The Santa Monica Homeless Count
Homeless counts are mandated every two years by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for all communities that receive federal funds for homelessness programs. Santa Monica began conducting a Homeless Count on an annual basis in 2010 in order to more rapidly identify and respond to homeless population trends by accurately tracking the changes in homelessness and evaluating the success of local efforts.
The 2013 Homeless Count took place on Wednesday, January 30. This event could not have taken place without the support of the community, including over 250 community volunteers and City staff who covered each street in Santa Monica! Email us for more information on how to get involved or click here to register for the 2014 Count!
The 2013 Homeless Count
While the total homeless count has remained stable, there have been significant increases in unsheltered individuals and people in vehicles that increased the street count by 20%. At the same time, the number of people in shelters decreased by 12% largely due to the reduced reliance on Santa Monica motels as emergency housing.
It is a testament to the efforts of the City and local service providers that the number of homeless individuals counted remains stable from 2012 despite adverse local and regional conditions that could have significantly increased the count, such as:
- A slow economic recovery, which has prevented many low-income households from finding work, and continues to push many households towards the brink of homelessness;
- The increased construction and development, which displaces hundreds of homeless individuals; and
- The recent discontinuation of the Eviction Prevention and Rehousing Assistance (EPRA) Program, which provided homeless prevention assistance through federal stimulus funds received by the City.
Additional noteworthy findings include:
- Zero families were observed on the street, which is consistent with past street count findings and is a unique feature of the homeless population in Santa Monica.
- Coordinated outreach to people sleeping on the beach contributed to a 76% reduction, with only six individuals found on beaches.
- The downtown area continues to be disproportionately impacted, with a 27% increase in the 701900 census tract and Palisades Park areas.
- The county-wide Homeless Count for 2013 found a 16% increase in homelessness regionally.
The total homeless population was nearly the same as 2012 with a slight increase of 1%.
- Unsheltered street homeless population is 316, an increase of 20% from 2012.
- Individuals sleeping in vehicles numbered 57, an increase of 27% from 2012.
- Shelter and institution population is 400, a reduction of 12% from 2012.
- Individuals residing in encampments numbered 7, the same as 2012.
- 2009 total = 915
- 2010 total = 742 (18.9% 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)
Read the presentation of findings given to the Social Services Commission on February 25, 2013.
Count Coverage (Courtesy of CityTV)
Results Coverage (Courtesy of CityTV)