June 24, 2024 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Council Extends ‘Local Homelessness Emergency’ Proclamation Through 2025

Extending the Proclamation Enables the City to Receive Additional Resources 

By Zach Armstrong

Last Tuesday, Santa Monica City Council unanimously chose to extend a proclamation which declares homelessness a local emergency through May 31, 2025.

Extending the proclamation enables the City to receive additional resources from the county, state and federal to address homelessness. These include: limiting rent increases to no more than 10% a year during the proclamation; expediting City processes for development, contracting, grant approvals, and community activities to expedite services; among other possibilities.

Santa Monica joins numerous other L.A. localities in issuing the emergency proclamation, including the City of Culver City, the County of Los Angeles, the City of Los Angeles, and the City of Long Beach.

The extension comes as L.A. County is going through a workforce shortage, according to an agenda item, which has exacerbated understaffing and retention issues due to increasing demands. “The City struggles to fill positions expeditiously, if at all, which hampers the City’s ability to create necessary organizational capacity to effectively implement programs and services needed to address and prevent homelessness,” the item stated.

The City extended the 2023 Emergency Proclamation last year as well, which was set to last through the end of this month. The decree was used to advance several City efforts, according to an agenda item, such as an agreement with Salvation Army to support the 3-1-1 outreach efforts, provide street team assistance to SMPD’s Homeless Liaison Team, making a loan commitment to Community Corp. of Santa Monica to construct an affordable housing development, working with L.A. County to open a Santa Monica Pathway Home program, among other initiatives.

Concurrently, Santa Monica showcased investments made in the past year to alleviate the crisis, as laid out in a City blog post. These included: multidisciplinary outreach teams making 8,282 contacts with people experiencing homelessness, along with providing 1,059 direct medical or psychiatric services and placing 56 clients into interim or permanent housing; earning the state’s Prohousing Designation which recognizes Santa Monica’s commitment to developing affordable housing; and homeless support teams collecting 91 tons of debris from 942 calls for service.

in Hard, News
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