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Long Beach Homeless Get Shelter in Motels

December 20, 1987|ROXANA KOPETMAN | Times Staff Writer

LONG BEACH — As powerful winds, rain and cold weather hit the Southland this week, the homeless here took shelter in area motels, thanks to a Los Angeles County program.

City and police officials worked with the Long Beach-based Catholic Charities, San Pedro Pastoral Region, to provide the homeless with motel rooms paid for by the county.

On Monday, the first night that volunteers took to the streets to spread the word that shelter was available, 79 people were processed by Catholic Charities and given motel vouchers, said Lupe Macker, the group's regional director. The 79 included a family of six, two single women and five couples.

By the next day, the number grew to 144.

By Wednesday night, as the severe weather continued, the number increased to 167 people, according to Catholic Charities administrative assistant Vanessa Romain.

Volunteers from Catholic Charities and the city's Task Force on the Homeless said earlier this week that they expect to continue giving out vouchers whenever the temperature dips to 40 degrees.

Otherwise, Macker said, the homeless would be sleeping "under bushes and in abandoned buildings and sleeping under bridges and all the places where they can get away from the cold."

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