Santa Monica City Council Declares Local Emergency on Homelessness

February 15, 2023 1:50 PM

SANTA MONICA, Calif. – At last night’s meeting, the Santa Monica City Council voted unanimously to declare a Local Emergency on Homelessness, joining other local jurisdictions including the City of Los Angeles, County of Los Angeles, Culver City, and the City of Long Beach in declaring that more is needed to prevent and address homelessness.

“Clearly, we all know that here in Santa Monica and in our region, addressing homelessness is a top concern,” said Santa Monica Mayor Gleam Davis. “As your mayor in the coming year, I promise to remain focused on this issue. I am already advocating from the federal level on down for more resources for housing and supportive services, and I am committed to working with other mayors in our region to address this regional issue.”

Declaring a state of emergency will enable the City of Santa Monica to:

    1. Advocate for additional funding and resources at the county, state, and federal level, positioning the City to receive and deploy new resources as they become available.
    2. Remove barriers to building affordable housing, including use of anticipated Housing Trust Fund resources to incentivize affordable housing production.
    3. Encourage partners in our region to urgently address the crisis of homelessness.
    4. Streamline hiring for critical staff positions that are critical to preventing and ending homelessness.

“The reality is that we cannot address this crisis on our own, and we need our regional, state, and federal partners to support us,” said Santa Monica City Manager David White. “By declaring a homelessness state of emergency, Santa Monica is poised to receive more resources.”

New resources could be used to accelerate our local response to homelessness. Declaring a state of emergency helps prioritize Santa Monica in requests for resources and funding from these partners.

For decades, the City of Santa Monica and key community partners have treated homelessness in Santa Monica as an urgent priority and invested in programs and services that prevent and end homelessness. Santa Monica has deployed a comprehensive approach, balancing compassion and enforcement by dedicating City resources to homelessness prevention and affordable housing, intensive field-based services, support for local social service and housing providers, and strategies to address immediate public health and quality-of-life issues. More than 69,000 people experience homelessness in Los Angeles County, and about 807 people experience homelessness in Santa Monica.

The following outlines some of what the City has accomplished and current initiatives related to homelessness:

The proclamation is in effect for 180 days. For more information, view this Staff Report and Proclamation from the February 14, 2023, City Council Meeting, and the City of Santa Monica Homelessness Webpage. For more background on this important community priority, listen in to the 2023 State of the City delivered last week by Mayor Gleam Davis and City Manager David White where they both addressed recent efforts in Santa Monica and the urgency needed around this humanitarian crisis.

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