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

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By David Ganezer
Observer Staff Writer 

City of Santa Monica Declares Homeless Emergency to Access Federal Funds

"It will amplify our request for federal aid, state aid, and county aid. We need more help . . . . "

 

February 27, 2023

Rex with his cat, also named Rex, sleeps outside at night. During the day, he plays his guitar on the pier for money.

There have been a lot of homeless people in Santa Monica for the last 30 years. But last Tuesday, the City of Santa Monica declared it an emergency.

Like the City of LA and the County, Santa Monica has declared a state of emergency over homelessness. While some saw the move as political, others said it would allow the City to apply for funds from other sources, to combat the problem which has intensified in the last ten years.

Rex with his cat, also named Rex, sleeps outside at night. During the day, he plays his guitar on the pier for money.

"It will amplify our request for federal aid, state aid, and county aid. We need more help; we have a homeless emergency in our city, we've had one in Santa Monica for years. We have been taking steps well behind most other cities to try and combat homelessness," said Santa Monica City Councilman Phil Brock. 

In a press release, Santa Monica city officials said the action will enable "regional cooperation with other government agencies, allow the City to apply for and accept grant funds, allow the City to take expedited actions to address imminent health and safety impacts caused by the homelessness crisis, and enable the City to deploy resources and take actions to address homelessness more quickly." 

The city is asking for more mental health workers from the county, more shelter beds, and more outreach teams.

People in the US experiencing homelessness often migrate to LA County. In addition to good weather, the County offers much in the way of services and free programs.

 

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