SANTA MONICA—The city of Santa Monica is asking residents of the community to volunteer in its upcoming homelessness count. On January 25, 2017, Los Angeles’ West side, including Santa Monica, will conduct an official homelessness count as part of the annual, nation-wide Point-in-Time Homelessness Count and Survey.

The Homelessness Count collects information on the number of individuals and families who are living in shelters or on the streets. For volunteers participating in the Santa Monica Count, individuals will either walk or drive every street, alley, and park in their assigned area while counting the homeless population.

Volunteers are broken into three types of teams including driving only, walking only, and walking/driving. Volunteers will gather information from the homeless in their respective teams and designated areas. They will help the city measure progress towards ending homelessness and capture a snapshot of who is experiencing homelessness within which area of the city. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development tracks the results in each community thereby assisting the department in determining the amount of federal funds allocated to homeless programs in specific communities.

Homelessness Count Results over the Years

The total homeless population decreased by 1 percent from 2015. 

  • Unsheltered street homeless population is 416, an increase of 3 percent from 2015. 
  • Individuals sleeping in vehicles numbered 73, unchanged from 2015.  
  • Shelter and institution population is 312, a reduction of 7 percent from 2015.
  • 2009 total = 915 
  • 2010 total = 742 (18.9 percent reduction from 2009)
  • 2011 total = 740 (sustained the reduction of previous years)
  • 2012 total = 769 (includes 19 individuals from 5 families participating in the new temporary Upward Bound House Winter Shelter Program)
  • 2013 total = 780 (remained stable from 2012)
  • 2014 total = 742 (5 percent reduction from 2013)
  • 2015 total = 738 (0.5 percent reduction from 2014)
  • 2016 total = 728 (1 percent reduction from 2015)

Volunteers must register by 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 18. The counting effort will begin at 10:30 p.m. and conclude at 2:30 a.m. Santa Monica hopes to have 250 volunteers for this citywide homelessness counting effort.