Over 350 Santa Monica Community Members, Staff, and Volunteers Gathered for 2019 Homeless Count
January 30, 2019
by Andrew Gibson
On Wednesday, January 23, over 250 community volunteers gathered in the Grand Pavilion at St. Monica Catholic Community just before midnight to participate in the 2019 Homeless Count. A broad range of volunteers from civic and business life to Santa Monica residents all came out to work together with the common goal of addressing homelessness.
In addition to the donation of their time, volunteers brought canned goods to be donated to Westside Food Bank as well as toiletries for kits to be assembled and distributed by the Santa Monica Homelessness Steering Committee.
As the St. Monica Pavilion filled, volunteers received basic training on how to properly participate in a point-in-time observation count. This was followed by safety instruction led by the Santa Monica Police Department.
At midnight, teams deployed in vehicles and on foot to their designated areas across the city. Each team consisted of 3-4 volunteers so that responsibilities could be split to ensure a safe experience and an accurate count.
The teams returned by 2:00 a.m., submitted their completed tally sheets, and left energetic and optimistic that their efforts contribute to real people getting the services they need because of the data that was collected.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development requires the count be conducted for all municipalities that seek relief funding for efforts to address homelessness. Results from the 2019 Homeless Count will be released in the late spring.
Thank you to our first-time and veteran volunteers who joined us for the 2019 Homeless Count! We hope you will continue engagement on this important work throughout the year.
The next Santa Monica Homelessness Steering Committee meeting will take place at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 20, 2019 (location TBD). For year-round volunteer and donation opportunities, please visit www.weare.santamonica.gov/get-involved.
Photos: Jason Abraham