Long Beach Residents Oppose Proposed Homeless Services Hub Near Rail Terminus

L.A. Metro’s “end-of-the-line” policy forces people experiencing homeless off transit every night at the same time and location. A proposed hub would provide services a few stops before the end of the line in Long Beach.

2 minute read

March 22, 2023, 11:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

A light rail train waits at the Downtown Long Beach station with a sign that reads “Long Beach” to declare its route to riders.

Wangkun Jia / Shutterstock

A recent public hearing to discuss a plan that would locate a new homelessness services hub near a station on the A Line (née Blue Line) light rail route drew 150 people and heated controversy, according to an article by Jason Ruiz for the Long Beach Post.

“[Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority] and [Long Beach] officials are considering the proposal after Metro’s board of directors voted last month to look at creating a hub to alleviate the effect its end-of-the-line policy was having on Downtown months after the city asked the agency to reevaluate it,” explains Ruiz.

The end-of-the line policy requires Metro officials to force about 40 homeless of the system at the First Street station every night. Los Angeles County is home to one of the largest populations of people experiencing homelessness in the country, with resulting issues that frequently challenge the region’s transit system. Unfortunately, the transit agency’s proposed response to provoking local controversy. 

“During a mostly civil meeting hosted by the Wrigley Association, residents voiced their apprehension about having a hub located near their community, saying that it could damage the area’s ability to attract new businesses, potentially create public safety issues and continue to place the burden of homeless services on an underserved part of the city,” reports Ruiz. 

The controversy surrounding this proposal, exemplifies the difficult task facing local officials. On one hand, the public demands for people experiencing homelessness and mental health crises be removed from the transit system; on the other hand local opposition to housing and services ensures they have nowhere else to go.

Metro proposed that the hub be located near the Willow Street station, “given its large, underutilized parking lot, where temporary housing and other services could be located,” according to the article. The Willow Street Station is located a few stops short of the First Street terminus of the A Line—about a 15-minute ride away from the end of the line.

More details are included in the source article, below.

Tuesday, March 7, 2023 in Long Beach Post

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