addressing homelessness.

The surge of homelessness is becoming an urgent reality for many in our city. On any given night, there are approximately 985 homeless individuals in Santa Monica. In the greater LA region, that number is closer to 59,000. Rising rents, stagnant wages, and a decreased supply of affordable housing means that over 13,000 people in LA County lose their housing every month.


what we are doing.

We’re making strides to address homelessness — and we’re doing it together.

We are achieving meaningful progress.                                                    

The 2019 Homeless Count numbers held steady overall with 985 people counted. The numbers decreased or remained stable in areas where there were targeted interventions. Through doubling down on outreach efforts, staff and partners made over 34,520 contacts with people experiencing homelessness, connecting them to housing and supportive services when resources were available. Here are highlights:

  • The total number of people experiencing homelessness increased from 957 to 985. This is a 3% difference. 

  • There was a 19% decrease in the unsheltered population in Downtown Santa Monica.

  • The unsheltered population increased by 1% (646 to 654) mainly due to an increase in vehicle homelessness.

  • The sheltered population increased by 6% (311 to 331) due to the number of people in hospitals rising from 8 to 27, likely due to SB1152, but more insight will be gleaned when the County numbers are released later this spring.

  • Beach count numbers remained stable.

We are targeting our efforts to better outcomes for all Santa Monicans.

The count numbers are an indicator of how Santa Monica’s strategies are working and where there is a need to pivot to meet Council’s reaffirmed commitment to reducing homelessness. Four strategy pillars underpin the City’s efforts to serve the needs of the most vulnerable living among us in Santa Monica, while enhancing health and safety for all in our community. These are:

  1. Prevent housed Santa Monicans from becoming homeless and increase affordable housing opportunities.

  2. Address the behavioral health needs of vulnerable residents.

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

  4. Strengthen regional capacity to address homelessness.

We are continuing to provide special funding.

  • In November of 2017, the City of Santa Monica authorized $1.4M in one-time funds, increasing to $2 million per Council approval, to roll out an Action Plan that works to address homelessness from all angles — engaging outreach workers and key staff from the Police, Library, and Fire Departments — so we can get people into housing and connected to services. These funds are in addition to the annual $2.8M given toward homeless service grants.

We are continuing to expand City programs.

In 2018, new strategies rolled out monthly across the four pillars, including:

  • Increased clinical capacity of local outreach teams by launching the new C3 Homeless Outreach Multidisciplinary Team and expanding the case management slots for the Homeless Multidisciplinary Street Team (HMST).

  • Santa Monica Public Library deployed outreach staff and strategies to mitigate anti-social behaviors, including a no-wrong-door approach to service connection.

  • Helped shape emerging policies such as best-practice street-engagement strategies for cities, 2019-20 priorities for Measure H funding allocation, and the passage of interim housing facilities standard.

  • Launched an online homelessness training curriculum providing practical tips to help Santa Monicans more effectively engage people experiencing homelessness.

  • The We Are Santa Monica campaign shared practical tools and tips on how residents can get involved in the City’s homelessness efforts.


people experiencing homelessness



one-time funds to support immediate Action Plan



annual Homeless Service Grants to local non-profits


We are supporting historic County initiatives.

Residents across LA County overwhelmingly voted to pass Measures H and HHH, which work to provide services, prevent homelessness, and finance the construction of affordable permanent-supportive housing for those without shelter.

  • Track the progress for new supportive housing projects in your area here.

  • Follow what the County is doing at and check out, United Way’s "Everyone In" campaign for supportive housing.

Want to understand the issue more? 

what you can do.

connect to services.

If you are an adult or family experiencing homelessness, contact the Westside/Service Planning Area (SPA 5) lead St. Joseph Center

If you are a youth experiencing homelessness, contact the Westside/Service Planning Area (SPA 5) lead Safe Place for Youth

If you are a veteran experiencing homelessness, contact New Directions for Veterans

If you see vulnerable people living on the street, contact L.A. County Homeless Outreach Portal (LA-HOP)

download the resources.

Our homelessness toolkit (available in both English and Spanish) is designed to help the Santa Monica community know what to do and how to make a difference when faced with the reality of homelessness in our city. Similarly, our FAQ is a resource to help you understand the issue better and dispel any myths or incorrect assumptions. Click the banners to view and download.