Three Levers to Address Homelessness

Homelessness is one of the most complex and heartbreaking issues impacting our society. We are seeing increasing rates of homelessness nationwide, and communities are uniting to meet this challenge.

Los Angeles County is leading the charge on strategies to leverage $1.1 billion in Measure H funding over the next three years with close collaboration from the City of Santa Monica and the 88 other cities.

As a County, we are committed to meeting this challenge, but what are the known best practices or “levers” that our outreach teams, police officers, housing authority, and your support use to help those experiencing homelessness?

We know solutions to homelessness involve all of us: faith communities, nonprofit partners, community members, county and state partners, the business community, and of course, the City. The new $1.4 million local investment is largely targeted in outreach so we can get people into care management and housed. Follow our progress here.

The three levers used to address homelessness in Santa Monica are:

  1. Investing in outreach and engagement is responsive to the day-to-day impacts of homelessness. The goal is to connect with people on the street, assess their situation and guide them toward the appropriate homeless service system. The City is working with various departments and regional partners to achieve this, including the LA County Department of Mental Health, SMPD’s Homeless Liaison Program (HLP), the Library and Human Services.
  2. Care management and supportive services are more resource-intensive, require more coordination between providers and municipalities, are not visible to the public, and are available to fewer people. Santa Monica invests more than $2.8 million annually through the Human Services Grants Program to provide comprehensive services that address housing and behavioral health needs of homeless households, including shelters and in-patient treatment beds.
  3. Santa Monica is committed to creating and implementing policies that promote the development of affordable housing and permanent supportive housing. The City has long prioritized investing and building supportive housing that offers complete, permanent solutions.