Santa Monica Seeking Volunteers to Count the Homeless in January
November 25, 2021
By Jack Simon
Santa Monica is looking for a few hundred volunteers to count the homeless people in their city.
City officials announced this week that the annual Santa Monica homeless count will be held on January 26, 2022, after a one-year hiatus due to the pandemic.
“The Homeless Count has long been one of my favorite evenings of the year because of the outpouring of support to address our daunting challenge as a city and as a society,” said Mayor Sue Himmelrich. “Thank you to the hundreds of people who will step up to join the count and, to everyone in our community, I implore each of you to find ways to actively contribute to our efforts to address homelessness.”
The count of people experiencing homelessness is required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and overseen regionally by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA).
All the data acquired by the homeless count in Greater Los Angeles is used by policymakers and service providers to understand better and implement solutions to address homelessness, said city officials.
“In Santa Monica, we use the information to both understand the number of people living without shelter as well as other trends, including concentrations of homelessness throughout the city,” said officials. “From there, the city and our service provider partners can focus resources in the areas of greatest need.”
City officials mentioned that, during the 2019 count, data showed an increase in the number of homeless people without shelter on the beach. “This information allowed the city to focus an outreach team in that area, which resulted in a demonstrated decrease in homelessness at the beach during the 2020 count,” officials added.
The 2022 count will be modified with COVID-19 safety practices in place to ensure a safe experience for the volunteer corps, city officials said.
The volunteers will be trained virtually and encouraged to form their teams prior to driving to their designated homeless count areas. In addition, materials will be provided through a drive-up-style format on the night of the count.
Details and registration for the January 26 event is available at http://www.santamonica.gov/santa-monica-homeless-count.