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Addressing Homelessness in Santa Monica

About Homelessness

In 2017, the National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH) reported that there were 553,742 people* experiencing homelessness on any given night in the United States – 2018 information is not available at this time.  

At the regional level in 2018, over 52,765 individuals** were estimated to be homeless on a typical night in Los Angeles County and in Santa Monica, 921*** individuals were estimated to be experiencing homelessness.

People may become homeless due to lack of affordable housing, decreased employment opportunities, lack of affordable health care, mental illness, substance abuse or domestic violence. Other factors may come into play because no two stories are alike. While some Santa Monica residents lose their housing and become homeless, homeless individuals also migrate to the City for a variety of reasons: it is safer than Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles, tourist spots allow for panhandling, and a beach community means access to public restrooms and showers. The impact of homelessness is significant and the City’s response is seen as smart, cutting edge, and resource prudent.

At the heart of that response is the City's Action Plan to Address Homelessness in Santa Monica which was adopted in 2008, and updated in 2009 and 2010 to reflect changing local and federal priorities and goals. These updates to the Action Plan created a multi-year plan to reflect the City’s Human Services grant multi-year funding cycle. The updates were framed upon the federal plan to prevent and end homelessness, Opening Doors, and the goals of the HEARTH Act.

* According to a National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH) report

** As reported by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority in 2018

***Santa Monica 2018 Homeless Count Summary

About Homelessness
City of Santa Monica © 2019

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