How to Give

By giving responsibly, your contribution will be more effective and you'll support community-wide efforts to address homelessness. 


Create Change With Your Spare Change 

While it may just seem like spare change, giving money to people on the street does not connect them with the services that could lead to permanent housing. It may sustain a person's ability to live on the street and encourage additional panhandling activity. In lieu of giving money directly to panhandlers, drop your spare change into one of the dolphin statues located in Santa Monica.

Money from the Dolphin Change Program is collected by  Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. and granted to local agencies providing homeless services at the Westside Shelter and Hunger Coalition’s annual Celebrating Success Breakfast. Dolphins are located on Third Street Promenade, on Main Street at Ashland, and on the Santa Monica Pier. Since the program started, over $156,000 has gone to local agencies for use in their work toward permanent solutions to ending street homelessness.  


Make a Difference: Give Locally

Leaving food or clothing in public places, or providing meals in public areas, may do more harm than good. While well-intentioned, handouts do not connect people living on the street with the services that will help get them into housing. The City and our partners work to make those connections. You can help by participating in one of these ways: 

  • Donate directly to local service agencies that work to resolve homelessness by providing support and permanent housing options in our community. Agencies rely on the financial contributions to provide services. Every dollar helps.
  • Organize a food or clothing drive at your business or place of worship. Contact a local provider to find out what items are needed.
  • Donate perishable food from your event or party to the Westside Food Bank. Plan ahead and contact them before your event.
  • Help a formerly homeless individual with the essentials they need to settle into a new home by organizing a “New Home Move-In Kit” at your place of business or worship. Individuals that transition from the streets to housing need items like a mop, a broom, dish sponges, cleaning supplies, linens, etc. Contact a local service provider to find out how you can turn someone’s new dwelling into a place they can call home.

How To Give
City of Santa Monica © 2014

Human Services Division  l  1685 Main Street, Room 212  l  Santa Monica, CA 90401
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