Santa Monica Lookout
Help Count Santa Monica's Homeless
|By Lookout Staff
January 9, 2013 -- Santa Monica is asking for volunteers to help with the City's annual homeless count, which will happen through the night on January 30.
The count, which will take place from 10:30 p.m. to 2:00 a.m., starts at the Civic Auditorium's East Wing.
“Homeless counts are mandated every two years by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for all communities that receive federal funds for homelessness programs,” according to City staff.
Santa Monica does one each year in order to better keep track of the effectiveness of the nonprofits and City-funded programs in addressing homelessness in the beachside city, sometimes called the home of the homeless.
“The 2012 Count found that Santa Monica’s street census remains flat, and the significant reduction first observed in 2010 has been maintained,” staff said.
During the 2010 homeless count, City officials found that the homeless population had shrunk 19 percent from the previous year, down to 742 from 915.
Staff credited the decrease to the City's Action Plan to Address Homelessness, adopted in 2008.
Last year, the count numbered 750, a six percent increase over 2011's numbers. The slight increase, officials said, was a result of Upward Bound House's temporary Winter Shelter Program for homeless families.
“It is a testament to the efforts of the City and local service providers that the number of homeless individuals on the streets has not increased appreciably despite adverse local and regional conditions that could have significantly increased the count,” staff said.
Those conditions include a slowly recovering economy and shrinking funds for housing voucher programs.
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