Jun 22, 2017, 12:00 PM, Posted by Maggie Willis
Santa Monica has been one of the first U.S. cities to use homeless statistics in identifying those who most urgently need care and services. They share five key lessons from their efforts.
When people think of us, many envision a wealthy beach community dotted with hip boutiques and bistros overlooking beautiful sunsets.
But here in Santa Monica we face stark, complicated issues—including homelessness—like any other city. In fact after seven years of stability, our homeless population spiked significantly this year (2017) to 921. This is a 26 percent increase over 2016. It’s part of a regional homelessness crisis in Los Angeles County, which also saw a 23 percent increase that stems from a lack of affordable housing.
Believe it or not, the problem was once even worse. In 2005, we counted nearly 2,000 people experiencing homelessness!