Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Annual Santa Monica Homeless Count Set for January 22, 2020

Count results help the City: Comply with HUD and local stakeholder requirements; Understand trends among the City's homeless population; Adapt local homeless service programs; and Raise public awareness about the issue of homelessness

 

January 22, 2020

A homeless woman asleep on a park bench in Palisades Park

City Press Release

On January 22, the City of Santa Monica will conduct its annual street-by-street count of people experiencing homeless. Santa Monica joins the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority and communities across the county in the late-night count. Santa Monica's count is made possible with the support of 300 volunteers.

This annual count is a vital tool in establishing annual homeless priorities. Each year, the City of Santa Monica looks at these numbers as an indicator of how Santa Monica's local strategies, in collaboration with LA County regional strategies, are working. In 2019, volunteers counted 985 individuals experiencing homelessness in Santa Monica, an increase of 3 percent from the year prior. Countywide homelessness increased by 12 percent. Changes in the count provide insight on effective strategies. Last year's 19% reduction in the downtown provided a proof point to expand homeless outreach teams' focus to include the beach area.

WHEN: Wednesday, January 22, 10:30 p.m. – 2:30 a.m. The count is conducted rain or shine.

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WHERE: St. Monica Catholic Community Grand Pavilion, 725 California Avenue, Santa Monica

WHO: Hundreds of passionate community volunteers and City staff, Mayor Kevin McKeown and City Council, City Manager Rick Cole, Assemblymember Richard Bloom, Police Chief Cynthia Renaud, Fire Chief Bill Walker, and many other supporting organizations.

WHAT: Every year, Santa Monicans volunteer their time to get a count of Santa Monica's homeless population. The Count begins at St. Monica Catholic Community Grand Pavilion with a kick-off event and training. Volunteers then deploy 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. The media is invited to follow volunteer teams.

This year, registered volunteers are being asked to bring toiletries to donate to local agencies who will distribute them to individuals and families in need.

For a list of needed toiletry items, and for more information specific to the Homeless Count, visitwww.santamonica.gov/homelesscount.

WHY: Count results help the City:

Comply with HUD and local stakeholder requirements;

Understand trends among the City's homeless population;

Adapt local homeless service programs; and

Raise public awareness about the issue of homelessness.

The City of Santa Monica thanks the donors for making the Homeless Count a successful community event each year.

To learn more about the City's efforts to address homelessness, visit http://www.weare.santamonica.gov/addressing-homelessness.

This press release was produced by the City of Santa Monica. The views expressed here are the author's own.

 

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