Santa Monica’s Strategy to Address Homelessness

March 30, 2022 10:35 AM
by Margaret Willis

This article was featured in the March 2022 edition of Seascape. Read the entire edition in English and Spanish.

Santa Monica has implemented a Four Pillar Strategy to address homelessness and prevent residents from becoming unhoused. Immediate and consistent engagement combined with services, treatment, and housing is core to our local strategy. This is how we are taking action:

1. Prevent housed Santa Monicans from becoming homeless and increase the supply of affordable housing

We understand the importance of both strategies and have multiple initiatives, including:

2. Address the behavioral health needs of vulnerable residents When considering the types of interventions needed to address homelessness, the need for physical and behavioral healthcare cannot be overlooked. Santa Monica focuses on serving the most vulnerable chronically homeless individuals, and we are developing a comprehensive behavioral health strategy so that more people can access healthcare when and where they need it. Recent efforts include:

3. Maintain equitable access to safe, fun, and healthy open spaces

4. Strengthen regional capacity to address homelessness

What is Measure H, and how does it help?

In 2015, the LA County Board of Supervisors established the Homeless initiative, which spearheaded efforts to pass Measure H, a quarter-cent sales tax that directly benefits efforts to address homelessness throughout LA County. One of the 19 county-adopted strategies funded by Measure H is a set of coordinated initiatives and resources that provide outreach and services for people experiencing homelessness. For FY 21-22, the approved budget includes $39 million in funding for street-based outreach and engagement teams throughout the county, a portion of which is dedicated to Santa Monica. Measure H funding also funds supportive services, many of which are active throughout the Westside, including:

Homeless Prevention Program for Families and Individuals Provides rental assistance, case management, employment, and legal services to households to prevent them from becoming homeless.

Interim/Bridge Housing for Those Exiting Institutions Provides shelter and intensive supportive services to individuals exiting hospitals, jails, and other institutions.

Countywide Benefits Entitlement Services Teams Provides advocacy, case management, and linkage to healthcare, with the goal of increasing the income of disabled individuals who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

L.A. County Department of Health Services - Housing for Health Provides intensive case management services and rental assistance to formerly homeless individuals in permanent supportive housing.

To stay informed, visit

Please contact the following services for various situations:

  • 9-1-1: If someone is experiencing a medical emergency or if there’s an immediate threat to someone’s life or safety.
  • 2-1-1 or Submit a request for homeless outreach assistance using the LA Homeless Outreach Portal.
  • (800) 854-7771: Contact the Department of Mental Health number if someone is experiencing a psychiatric/mental health crisis.
  • (310) 458-8491: For non-emergency police response in Santa Monica.
  • 3-1-1 or Submit a Santa Monica specific request for service like trash pickup.
  • Authored By

    Margaret Willis


    Housing, Programs, Strategic Priorities, Your City Hall