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.  

The 2015 Homeless Count took place on Wednesday, January 28. 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!  

The 2015 Homeless Count Results (View Executive Summary)

The point-in-time homeless count found 738 individuals, a decrease from 742 (0.5%) in 2014.

  • The street count is 402, an increase from 346 (16%) in 2014.
  • Within the street count, individuals sleeping in vehicles/encampments numbered 73, an increase from 57 (28%) in 2014.
  • Shelter and institution population is 336, a decrease from 396 (15%) in 2014.

Key Findings

  • Although street homelessness has increased, the overall total point-in-time count maintains a 19% reduction in overall homelessness as compared to the baseline set by the 2009 count.  Street homelessness is still 16% lower than in 2009.
  • The decrease in the shelter count is due largely to planned renovations at two major facilities.  Bed capacity was reduced gradually over time as people moved on to other housing options.  The number of reduced beds cannot be correlated to any increase in unsheltered individuals as the visual count methodology is unable to determine if observed unsheltered individuals would have been eligible for, or interested in, accessing shelter.

Results over the Years

The total homeless population decreased by 0.5% from 2014. 

  • Unsheltered street homeless population is 402, an increase of 16% from 2014.   
  • Individuals sleeping in vehicles numbered 73, an increase of 28% from 2014.  
  • Shelter and institution population is 336, a reduction of 15% from 2014.
  • 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)
  • 2014 total = 742 (5% reduction from 2013)
  • 2015 total = 738 (0.5% reduction from 2014)

Read the presentation of findings  given to the Social Services Commission on February 23, 2015. 





The Santa Monica Homeless Count
City of Santa Monica © 2016

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