Santa Monica Homeless Count

2022 Homeless Count Results

The impacts of homelessness are felt by everyone on our streets every day, and this public health crisis remains a top priority. While homelessness has been increasing across LA County, progress is steadily being made in Santa Monica to address the needs of people experiencing homelessness, as well as the impacts of this regional crisis on our community. Our continued focus on permanent solutions combined with responding to immediate public health and quality-of-life issues and the expanded availability of regional interim shelter beds have helped prevent a local increase in unsheltered homelessness. Take a look at how our work to address homelessness is reflected in the numbers of the 2022 Homeless Count held in February:

Results of the 2022 Homeless Count

Comprehensive Response to Homelessness

The City of Santa Monica’s comprehensive approach to addressing homelessness balances immediate needs through street-based engagement while advancing long-term housing and treatment solutions. Our work includes coordinating with regional partners to support people experiencing severe mental health issues, substance abuse disorders, trauma, and prolonged experience living on the street while continuing to support the development of local and regional housing options, and preventing Santa Monicans from becoming homeless.

What are some of the causes of homelessness in Santa Monica?

With real challenges, we must continue to urgently deploy a comprehensive strategy that includes providing connections to services and available housing, prevention, enforcement, increasing the supply of affordable housing, legislative advocacy, and regional solutions, and addressing the mental and behavioral health needs of those experiencing homelessness. We hear the concerns being raised and are actively working to respond to this crisis by adding experts to the field and more longer-term solutions like a behavioral health center.

City Initiatives to Address Homelessness

Recent City initiatives balance investments in homelessness prevention with street-based outreach, and advance longer-term solutions to create a comprehensive approach to address this public health crisis. Click here to read more.

Additional Background on Homeless Count Results

While the overall number of people found unsheltered stayed largely the same, the staff report highlights that people living in vehicles, tents, and makeshift shelters increased from 99 to 135 (36%) compared to the 2020 count results, and the number of people experiencing homelessness in the Downtown area was up from 214 to 246 (14%) after two years of reductions in the area. The report also indicates a decrease in the number of people experiencing homelessness at local shelters, jails, and institutions resulting from reduced capacity of local interim housing programs due to COVID-19 public health protocols.

City-funded interim housing programs reported a much higher exit rate to permanent housing than programs countywide (44% in City-funded programs compared to 17% countywide). The local Access Center, which provides meals, showers, laundry, and mail, was also the only continuously operating homeless access center on the Westside throughout the pandemic.

Looking Ahead

The City funded annual operational expenses like our three city-funded homelessness outreach teams through the FY 22-23 Fiscal Year Budget adoption. As additional resources are identified, the City Council will consider new Citywide investments for the FY 2022-23 budget including:

For more information, visit santamonica.gov/topic-explainers/homelessness.