Santa Monica City Council Extends Local Emergency Order and Approves Strategic Investments to Address, Prevent Homelessness

May 11, 2023 1:55 PM

SANTA MONICA, Calif. – In response to City staff’s comprehensive annual update on addressing homelessness, the Santa Monica City Council on May 9, 2023, voted to extend the Local Emergency Order on Homelessness to May 31, 2024, and focus current and new investments to maintain and scale up initiatives to support vulnerable populations at-risk of or experiencing homelessness. These investments include using new resources from Measure CS, approved by voters in 2022, and, in the future, using resources from Measure GS, also approved by voters in 2022 but currently pending litigation as to its validity, to expand field-based services; create new deed-restricted affordable housing and expand homelessness prevention programs; establish a Homeless Strategic Plan as recommended by the City’s internal auditor; and create a new Housing and Human Services Department to lead implementation of the Strategic Plan, enabling the City to achieve Measure CS, GS, and audit report objectives more rapidly.

“The Council took action Tuesday night to approve immediate and long-term strategies and investments to address the issue of homelessness,” said Mayor Gleam Davis. “We must continue to work in partnership with local jurisdictions and Los Angeles County to increase the supply of services and affordable housing for people at risk of and facing homelessness.

The Council’s discussion also addressed a wide range of topics including strengthening the City’s coordination with regional partners, focusing on front-end prevention services, strategic interventions including immediate and coordinated response from emergency services, street engagement teams, shoring up substance abuse and mental health services, and increasing the supply of affordable and supportive housing. Council underscored building upon successful efforts that maximize local and regional resources that balance enforcement with compassionate engagement and increasing the supply of housing. Future investments from voter passed Measure CS and Measure GS will go toward addressing homelessness and a clean and safe Santa Monica, and funding homeless prevention and affordable housing.

To watch the May 9, 2023, City Council meeting, click here.

The Council’s action comes as City staff shared the results of the 2023 Homeless Count held in January. Santa Monica’s results show that 926 people experiencing homelessness were counted in Santa Monica, an overall increase of 15 percent from the 807 individuals counted during the City’s 2022 Homeless Count. Compared to last year’s results, 73 more individuals were counted on the street and in vehicles, and 46 more individuals were counted in the Shelter and Institutional count, which consists of emergency motels, shelters, hospitals and the Santa Monica jail. The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) is expected to release the results of the 2023 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count between June and September of this year, which will provide context for Santa Monica’s results within the county. 

Santa Monica’s initiatives are organized under four pillars:

Initiatives to Address Homelessness

Recent Accomplishments in Addressing Homelessness in Santa Monica

For more information about Santa Monica’s comprehensive response to homelessness and additional background on homeless count results, review Santa Monica Releases 2023 Homeless Count Results press release.

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More Information

Digital Press Kit
Santa Monica Releases 2023 Homeless Count Results
Staff Report