In September, the Team Was deployed Bi-Weekly to Manage Encampment-Related Waste
A committed team of three individuals, accompanied by a large truck, dedicates their efforts every Tuesday and Thursday to ensure the cleanliness of Santa Monica’s public spaces. Dividing the city into quadrants, they address each area at least once a week, effectively transforming previously cluttered sites into sparkling clean spaces.
Beginning in late September, the city deployed the Homeless Support Team (HoST) bi-weekly to manage the surge in encampment-related waste and debris across parks, beaches, public areas, and facilities. Their efforts also extend to supporting Police and Fire Departments during encampment removal operations.
Notably, in November alone, the team managed to collect and dispose of over 30 tons of refuse, according to a post by the City of Santa Monica.
Funded through the voter-approved Measure CS, which increased the transient occupancy tax, HoST operates under the Promenade Maintenance Division of the Public Works Department.
Comprised of a crew leader and two maintenance workers, the team currently operates through a contractor, Mariposa. Plans are underway to transition this operation in-house as a permanent city team by spring 2024.
HoST strategically targets public spaces based on identified hotspots, reports filed through the city’s 311 system, and insights gleaned from field staff. They serve as the primary contact point for police and fire-related cleaning and sanitation requests, involving tasks such as encampment dismantling, public area cleaning, or handling debris flagged as a public safety concern.
Since its inception in September, HoST has addressed 339 locations citywide, with trash collection figures surging from 7.5 tons in October to a substantial 30.7 tons in November, according to the city’s post.
With plans to expand coverage, the city intends to deploy HoST five days a week once it’s established as a permanent city team.