Community Development Corporation Thrown Into Coronavirus Fray

The Long Beach Center for Economic Inclusion formed in early March, a careful construct out of the Everyone In equity efforts.

Plans called for a ramp-up period to consider different  programs that would have the most impact, then begin putting them in place.

Then the coronavirus pandemic hit.

“We were incorporated in March, and thought we might have some programs start by June,” said Bob Cabeza, chair of the LBCEI board and recently retired vice president for community development for the Long Beach Area YMCA. “Then in one go we had to get up to warp speed. We made the decision to really invest in the low income community of color, where the need was immediate.”

Cabeza, his board and interim executive director Jeff Williams looked for where programs could start immediately. They decided to focus on three areas — food needs, lack of technology and help to small businesses.

LBCEI was an outgrowth of the Everyone In equity effort started by Ninth District Councilman Rex Richardson, who got approval from the entire City Council to move forward with initiatives. LBCEI is the community development corporation designed to help underrepresented families and small businesses in north, central and west Long Beach.

A budget of $250,000 was set for the #InThisTogether campaign, LBCEI’s response to the pandemic emergency. The money came from Wells Fargo Bank, BRIDGE Development Partners and Richardson’s office. Once the campaign started, United Way, LISC-LA and the Long Beach Community Foundation Disaster Relief Fund offered more financial support.

“We partnered with community nonprofits to work on the food security issue,” Cabeza said. “We helped a lot of small business owners fill out grant forms and the like. And we focused on seniors who were isolated and in need of food.”

A partnership with nine churches and nonprofits beefed up a chain of nine food pantries to serve those in need. LBCEI worked with Food Finders and other sources to increase the amount of food available.

At the same time, a partnership with Organic Harvest Gardens allowed delivery of produce and staples to more than 300 home-bound seniors. The United Cambodian Community and Heart of Ida help there.

Williams said in an email that work has begun to make these programs sustainable over a longer period of time.

Cabeza gets passionate when he talks about efforts to help small businesses — especially those owned by Blacks and other minorities.

“It’s in our name — economic inclusion for all,” he said. “We focus on the small, mom and pop stores. This will take you to the underbelly of Long Beach, the poverty that’s the reality for many… The city has to change, to move resources to address these issues.

“Study history, and you’ll see that Black, (Asian), Brown people have been shut out of the White economy. It’s a matter of generational wealth. We can only change that with education and resources. These people need a leg up.”

In addition to helping owners apply for government grants, LBCEI has created a Small Business Navigators program to coach owners with business plans, information and marketing. A Kiva loan fund has been created to offer micro-loans to those needing help through the COVID-19 crisis, and a special focus on more than 150 small businesses in north Long Beach has been carried out.

Another initiative specifically targets barber shops and hair salons. These small businesses have had an especially hard time surviving the shutdown, and again are owned almost exclusively by minorities.

Finally, LBCEI has donated 200 laptop computers to families and students who otherwise would not have access to technology. The agency also is advocating for lower cost internet access.

“We wanted to help those college kids living in cars,” Cabeza said. “We work with those who are going to college despite poverty. Education is their way out, and we want to help them.”

For more information about LBCEI, its programs or to get involved, go to www.lbcei.org.

Source: https://www.gazettes.com/news/business/community-development-corporation-thrown-into-coronavirus-fray/article_a9886558-bae1-11ea-83e6-4f2631b9cb6d.html

Nine new food pantries set to open across Long Beach to serve vulnerable communities

SIGNAL TRIBUNE | May 11, 2020

In an effort to help feed people during the ongoing health crisis, nine new food pantries will be opening across Long Beach.

On Monday, May 11, the Long Beach Center for Economic Inclusion (LBCEI) announced that it will be working with Councilmember Rex Richardson and Food Finders to open the pantries as part of its “In This Together Long Beach” emergency initiative.

“We are very excited to help add additional pantries in much needed areas in Long Beach,” Diana Lara, Food Finders Executive Director, said in a press release.

“We will provide as much nonperishable and perishable food as we can for these pantries so they can help residents that live in food desert areas that don’t have grocery stores nearby.”

According to a press release, the ongoing pandemic has seen a number of food pantries close– limiting access to fresh, healthy food for many neighborhoods.

The pantries will offer weekly distributions of food, and some will offer additional food services, such as to-go meals.

The new initiative will partner with religious organizations across Long Beach to set up locations across North, West, Central and Downtown Long Beach.

NORTH LONG BEACH:
• Pools of Hope – Thursdays from 2pm-4pm and Saturdays from 11am-1pm at 6801 Long Beach Boulevard
• Church One Ministries – Mondays-Fridays from 11am-1pm at 700 70th Street
• Light and Life Christian Fellowship – Mondays from 12pm-1pm at 5951 Downey Avenue
• North Long Beach Prayer Center – Fridays from 7am-1:30pm at 5239 Atlantic Avenue

CENTRAL LONG BEACH:
• Grant A.M.E. Church – Wednesdays from 9am-2pm at 1129 Alamitos Avenue

WEST LONG BEACH:
• Fountain of Life Covenant Church – Thursdays from 9am-3pm at 2060 Santa Fe Avenue

DOWNTOWN LONG BEACH:
• Urban Community Outreach* – Sundays from 1:30-3pm at 241 Cedar Avenue
• Christian Outreach in Action* – Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9am-12pm at 515 E 3rd Street
*To-Go meals are also offered at this site

LBCEI and Food Finders plan to stock each pantry with fresh and frozen produce, protein sources and meat, shelf-stable food and dried goods.

Due to the pandemic, Food Finders is expecting to provide an additional three million pounds of food to Southern California residents compared to last year.

To donate, residents can visit Food Finders at 10539 Humboldt St. in Los Alamitos be tween 8am-5pm. To volunteer, visit www.foodfinders.org or look for their volunteer app on any app store.

To find out more about LBCEI and “In This Together” visit www.lbcei.org/inthistogether.

Source: https://signaltribunenewspaper.com/49090/community/nine-new-food-pantries-set-to-open-across-long-beach-to-serve-vulnerable-communities/

Coalition, Churches Partner To Create Food Pantry Network

THE GRUNYON / GAZETTES.COM | By Harry Saltzgaver | May 11, 2020

A new partnership spearheaded by the Center for Economic Inclusion and relying on area churches has created a network of food pantries in the poorer parts of Long Beach.

Ninth District Councilman Rex Richardson announced the coalition last week while promoting a one-time food distribution that took place last Saturday at Jordan High School in north Long Beach. That distribution had people in cars lined up literally for miles, demonstrating the need for food, Richardson said.

In his announcement Richardson said he worked with council members Roberto Uranga (Seventh District) and Mary Zendejas (First  District) to create the coalition. Partners include Food Finders, the Ninth District Council Office and the Center for Economic Inclusion. It is part of the #InThisTogether initiative, Richardson said.

The partnership covers parts of north, west, central and downtown Long Beach, and food was available beginning Monday, May 11. Each pantry is open on a different day, so people needing food can find some every day of the week.

Three of the sites also offer full meals to go. Details can be found at www.lbcei.org.

The pantries are at:

• Awaken Ministries, 2426 Santa Fe Ave. 10:30 a.m.-noon Wednesdays, 562-363-6457.

• Fountain of Life Covenant Church, 2060 Santa Fe Ave., 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Thursdays, 562-308-6781.

• Church One Ministries*. 700 70th St., 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday through Friday, 562-633-2515.

• Light and Life Christian Fellowship, 5951 downey Ave., 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Mondays, 562-630-6074.

• Pools of Hope, 6801 Long Beach Blvd., 2-4 p.m. Thursdays, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays, 310-537-2224.

• North Long Beach Ministry Center, Inc., 5239 Atlantic Ave., 7 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Fridays, 562-422-5090.

• Grant A.M.E. Church, 1129 Alamitos Ave., 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesdays, 562-437-1567.

• Urban Community Outreach*, 241 Cedar Ave., 1:30-3:30 p.m. Sundays, 562-582-1000.

• Christian Outreach In Action*, 515 E. Third St., 9 a.m.-noon Tuesdays and Thursdays, 562-432-1440.

* Serving full meals.

Source: https://www.gazettes.com/entertainment/nonprofits/coalition-churches-partner-to-create-food-pantry-network/article_271661b6-93cb-11ea-b081-ef7cba7ea9ac.html

5/11/20 PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

“In This Together” COVID-19 Emergency Response Program Bridges Food Equity Gap  with 9 Local Food Pantries to Serve Long Beach’s Most Vulnerable Communities 

Long Beach Center for Economic Inclusion Focuses on Food Security During Pandemic  with Food Pantry Program Underwritten by Bridge Development Partners, in Partnership with the Office of Long Beach Councilmember Rex Richardson and Food Finders 

Long Beach—–May 11, 2020—–Nine food pantries will be opened across Long Beach beginning Monday, May 11th, as part of the “In This Together Long Beach” emergency response initiative of the Long Beach Center for Economic Inclusion (LBCEI), in partnership with the Office of Councilmember Rex Richardson and Food Finders.  This food security program is one of the four #InThisTogetherLB initiatives LBCEI has launched during the pandemic to help meet the needs of under-served individuals and families in the community, made possible with funding from Bridge Development Partners, Wells Fargo and the City of Long Beach. Additional funding partners include United Way and the Long Beach Community Foundation Disaster Relief Fund.  

In a time when a number of food pantries have closed, some due to the impact of the Coronavirus outbreak, families financially challenged during the pandemic have had limited access to fresh, healthy food. This food pantry program will make food easily accessible in neighborhoods with greatest need. The program will also engage the faith community and local nonprofits to set up food pantries within Long Beach neighborhoods.  Nine churches and nonprofit partners will support expanded food access in North, Central, West, and Downtown Long Beach neighborhoods. Councilmember Mary Zendejas and Councilmember Roberto Uranga assisted in the initiative by recommending partner organizations who serve their neighborhoods. Each partnering organization will operate a food pantry with weekly distributions to the community. Additionally, some locations will offer other food services, such as to-go meals.  

Pantry hours and locations include: 

NORTH LONG BEACH: 

  • Pools of Hope – Thursdays from 2pm-4pm and Saturdays from 11am-1pm at 6801 Long Beach Boulevard 
  • Church One Ministries – Mondays-Fridays from 11am-1pm at 700 70th Street 
  • Light and Life Christian Fellowship – Mondays from 12pm-1pm at 5951 Downey Avenue 
  • North Long Beach Prayer Center – Fridays from 7am-1:30pm at 5239 Atlantic Avenue 

CENTRAL LONG BEACH: 

  • Grant A.M.E. Church – Wednesdays from 9am-2pm at 1129 Alamitos Avenue 

WEST LONG BEACH: 

  • Fountain of Life Covenant Church – Thursdays from 9am-3pm at 2060 Santa Fe Avenue 

DOWNTOWN LONG BEACH: 

  • Urban Community Outreach* – Sundays from 1:30-3pm at 241 Cedar Avenue 
  • Christian Outreach in Action* – Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9am-12pm at 515 E 3rd Street 

*To-Go meals are also offered at this site 

LBCEI is collaborating with Food Finders to stock each pantry with fresh and frozen produce, protein sources and meat, shelf-stable foods, and dried goods.  Food Finders expects to provide three million more pounds of food to people in need in the Southern California area this year, as compared to last year, in response to pandemic needs. 

Food Finders Executive Director Diana Lara said, “We are very excited to help add additional pantries in much needed areas in Long Beach. We will provide as much nonperishable and perishable food as we can for these pantries so they can help residents that live in food desert areas that don’t have grocery stores nearby.” 

“It’s always a pleasure to team up with our 9th District Councilman Richardson and community partners in meeting the needs of our citizens,” expressed Bishop W. Todd Ervin Sr. of Church One Ministries. “It’s an opportunity for us to exemplify ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” 

“By working with local churches and trusted community organizations, we have established and expanded a network of food pantries across North, West, Central, and Downtown Long Beach to support vulnerable families during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said 9th District Councilmember Rex Richardson. “Special thanks to the leadership of Food Finders and Long Beach Center for Economic Inclusion.” 

Anyone can make a donation of food items at Food Finders at 10539 Humboldt Street in Los Alamitos between 8am-5pm, Monday to Friday.  People interested in volunteering can visit their web site www.foodfinders.org or find their Volunteer App on any mobile phone app store.  

Residents are invited to utilize their local food pantry and to share information with neighbors in need. People can learn more about the #InThisTogetherLB response at www.lbcei.org/inthistogether.   

About the Long Beach Center for Economic Inclusion (LBCEI) 

The Long Beach Center for Economic Inclusion (LBCEI) is a new nonprofit Community Development Corporation (CDC) with a mission to expand inclusive economic opportunities to build and sustain wealth for all communities in Long Beach. We envision a Long Beach where entrepreneurs, youth, workers, and individuals have the tools and opportunities to successfully build vibrant neighborhoods, successful businesses, and healthy, resilient families. Our programs focus on entrepreneurship and small business support, workforce and youth development, affordable housing and homeownership, economic resiliency/connectedness.  

Web Site: www.lbcei.org  

Social: Facebook: @lbeconomicinclusion / Twitter: @lb_cei / Instagram: @lbeconomicinclusion / #inthistogether 

About Food Finders 

Food Finders is a nonprofit organization with the mission to eliminate hunger and food waste, while improving nutrition in food insecure communities. The organization is a 501(c)3 food rescue organization that connects donated perishable food to hundreds of nonprofit pantries and shelters throughout Southern California in order to reduce hunger and food waste, simultaneously. www.foodfinders.org 

Media Contacts: 

  • Jeff Williams, LBCEI Interim Director at lbcei.org@gmail.com or 562.336.1833 -or- 
  • Melissa Morgan, Communications Lead at 515.999.6356 

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Initiative to Bring Resources to Hard Hit Areas

LONG BEACH LEADER / PRECINCT REPORTER NEWS | By Dianne Anderson | April 30, 2020

While everyone waits for the go-ahead to return to their new normal, #InThisTogetherLongBeach recently jumpstarted its emergency response campaign of the Long Beach Center for Economic Inclusion.

The nonprofit LBCEI is rising through the pandemic crisis to help support the community and local businesses and underserved areas of the city. Recently, they held their first board meeting to brainstorm ways of getting essential services and economic help out to those most in need.

Melissa Morgan, spokesperson for the nonprofit, said it became clear that something needed to be done over and above their original focus in light of Covid-19.

LBCEI quickly shifted focus, putting more energy behind essential services and economic opportunities.

They are bringing nonprofits, and community-based organizations together to work with one another through the initiative. To help the hard-hit communities of North, West, and Central Long Beach, $250,000 of funding for allocation is coming from several supporting partners, including Wells Fargo and Bridge Development.

“We’re looking at food security, digital inclusion, and ways to support small businesses and help for people with housing counseling and how to stay in their homes, at their property, or if they’re renting,” she said.

The nonprofit campaign was born out of an initiative with Councilman Rex Richardson and the city’s economic development department. For over two years, they’ve been listening to community concerns to determine persistent areas of need. From there, they engaged community partners around economic equity.

The initiative started in 2017 as EveryoneIn, which included implementing the Community Development Corporation for LBCEI. The nonprofit targets community partner agencies, and other nonprofits to get funding out to local organizations that are already working hard to help the impacted communities.

Morgan said they are still in the process of determining the most pressing areas of need to be able to deploy the resources.

“You have young people that need to be in school but they may not have a computer, they need the internet. Seniors may not be able to go to the grocery store and get food,” she said.

Other priorities include helping Black-owned businesses and hair salons to access support that may be available to them from various sources.

“How are the small businesses doing? What are their needs? Are they trying to operate right now are they aware of the laws? What kind of support to apply for some funding that the government has let out so in the future they can pick up business again,” she said.

Another important aspect of their outreach includes addressing food insecurity. She said there is a great little known organic food garden in North Long Beach that is partnering to provide fresh local food to the community.

“They’ve been growing and we’re helping them deliver it to low-income seniors across the city for free. We’re focusing on seniors. We’re giving about 200 boxes a week in the coming weeks,” she said.

Particularly these days, digital inclusion is essential for all. The nonprofit is partnering with the local nonprofit Human-I-T to give out laptops that can help bridge the digital divide. It is focused on Long Beach City College students.

Housing counseling is their fourth focus area. The outreach will also offer a housing support hotline to provide counseling to residents who are now dealing with the aftermath of Covid19 challenges, such as late rental or mortgage payments.

Eventually, the initiative will shift back to its original focus that had offered several other community development plans. But for now, addressing the pandemic impact to the community is taking precedence, she said.

They are excited to help the people where they are, especially in these challenging times.

“We’ll always be working with small businesses, entrepreneurship support, workforce and youth development, affordable housing and homeownership, economic resiliency, and connectedness,” she said.

For more information, see www.lbcei.org

Source: https://www.precinctreporter.com/2020/04/30/initiative-to-bring-resources-to-hard-hit-areas/

Long Beach Center for Economic Inclusion starts ‘In This Together’ program to support vulnerable communities during pandemic

SIGNAL TRIBUNE | Staff Report | April 21, 2020

The Long Beach Center for Economic Inclusion (LBCEI) is launching the “In This Together” emergency response project that will focus on improving access to food security, digital inclusion, small-business support and HUD-Certified housing counseling in low income and minority communities during the coronavirus pandemic, according to an April 20 press release by LBCEI.

LBCEI’s Board of Directors decided to give $250,000 of program funding, mostly from Bridge Development Partners, to support families and small businesses in north, central and west Long Beach beginning Monday, April 20.

“We applaud LBCEI for their instinct to be responsive to today’s unique challenges, in order to create a more resilient, inclusive, vibrant community that can overcome this crisis. That commitment to positive transformation matches our values, making them an ideal partner for Bridge Development,” Brian Wilson of Bridge Development Partners said.

Additional funding for the program is being provided by Wells Fargo, United Way, Local Initiatives Support Committee-LA and the Long Beach Community Foundation Disaster Relief Fund and the Office of 9th District Councilmember Rex Richardson.

“We are proud of LBCEI and the In This Together initiative, focused on bringing together valuable community-based organizations that are on the front line to ensure diverse communities and businesses have a seat at the table,” 9th District Councilmember Rex Richardson said. “Together we can continue to provide opportunities for our neighbors to thrive.”

In This Together aims to help communities with racial income gaps and economic barriers overcome the current health crisis.

To increase food security in vulnerable Long Beach communities LBCEI will support eight additional food assistance programs at community-based sites. LBCEI’s partner Organic Harvest Gardens in North Long Beach will also deliver fresh, locally grown food for free to low-income seniors in Long Beach who cannot leave their homes.

LBCEI will also partner with Human-I-T to provide more than 300 laptops to low income families with students enrolled in the YMCA Early Childhood and Youth Institute programs, Long Beach City College students and other nonprofit partners.

LBCEI will aid underrepresented small businesses in north, central and west Long Beach by partnering with “business navigators,” who will connect them to resources offered by the City’s Economic Development Department.

A “Housing Support Hotline” has also been planned for the near future, to provide advice for Long Beach residents dealing with housing insecurity due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“We are grateful that our partners are completely in-tuned with our redirection,” LBCEI Board Chair Bob Cabeza said, “and understand the long-term community benefits of an equitable economy. For our nonprofit to be able to build capacity and opportunities, we will depend on solid partnerships with groups like Bridge Development and Wells Fargo, who value social responsibility. We believe our smartest approach to building a thriving economy is to work together to break down barriers to opportunity, because we are all in this together.”

Source: https://signaltribunenewspaper.com/48690/community/long-beach-center-for-economic-inclusion-starts-in-this-together-program-to-support-vulnerable-communities-during-pandemic-coronavirus-news/

New Community Development Corporation Allocates $250,000 to pandemic response

LONG BEACH BUSINESS JOURNAL | By Alena Maschke | April 21, 2020

The newly formed Long Beach Center for Economic Inclusion is allocating $250,000 to programs focused on food security, digital inclusion, small business support and housing security.

With the help of new funds provided by a number of contributors, including Bridge Development Partners, Wells Fargo and the office of Councilman Rex Richardson, the center announced it will launch its In This Together campaign, to “expand opportunities in neighborhoods where the racial income gap and economic barriers are evident.”

After announcing its board of directors in March, this will be the first act of business for the new community development corporation, which received initial funding from the city of Long Beach and the Wells Fargo Foundation in September. While primarily designed to drive forward economic inclusion, the organization announced it would shift its efforts toward emergency response during the pandemic.

“We just held our first board meeting in March, then recognized the urgency to pivot programming so that we can help build resiliency in the face of the current crisis,” Board Chair Bob Cabeza said. “Equity will always be our focus. We will direct our economic development resources primarily to our city’s neighborhoods with the greatest need.”

The new program will address four core areas:

Food security

In partnership with Organic Harvest Gardens in North Long Beach, the program will offer delivery of fresh, local food to low-income homebound seniors across the city, free of cost. Eight additional food assistance programs at community-based sites will also be supported.

Digital inclusion

Serviced by Long Beach-based nonprofit Human-I-T, the program will provide more than 300 laptops to bridge the digital divide for low income families enrolled in YMCA Early Childhood and Youth Institute programs, Long Beach City College students and other nonprofit partners. 

Small business support

Supported by “Business Navigators” who will extend the efforts of the City’s Economic Development Department by reaching out to underrepresented small businesses in North, Central and West Long Beach.

Housing security

A housing support hotline to provide HUD-certified counseling for residents dealing with COVID-19 housing challenges will be announced soon, according to a press release.

Source: https://www.lbbusinessjournal.com/new-community-development-corporation-allocates-250000-to-pandemic-response/

4/20/20 PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

LB Center for Economic Inclusion (LBCEI)  Launches “In This Together” COVID-19 Emergency Response Program Targeting Long Beach’s Most Vulnerable Communities

Nonprofit Community Development Corporation Tackles Equity Barriers During Pandemic with $200K of Relief Funds from Bridge Development Partners, in Partnership with Wells Fargo and the Office of Long Beach Councilmember Rex Richardson

Long Beach—–April 20, 2020—–As the COVID-19 crisis impacts local businesses and residents, the Long Beach Center for Economic Inclusion (LBCEI) is launching the “In This Together” emergency response project. The nonprofit’s Board of Directors authorized an emergency response plan to direct $250,000 of program funding primarily from Bridge Development Partners, along with funding from Wells Fargo and the Office of Councilmember Rex Richardson to support under-served families and underrepresented small businesses North, Central and West Long Beach, beginning Monday, April 20th. Additional funding partners include United Way, LISC-LA  and the Long Beach Community Foundation Disaster Relief Fund. Funds will support In This Together partner agencies in their community crisis relief efforts.

In This Together will expand opportunities in neighborhoods where the racial income gap and economic barriers are evident, to help them overcome the current pandemic crisis. To alleviate added pressures the pandemic has added, LBCEI’s emergency response programming will increase access to, and awareness of, available resources provided by LBCEI’s partner organizations that address four key areas of support: food security, digital inclusion, small business support, and HUD-Certified housing counseling. 

  • FOOD SECURITY – Partner Organic Harvest Gardens in North Long Beach will deliver fresh, local food to low-income homebound seniors across the city, free of cost. Eight additional food assistance programs at community-based sites will also be supported by LBCEI.
  • DIGITAL INCLUSION – In partnership with Human-I-T, LBCEI will provide more than 300 laptops to bridge the digital divide for low income families enrolled in YMCA Early Childhood and Youth Institute programs, Long Beach City College students, as well as other partner nonprofit organizations. 
  • SMALL BUSINESS SUPPORT – LBCEI is partnering with “Business Navigators” who will extend the efforts of the City’s Economic Development Department by reaching out to underrepresented small businesses in North, Central and West Long Beach.
  • HUD-CERTIFIED HOUSING COUNSELING – And, a “Housing Support Hotline” to provide counseling for residents dealing with COVID-19 housing challenges will be announced soon.

Board Chair Bob Cabeza described, “We just held our first board meeting in March, then recognized the urgency to pivot programming so that we can help build resiliency in the face of the current crisis. And, we’ve just launched our website in a matter of days at www.lbcei.org to provide resources to our community.” He shared, “Equity will always be our focus. We will direct our economic development resources primarily to our city’s neighborhoods with the greatest need, while still supporting our mission.” 

“We applaud LBCEI for their instinct to be responsive to today’s unique challenges, in order to create a more resilient, inclusive, vibrant community that can overcome this crisis. That commitment to positive transformation matches our values, making them an ideal partner for Bridge Development,” expressed Brian Wilson of Bridge Development Partners. 

“At this unprecedented time, Long Beach Center for Economic Inclusion is providing critical services, such as food, housing, and small business, in communities that are most impacted, yet among those most underserved. We appreciate the efforts of philanthropy, nonprofit organizations, and the City, and are humbled by what we could do together,” said Linda Nguyen of Wells Fargo.

“We are proud of LBCEI and the #InThisTogether initiative, focused on bringing together valuable community-based organizations that are on the front line to ensure diverse communities and businesses have a seat at the table,” said 9th District Councilmember Rex Richardson. “Together we can continue to provide opportunities for our neighbors to thrive.”

Cabeza added, “We are grateful that our partners are completely in-tuned with our redirection and understand the long-term community benefits of an equitable economy. For our nonprofit to be able to build capacity and opportunities, we will depend on solid partnerships with groups like Bridge Development and Wells Fargo, who value social responsibility. We believe our smartest approach to building a thriving economy is to work together to break down barriers to opportunity, because we are all in this together.”

Residents and businesses should visit www.lbcei.org/inthistogether for resources and information about response efforts provided by partnering agencies.

About the Long Beach Center for Economic Inclusion (LBCEI)

The Long Beach Center for Economic Inclusion (LBCEI) is a new nonprofit Community Development Corporation (CDC) with a mission to expand inclusive economic opportunities to build and sustain wealth for all communities in Long Beach. We envision a Long Beach where entrepreneurs, youth, workers, and individuals have the tools and opportunities to successfully build vibrant neighborhoods, successful businesses, and healthy, resilient families. Our programs focus on entrepreneurship and small business support, workforce and youth development, affordable housing and homeownership, economic resiliency/connectedness. 

LBCEI Background

LBCEI emerged from the City of Long Beach’s 2017 “Everyone In” Economic Inclusion Plan, an award-winning initiative that was unanimously approved by the Long Beach City Council, led by a core group of community partners including the Office of Long Beach City Councilmember Rex Richardson, the “Everyone In” Implementation Committee, Long Beach Community Action Partnership, Wells Fargo, and the City of Long Beach. The comprehensive plan recommended the establishment of a Community Development Corporation, which was also unanimously approved in 2019. By 2020, the groundwork for the nonprofit was laid by the CDC Working Group, a cross-sector collaborative of community members who participated in the foundational visioning process and organizational development of LBCEI.

Web Site:     www.lbcei.org 

Social: Facebook: @lbeconomicinclusion / Twitter: @lb_cei / Instagram: @lbeconomicinclusion / #inthistogether   

About Bridge Development Partners

Bridge Development Partners is one of the top industrial developers in the United States, creatively transforming more than $5 billion of industrial sites into thriving, environmentally sustainable commercial centers that drive economic growth in California and across the country. In Southern California, the Bridge Development team is working on projects in Long Beach, Torrance, Rialto, Upland, among others. For more information, visit Bridgedev.com.

Media Contacts:

Jeff Williams, LBCEI Interim Director at lbcei.org@gmail.com or 562.336.1833 -or- Melissa Morgan, Communications Lead at 515.999.6356

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