Legal-name: United States Veterans Initiative
Previous-name: U.S.VETS – Long Beach
Address: 2001 River Avenue
City: Long Beach
Organizational-status: 501(c)(3) nonprofit
Officer: Erik Miller, Program Director
ContactName: Melanie Simangan
Title: Director, Foundation Relations
GrantPurpose: Grant funding will support emergency COVID-19 response supplies and staffing at the Long Beach Winter Shelter serving veteran and non-veteran homeless, adult individuals.
Periodoftime: The Winter Shelter is open from December 2019 to June 2020. Funding will be expended from April to June 2020.
Audienceserved: Homeless veterans and non-veterans
Demoofaudience: Homeless veteran and non-veteran individuals with little to no income; all ages and ethnic groups
Numberofserved: Average of 78 daily, 8 new clients a day. 248 total by end of grant period.
District: 2, 6, 8
1. What disaster recovery service have already been provided? : In partnership with LAHSA, U.S.VETS operates The Long Beach Winter Shelter, which was created to serve people experiencing homelessness and provide shelter, food and safety during the harshest time of the year. The Winter Shelter is open 24/7 and has housed over almost 80 individuals daily from December to April for the past two years. This year, the City of Long Beach has asked us to extend this program until June. However, unfortunately the Winter Shelter program is underfunded due to limited allocation for emergency and temporary services. The COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated our challenges. With increased demand and safety precautions, the Winter Shelter will continue to operate at a deficit as we work to ensure the safety and wellness of our clients and staff while maintaining shelter operations.
2. What disaster recovery service will be provided by this grant? : The Winter Shelter will provide homeless individuals with immediate shelter, food, and access to supportive services such as case management and benefits assistance amidst these uncertain times. Our goal is to maintain services uninterrupted while taking CDC recommendations for social distancing into account. We have increased cleaning, postponed events and activities, changed meal service, and implemented social distancing – while making sure to still provide a safe, supportive community for our veterans. Winter Shelter staff will begin working on Essential Duty Teams, to provide support for our team members, while ensuring that critical services remain in place for our residents, such as 24/7 residential assistance, daily meals, case management, transportation to necessary care and services, and therapeutic support. Essential Duty Teams work on a rotating schedule so that we can minimize potential exposure for our staff and clients. In addition to retaining staffing, we anticipate increased costs for emergency supplies and food as the pandemic continues.
3. What individuals (and/or organizations) will you assist? The Winter Shelter will serve homeless, adult individuals. All individuals have little to no income. We serve clients from all demographics.
4. What other disaster recovery funds have you received? What amount?: At this time, we have not received other disaster recovery funds.
5. What other disaster recovery funds have you applied for?: We are actively applying to emergency grant opportunities as they are released, including United Way LA, Orange County Community Foundation, National Health Care for the Homeless Council, and more. We continue to monitor available funding opportunities in both the public and private sector.