SANTA MONICA, CA — The Santa Monica City Council Wednesday approved up to $200,000 for expanded legal and support services to Santa Monica renters at risk of eviction, and endorsed a number of new potential investments to address the homelessness crisis.
Following a detailed report from city staff that included results from the city’s February homeless count, the Council endorsed a number of new interventions once resources became available:
- Creating an additional multidisciplinary street team to provide expanded outreach citywide
- Expanding the Santa Monica Police Department’s Homeless Liaison Program team to operate 7 days a week
- Redesigning the SAMOSHEL interim housing program to facilitate after-hours intakes for city referrals
Council direction came after staff shared the results of the 2022 Homeless Count held in February. The census counted 807 people experiencing homelessness, an 11 percent decrease from the 907 people counted in January 2020.
City initiatives to address homelessness center around four pillars: preventing homelessness, addressing behavioral health, maintaining safe public spaces, and strengthening regional capacity to address homelessness.
“We must integrate today’s timely and responsive solutions with our longer-term existing strategies such as regional work to increase the supply of affordable housing and multifaceted approaches to behavioral health,” said Mayor Sue Himmelrich. “Our constant attention is critical to addressing homelessness in Santa Monica. The Council’s investments respond to community questions and concerns, but more importantly, they connect people to life-saving resources and into permanent housing.”