SANTA MONICA—The city of Santa Monica conducted its annual street-by-street of homeless individuals on Wednesday, January 23. According to the city of Santa Monica website, the city joins the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority and communities across the county in conducting a count.
Santa Monica’s count is made possible with the support of over 300 volunteers with a total of 7,500 volunteers committed countywide January 22 thru January 24 from 10:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. at St. Monica Catholic Community Grand Pavilion located at 725 California Avenue, Santa Monica. The count will transpire regardless of rain. The city of Malibu is also participating in the Homeless Count from January 22 thru January 24.
The annual count is an important tool in establishing annual homeless priorities and is important this year as the region copes with a growing homeless crisis. Homelessness increased by 4 percent throughout the county with a 4 percent decrease in Los Angeles County. Santa Monica has made a $1.4 million additional investment in homelessness focused on proactive and compassionate engagement.
Mayor Pro Tempore Terry O’Day and City Council, City Manager Rick Cole, Assemblymember Richard Bloom, Police Chief Cynthia Renaud, Fire Chief Bill Walker, Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Laurel Rosen, the City’s Human Services Division, as well as Dagwoods Pizza, Neil’s Catering, Trader Joe’s and St. Monica Catholic Community are all participating.
The Homeless Count started at St. Monica Catholic Community Grand Pavilion with a kick-off event and training. Volunteers are deployed from St. Monica’s in teams to cover every area of the city by foot and by car to conduct a visual count of people sleeping in public spaces. At the same time, homeless individuals will be counted in shelters, transitional programs, local area hospitals and other overnight facilities.
For 2019, registered volunteers are being asked to bring toiletries and food (listing located here) to donate to local agencies who will provide them to people on the street.
The Homeless Count helps the City:
-Understand trends among the City’s homeless population;
-Adapt local homeless service programs;
-Comply with HUD and local stakeholder requirements; and
-Raise public awareness about the issue of homelessness.
To obtain more information about Santa Monica’s efforts to address homelessness, visit www.weare.santamonica.gov/addressing-homelessness.