March 8, 2021 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Santa Monica Annual Homeless Review Reveals Improvements, Dwindling Resources:

There are fewer homeless people now in Santa Monica than three years ago, but City Hall is running out of resources to help them, according to City staff.

In a presentation to council members on Nov. 27, City staff discussed the Annual Homeless Review and revealed the number of people spending the night on Santa Monica’s streets dropped by about 150 since 2009. However, with the loss of redevelopment funds earlier this year, there is less money available for affordable housing programs.

With a recent state law allowing a wave of inmates to be released from prison and an expected increase in war veterans returning home, resources for affordable housing and homelessness are expected to be stretched thin.

According to City staff, the total homeless count in Santa Monica was 915, including 480 on the street and 435 in shelters. That number dropped to 769 in 2012, including 264 on the street, 453 in shelters, and 52 in vehicles.

City staff reported 742 total homeless in 2010 and 740 in 2011.

The annual review pointed out the City experienced a 34 percent “reduction in street homelessness documented in 2010, with over 150 fewer people sleeping on city streets since 2009.”

However, City staff added homelessness continues to be concentrated in the downtown area.

The annual review focused on five areas: local impacts and perceptions of homelessness; local resources and responses; continuing challenges; regional coordination and advocacy; and next steps.

“The two main community impacts of homelessness are on the perception of Santa Monica as a safe and enjoyable place to live and visit and the frequent requests for first responder interventions in situations involving homeless persons,” City staff stated.

City Hall still provides funding for social services related to homelessness. According to a City staff report, funding six core non-profit agencies with $2.3 million in (Fiscal Year) 2011-2012 through a combination of City General Funds, Federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds, Federal Supportive Housing Program (SHP) funds, and County Proposition A funds.

An addition $5.9 million in private and public funding was raised by the six homeless services agencies, providing Santa Monica participants over $3.50 worth of services for every City dollar invested.

Yet the loss of redevelopment funds negatively alters City Hall’s ability to fund homelessness programs.

“The 2012 dissolution of California Redevelopment Agencies greatly impacts the City’s ability to provide funding for the development of affordable housing by significantly reducing the amount of funds that the Housing Division has available to finance the construction of future supportive housing developments,” City staff stated. “The Housing and Economic Development Department will continue to investigate alternative funding sources.”

Beyond the loss of redevelopment funds, other challenges Santa Monica faces in dealing with homelessness include the risk of more homeless people coming into town from Los Angeles or other nearby communities,

Just the same, City staff anticipates the recent decision to close the Venice boardwalk daily between midnight and 5 a.m. may push homeless individuals north into Santa Monica.

“Mapping of individuals during the January 2012 Homeless Count supports the theory that some of Venice’s homeless population may have migrated to the southwestern Santa Monica border for the purposes of sleeping in the City,” City staff stated.

Yet another challenge: the recent passage of the Public Safety Realignment Program, which, according to City staff, resulted in the release of approximately 9,500 individuals from prison to Post-Release Community Supervision (PCS) in Los Angeles County for the previous fiscal year. City staff estimates between 1,000 and 1,200 of those individuals released are homeless.

The Veterans Administration (VA) in West Los Angeles has been struggling to provide adequate housing for homeless veterans.

Meanwhile, Santa Monica hopes to partner with the United Way in its plan to help provide permanent housing for chronically homeless individuals.

Looking forward, City Hall hopes to continue refining its Action Plan to continue addressing homelessness. Just the same, Santa Monica also aims to collaborate with local agencies and address homelessness both locally and regionally.

The City also hopes to advocate for a fair share of VA resources for the Westside with a focus on the creation of more permanent supportive housing.

City staff will provide another annual review of homelessness in Santa Monica next December.

in News
Related Posts

Trader Joe’s Eyes Another Santa Monica Space

March 5, 2021

March 5, 2021

Grocery store interested in space across the street from new Target By Sam Catanzaro Another major retailer may open in...

More Coastal Housing for the Westside?

March 5, 2021

March 5, 2021

More affordable housing may be coming to Westside coastal neighborhoods. Learn more in this video made possible by School of...

Edify TV: Westside High-Rise Nears Completion

March 5, 2021

March 5, 2021

A Westside high-rise checking in at over 30 stories is nearing has topped-out, the first building of this size built...

Police Union Considering Suing City of Santa Monica Over Lack of Citizen Commission Inclusion

March 4, 2021

March 4, 2021

By Toi Creel ] The City of Santa Monica’s Police union is fighting to be included in a committee meant...

Video: Indoor Dining Close to Returning in LA County?

March 4, 2021

March 4, 2021

Indoor dining could return to LA County very soon. Learn more and hear what diners have to say in this...

Santa Monica Teachers Begin Receiving COVID-19 Vaccinations Ahead of Campuses Reopening

March 2, 2021

March 2, 2021

SMMUSD partners with Providence St. John’s Health Center to vaccinate certain educators and staff By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica-Malibu Unified...

‘Safe Camping’ at the VA is Open To All Homeless Veterans

March 1, 2021

March 1, 2021

The “safe camping” program is geared toward getting homeless Veterans off the streets and provides a way to transition from homelessness to...

Santa Monica Police Warn of Thieves Targeting Seniors Near Palisades Park

March 1, 2021

March 1, 2021

Two elderly woman robbed along Ocean Avenue recently By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica police are investigating two thefts targeting senior...

Santa Monica’s Zero Emissions Delivery Zone Pilot Has Begun: Santa Monica Beat – March, 1, 2021

March 1, 2021

March 1, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Santa Monica’s Zero Emissions Delivery Zone Pilot Has Begun * City...

Video: Closing Down Westside Oil Field?

February 26, 2021

February 26, 2021

Officials are discussing closing a Westside oil field sitting on hundreds of acres of prime coastal land. Learn more in...

Pico Neighborhood Affordable Housing Project Breaks Ground

February 26, 2021

February 26, 2021

Over 70 units of affordable housing come to area near Woodlawn Cemetery By Sam Catanzaro A 70-unit-plus affordable housing development...

Large Properties Drive-up Santa Monica Home Sales Amid Pandemic

February 26, 2021

February 26, 2021

Annual report shows single-family home sales rising By Sam Catanzaro Interest in large properties with five-bedrooms or more helped drive-up...

Santa Monica Police Arrest Parolee for Setting Stolen Car on Fire

February 25, 2021

February 25, 2021

Alex Omar Aguirre arrested by Santa Monica Police Department By Sam Catanzaro A Santa Monica resident this week watched as...