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News, Santa Monica, Homelessness

Big Turnout For 2014 Santa Monica Homeless Count

Posted Feb. 7, 2014, 7:05 am

Parimal M. Rohit / Staff Writer

An estimated 250 people turned out the night of Wednesday, Jan. 29 to help the City of Santa Monica conduct its annual Homeless Count.

The volunteers helped City officials to walk the streets of Santa Monica and tabulate the number of people living within city limits without a roof over their respective heads.

As is tradition with the annual Homeless Count, this year’s event began at 10:30 pm on Jan. 29 and continued through 2:30 am the following morning. All volunteers met up at the Grand Pavilion of St. Monica Catholic Church before joining teams and canvassing one of four quadrants covering the City.

While walking their respective beats, the teams of volunteers essentially survey public areas for those who appear to be homeless and make a formal record of it on a sheet.

The results are still weeks away from being published.

According to City Hall, the 2013 Homeless Count revealed overall homelessness in Santa Monica remained stable, “there have been significant increases in unsheltered individuals and people in vehicles that increased the street count by 20 percent. At the same time, the number of people in shelters decreased by 12 percent largely due to the reduced reliance on Santa Monica motels as emergency housing.”

Last year’s Homeless Count also revealed, according to City Hall, that no families were observed living on Santa Monica’s streets. Also, only six people were found sleeping on beach. Across Los Angeles County, the 2013 Homeless Count revealed a 16 percent increase in regional homelessness, according to City Hall.

In all, the total homeless population increased by 1 percent between 2012 and 2013, with last year’s Homeless Count accounting for 780 people, up 11 from the previous January.

When the first count was conducted in 2009, the total homeless count in Santa Monica was 915. There was a dramatic reduction the following year, when the 2010 Homeless Count calculated a total homeless population of 742. That number dropped to 740 in 2011.

Last year, the total unsheltered street homeless population is 316, up 20 percent from 2012. An estimated 57 individuals slept in vehicles in 2013, up 57 percent from the previous year. About 400 people slept in shelters or other institutions last year, down 12 percent from 2012. Seven individuals resided in encampments last year, equaling 2012 results.

As soon as this year’s results are released by City Hall, The Mirror will update coverage and report on how the 2014 Homeless Count stacks up against previous years.

Cities are required by federal law to conduct homeless counts every two years. However, Santa Monica decided in 2010 to make the homeless count an annual occurrence.

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Comments

Feb. 7, 2014, 2:02:39 pm

Becki said...

And how many are escalating crime in Santa Monica? How many times have you been accosted for one reason or another. It's downright scary to be a female in some parts of Santa Monica. The smell of urine is common on the alleys. When is Santa Monica going to do something REAL to help the homeless off the streets or do we need vigilantes instead of counters??

Jun. 13, 2014, 10:54:09 am

eric said...

I'm currently in an unfortunate debate over this exact topic on FB with a group of close-minded individuals. Apparently to them it is OK for the homeless to urinate and defecate on sidewalks and in the sand on the beach because " the homeless area our responsibility". Not one has agreed with me that the homeless should use any one of the number of public restrooms located on the beaches or in parking structures. And i'm glad to see this view coming from a woman, since everyone in this debate is a woman and not one will admit that some, not all, homeless are dangerous and should not be allowed to sleep in public places where they are a constant danger 24/7 to the public . I brought up a point that a homeless man last month doused a building landlord with gasoline and threatened to burn him alive because the landlord tried getting him to leave while trying to protect his tenants and their personal property, and the reaction was" well he didn't actually do it". So i guess that is acceptable too. I guess if a man walks down the promenade with a loaded assault rifle and points it at peoples heads but doesn't pull the trigger then it's ok. since he didn't actually do it.?! some people can not be reasoned with.

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