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Long Beach : Police Give Aid to Homeless

January 29, 1987

Long Beach police have begun implementing a policy to seek out homeless persons and refer them to available city shelters.

Last weekend, police found 81 homeless persons and referred 55 of them to shelters, City Manager John E. Dever told the City Council. On Wednesday, the police began offering homeless residents transportation to area shelters, police spokesman Commander Al Van Otterloo said.

The council Tuesday referred a proposal to aid the homeless to a council committee for study. Council member Evan Anderson Braude had proposed that during extreme cold, police should escort homeless persons to emergency facilities that would include area shelters and city buildings, if necessary, Braude said.

Braude said he was hoping that the council would act on his proposal within two weeks. He called the new police policy announced by Dever "a step in the right direction."

Meanwhile, the county Board of Supervisors on Tuesday agreed to award a combination of state and county funding to counseling and shelter programs for the homeless in Long Beach, Culver City and Pasadena. The Long Beach facility, the Transitional Living Centers for Los Angeles County Inc., will receive $127,000 and offer 12 beds to the homeless mentally ill.

The action is part of the board's two-month-old effort to step up approval of all pending contracts that would help the homeless mentally ill. Clients will be allowed to stay an average of 90 to 120 days and will be taught basic living skills, county officials said.

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