The City of Long Beach’s request for aid from the National Guard during the coronavirus pandemic was accepted on April 9, a week after the City made a formal request on April 2.
Fifty members of the National Guard 315th Company began their training at the temporary homeless shelter located at Silverado Park on Friday, April 10 and are expected to remain in the city until June 30.
After their training is completed, the temporary shelters at Silverado Park and Martin Luther King Jr. Park will be the first Long Beach facilities to receive aid, with 20 service members assigned to each location, according to Multi-Service Center Coordinator Elsa Ramos.
While National Guard members will be in camouflage uniforms, they will not be armed, according to a press release by the City.
They will be assisting temporary homeless shelters by monitoring physical distancing in crowds, housekeeping and serving meals. National Guard members will also help the City’s Rapid Assessment Clinic (RAC) at Long Beach City College by assisting medical staff and managing incoming and outgoing traffic.
Funding for National Guard services will not come from Long Beach.
“This assistance from the National Guard will enable us to further expand our sheltering and healthcare capacity in Long Beach,” Mayor Robert Garcia said. “The National Guard will be focused on humanitarian aid, and we thank them for the support.”