SANTA MONICA—The city of
Santa Monica is seeing a decline in its population of homeless residents in the city. During the Citywide 2014 Homeless Count at the Social Services commission meeting on Monday, February 24, more than 742 individuals were found to be homeless, which is a decrease of 5 percent from 2013.
In a press release from the City of
Santa Monica, Margaret Willis, Human Services Administrator for the City of
Santa Monica Human Services Division indicates that City’s plan to address homelessness is guided by the Action Plan to Address Homelessness which was placed into effect in 2008 and updated in 2011.
The city’s goal is to decrease homelessness on the street which was a direct result of the city’s staff working with local service providers to assist individuals, identify suitable housing and to ensure resources are available to people on the City’s by-name Service Registry.
“The City’s unique interdepartmental coordination between Community and Cultural Services, Santa Monica Police Department, Santa Monica Fire Department, City Attorney’s Office and Housing and Economic Development, in partnership with local social service agencies continues to effectively connect people from the streets into appropriate housing. In 2013 the Police Department, through a series of trainings, incorporated the Homeless Liaison Program (HLP) team model of engagement and linkage to social services into frontline patrol duties,”Â states the press release.
The police department has been able to pinpoint the locations of long-term homeless individuals in the area and provide them with housing and services to help them off the streets. For 2014, the SMPD plans to continue to utilize the HLP model as a tool to provide social services to those in need.
A homeless count is mandated every two years by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for communities that receive federal homeless funds. The City has been receiving homeless funds since 2010 to pinpoint and respond to homeless population trends. On January 29, 2014, more than 250 community volunteers and City staff walked each street in
Santa Monica to count the total number of homeless people they spotted on the streets, in cars, RVs, tents and some who were living in boxes. Homeless persons who were imprisoned, in shelters, motels, and hospitals were also counted by staff at the various facilities. The findings on February 24 also noted:
- The street count is 346, a decrease from 380 (9 percent) in 2013.
- Within the street count, individuals sleeping in vehicles/encampments numbered 57, a decrease from 64 (11 percent) in 2013.
- Shelter and institution population is 396, down slightly from 400 in 2013.
- No homeless families were identified on the streets, which is consistent with previous counts, and is a unique feature of the homeless population inSanta Monica.
- The downtown area saw a very significant 40% decrease (from 141 in 2013 to 86 in 2014), in the area betweenOcean Avenue,
Wilshire Boulevard and
Pico Boulevard, including all of
Park and the Pier.
For additional information about the city’s Action Plan for Homelessness, visit www.smgov.net/homelessness.