Legal-name: WomenShelter of Long Beach
Address: P.O. Box 17098
City: Long Beach
Officer: Mary Ellen Mitchell, Executive Director
ContactName: Susan DeLand
Title: Director of Development
GrantPurpose: The grant would help to ensure that WSLB continues to provide basic needs, safety, and confidential emergency supportive housing for victims of domestic violence and their children.
Periodoftime: 04/01/20 – -3/31/21
Audienceserved: low income, homeless, victims of domestic violence and their children
Demoofaudience: all ages, primarily Latinx and African American
District: All districts 1 – 9
1. What disaster recovery service have already been provided? : The Los Angeles Times has published several articles recently detailing the danger of domestic violence escalation during periods of isolation in a violent home. People have lost their jobs, children are kept home from school, and the pressure cooker heats to explosion level. The Coronavirus pandemic and the economic crisis it has created are a terrifying combination for those living with domestic violence. Victims and their children are fleeing danger in record numbers. Too often, it is the most underserved in our community that fall victim to violence. Many are being made homeless by violence and have no other place to go than to a shelter. WomenShelter of Long Beach has been forced to close its publicly accessed walk-in Domestic Violence Resource Center, but we have kept our confidential emergency supportive housing facility open to keep victims and their children safe. We are providing basic needs, health assessment and referral to partner medical providers, legal advocacy when possible, and counseling. We have a supply of donated clothing for the clients. An overwhelming 97% of our clients are at 200% of the federal Poverty Level. And the vast majority are Latinx and African American. We have instituted protocols to keep everyone as safe as possible. Our facility is designed purposely in a trauma informed manner. Each client and their children has their own bedroom, their own bathroom, a small refrigerator to isolate their food, and each suite has its own HVAC unit. If a client does become ill we have procedures in place to quarantine them to their bedroom. We are trying to procure adequate safety and sanitizing products. We have partner medical providers for next steps in treating COVID-19. Our courageous and caring confidential supportive housing facility counselors are taking every precaution to keep our homeless victims healthy and to stay healthy themselves. We operate within a network of 25 shelters regionally to secure beds for victims in the safest location. When victims arrive, they are given an intake that includes a health assessment and referral to medical providers as necessary. Our staff all feel a responsibility to continue providing their services in a manner that is safe for everyone.
2. What disaster recovery service will be provided by this grant? : It is imperative that WSLB continue to operate our confidential emergency supportive housing facility during this disaster. We were forced to cancel our annual major fundraising event due to Coronavirus. Other income streams have been eliminated or reduced because of the disaster. Even so, we will keep the doors of our facility open to victims of domestic violence and their children. This grant will enable us to continue to provide safety, direct services, basic needs, health assessment and referrals, and counseling to those in need. The grant will assist us in acquiring the important sanitizing products necessary to combat contagion and illness. Being homeless is always dangerous and full of risks. Being made homeless during an epidemic of these proportions is its own disaster. Funding is necessary to ensure the safety and security of victims of violence and the courageous counselors who are living with them 24/7. Our supportive housing is staffed around the clock with compassionate professionals on the front line of caring for and counseling victims and their children who arrive in trauma. Their trauma begins with violence and is exacerbated by the fear of homelessness and the contagion of the Coronavirus. Being able to provide safety and services is truly shelter in a storm.
3. What individuals (and/or organizations) will you assist? : WSLB will assist victims of domestic violence and their children, many made homeless in the Long Beach community. Over 40% of those we serve are Latinx, Mexican or Central American, 25% are African American, and the remaining 35% are Caucasian, Asian/Pacific Islander, and Native American, and 97% are at 200% of the Federal Poverty Level. Close to half of the victims are homeless when they call our crisis hotline and all are homeless when they stay at the shelter. They have no other place to go. Leaving violence is a great act of courage. An overwhelming number of deaths from domestic violence happen when the victim attempts to leave. This one of many compelling reasons for absolute confidentiality at our supportive housing facility. Their safety is at stake. These are the most vulnerable members of our community and the most at risk.
4. What other disaster recovery funds have you received? What amount?: To date, we have received emergency funds in the amount of $17,500 from the John Gogian Family Foundation.
5. What other disaster recovery funds have you applied for? We have applied for an Immediate Impact Grant from the National Healthcare for Homeless Council and Kaiser Permanente in the amount of $40,000. We are submitting grant proposals to California Community Foundation, Time for Change Foundation, CalWellness, and the Sempra Energy Foundation.