May 9, 2013 – Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske today thanked 6th District Councilmember Dee Andrews and City Manager Pat West for their recent efforts to locate a homeless services program run by Mental Health America to a location on Long Beach Blvd., and issued the following statement on the announcement that escrow has closed on the Long Beach Blvd., property:
“For more than 6 years, the City Council has grappled with how to best accommodate Mental Health America – a homeless services provider – in order to meet the requirements of the federal government as a condition to receive 4.6 acres of surplus Army property once known as Schroeder Army Hall at Willow Street and Grand Avenue. Initially a site adjacent to the City’s Public Health Department was selected. After community concern about the selection, additional sites were reviewed.
Three years ago, I brought a property to the attention of City Management as a possible alternate site. Unfortunately, it was not immediately available but through the efforts of both Councilmember Dee Andrews and City Manager Pat West the property is now owned by the City of Long Beach and will used to satisfy the federal mandate that in order to receive surplus property, the City must accommodate a homeless services provider.
The result of these efforts means that the Eastside Police Substation, now located in the 4th Council District in leased property, will be moved to the 5th Council District and placed permanently in the Schroeder Army property. This will relieve the crowding at the current site and the City will no longer have to pay a very large lease payment.
I want to thank Councilmember Dee Andrews and the City Manager Pat West as well as most of the other council members who did not use this sensitive situation for political purposes but supported finding a sensible, humane solution to helping the most vulnerable of our residents so that the City could receive this surplus military property.”