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Workplan Outlines City's Efforts Tackling Homelessness

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By Jorge Casuso

February 3, 2023 -- During the last three months of 2022, the City issued 14 emergency housing vouchers, provided medical and psychiatric services to 478 homeless individuals and issued 1,047 sleeping violations in public parks.

The updates are part of City Manager David White's January 31 report to the City Council on Homelessness Workplan activities that help track Santa Monica's $42.5 million efforts to address a persistent homeless problem ("City Spends More than $40 Million on Homelessness," December 1, 2022).

The workplan tracks everything from the number of persons reunited with family and friends (48) to the drug paraphernalia disposed of by park ambassadors (138) to the contacts made by the Police Department's outreach team (1,326).

The report also provides a progress report on plans that include efforts by LA Metro to address the impacts of homeless rail passengers when trains stop running late at night ("Metro to Explore Hubs for Homeless Passengers When Trains Are Emptied," January 30, 2023).

The report also focuses on individual success stories, such as that of Bob, a 72-year-old man who became homeless after a "tumultuous divorce" and hadn't received regular medical attention in years.

Bob landed a Santa Monica apartment with an emergency voucher after the City "worked tirelessly to obtain (his) identification documents, which were critical to starting the housing process."

He also received regular medical care from Venice Family Clinic and a grant to fully furnish his apartment, according to the report.

The report outlines the outcome of programs that:

  • Provided rental assistance to 409 households through the City's eviction prevention program;

  • Conducted 627 "duplicated engagements" through the Homeless Multidisciplinary Street Team (HMST), including 233 medical and psychiatric services, resulting in 5 individuals placed in interim housing and 2 in permanent housing;

  • Provided similar services to 245 individuals through C3 Multidisciplinary Teams after 3,818 duplicated engagements that resulted in 17 individuals placed in interim housing and 7 in permanent housing;

  • Responded to 203 9-1-1 calls involving the homeless through the Fire Department's Community Response Unit (CRU);

  • Made 677 homeless contacts through the County's Department of Mental Health clinicians who linked 142 individuals to psychiatric urgent care or hospitals;

  • Made 642 social service referrals through Downtown Santa Monica Inc. (DTSM) park ambassadors, who also issued sleeping violations and disposed of drug paraphernalia, and

  • Made 1,326 documented contacts through the Police Department's Homeless Liaison Program Team (HLP), resulting in 966 referrals, 254 citations and 27 mental health evaluations.

"The workplan provides both structure and streamlined processes for tracking and reporting the City’s efforts across departments, tying each activity to clear community needs and establishing metrics for measuring impacts," wrote City Manager White.

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