind to a halt for some families, combined with region-wide school closures, many households do not have rainy day funds to tap into—nor access to benefits such as paid sick leave—while expenses such as food, housing, utilities, childcare, and medical needs continue to accumulate. The requested support will serve as a critical cost effective, short-term intervention that removes barriers to housing and economic stability for many Long Beach residents in need to prevent risks of financial debt, damaged credit, and in some cases, homelessness.
Interval House has been OVERWHELMED with requests for assistance in the past two weeks alone from distraught residents who have lost their jobs (or have had their hours significantly reduced) due to layoffs, work reduction, and business closures and are explicably distressed about subsequently losing their homes. For heads of households whose jobs have not been eliminated, they are confronted with added concerns such as reliable transportation, health and safety issues from not being able to isolate at home, and affordable and dependable child care as the majority of schools and daycare centers are unavailable due to mandatory closures. These economic stressors, exacerbated by extremely limited resources, have led to increased incidents of violence and abuse in the home for some impacted households.
Flexible emergency funding will address the wide array of urgent needs that will help impacted residents secure or maintain safe and stable housing. We know through research that the use of flexible funds is a proven strategy for achieving housing stability and homelessness prevention (e.g., National Alliance to End Homelessness, California Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council, and Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence). Examples of emergency funding include: rent/rental arrears, mortgage payments, utilities, housing relocation, moving expenses, car repairs, medical expenses, child care, transportation, groceries and prepared foods, home goods, cleaning supplies, and other immediate needs. These types of assistance, in conjunction with a wide range of supportive services (e.g., case management, counseling, legal aid, job training/employment, etc.), will help households stay safe and stably housed during a volatile public health crisis.
Interval House will continue to collaborate with our local housing, business, educational, philanthropic, and social services partners, all of who are especially dedicated to delivering effective, efficient, and coordinated care for Long Beach residents. These multi-way referrals ensure that households in need have access to a wide range of services regardless of which entity they connect with first. Interval House has had tremendous success in utilizing this collaborative services delivery model over the past four decades and will continue to strengthen these partnerships to provide valuable COVID-19 disaster recovery services.
Interval House is requesting $20,000 to assist approximately 13 households (an estimated 20 individuals); however, please know that we could effectively administer a higher amount to assist many more households, if funds are available.
3. What organization and or individuals will you assist? : Requested funds will help Interval House assist vulnerable individuals and families in Long Beach with flexible emergency funds to remain safely and stably housed. The target population includes households from diverse backgrounds facing varying individualized circumstances, but sharing the same urgent need for temporary financial assistance to maintain economic and housing stability. Some individuals seeking assistance have recently achieved successes in exiting homelessness through our permanent housing programs and are now struggling to maintain employment and housing stability during the growing pandemic. Some are children and youth who no longer have access to healthy meals, a safe place to go during the day, and educational resources due to school closures. Other community members desperately seeking services are individuals and families who have never experienced homelessness but are now at imminent risk of financial devastation and housing instability as a result of COVID-19 related layoffs, work reduction, and business closures.
Notably, as the reality of the pandemic has set in for many community members, and stay-at-home orders have become the way of life, Interval House has been receiving increasing requests for assistance and information from our local high school partners to help families who are struggling economically. Unfortunately, we are also seeing more cases of requests for domestic violence assistance, including high school youth, whose abusive homes are not safe options for social distancing and quarantines. For example, amidst the Coronavirus outbreak, Interval House worked with our housing partners to assist a local high school student in securing and relocating to a safe housing unit to escape an increasingly violent home. We built a support network around her stabilized by case management, counseling, and group therapy services. Currently an honors student on track to graduate this year, she is one of many success stories that inspire our programs.
During these uncertain and challenging times, Interval House continues to operate 24-hours a day, 7 days a week to assist these struggling households, tapping in to every resource and connection that we have developed over the past four decades. We believe that each household has their own unique circumstances and needs that cannot be resolved by a one-size-fits-all solution. Access to wide ranging individualized services, in addition to short-term financial assistance, is key to long-term housing stability. We are conducting extensive outreach in our communities and with partnering service providers to ensure that individuals and families in need are connected with available resources. As a result, the volume of calls to Interval House hotlines for housing assistance and supportive services have increased immensely. During the past several weeks, our hotline staff have been fielding calls for help nearly every five minutes and it is our commitment to ensure that every caller receives safe and adequate support, whether directly from Interval House or through warm-handed referrals to other providers.
4. What other disaster recovery funds have you received? What amount? Interval House has not received other COVID-19 related disaster recovery funds to date.
5. What other disaster recovery funds have you applied for?: Interval House has not applied for other COVID-19 related disaster recovery funds to date. We are in the process of seeking guidance from our public sector funding partners (e.g., City of Long Beach Health & Human Services Department, U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development, etc.) regarding the use of existing contract funds from programs such as Continuum of Care (CoC) and Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) to support COVID-19 response activities and expenses.