In the three months from April 1 through June 30, 2022, Santa Monica programs designed to combat homelessness have resulted in 80 households being served by the Senior Household Task Force and 88 Community Response Unit (CRU) calls for service.
The data comes from a July 28 Information Item outlining “local efforts addressing the regional homelessness crisis” for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2021-22, and was created after City Council began requesting quarterly updates on the City’s progress.
This was the first quarterly report available since the 2022 homeless count numbers and accompanying data became available, and also included a broader overview of 2021’s homeless outreach efforts. This February’s homeless count showed 807 unhoused individuals living on Santa Monica’s streets, in its shelters or in vehicles or makeshift shelters.
“Last year, the three City-funded multi-disciplinary outreach teams made more than 11,000 contacts with people experiencing homelessness, provided direct medical or psychiatric services to 808 participants, placed 57 people into interim housing, and placed 24 individuals into permanent housing,” the report stated. “Later this summer, staff will present a recommendation to advance local efforts to help meet behavioral health needs of housed and unhoused residents in Santa Monica.”
City Council has highlighted a “four pillars framework” for addressing homelessness, focusing first on housing and prevention, second on behavioral health, third on maintaining clean and safe open spaces, and fourth on strengthening the regional capacity to address homelessness.
Three of the four “pillars” were addressed in the latest report.
During those three months, the City’s Senior Housing Task Force — including representatives from the Community Services, Rent Control, Public Works, City Attorney’s Office, and Fire and Police departments — served 30 households in its effort to “assist low-income senior renters facing eviction for issues such as hoarding” as part of the first pillar.
One resident the task force served was a 77-year-old veteran who was facing eviction, according to the report.
“Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles successfully intervened to get the eviction case dismissed, and St. Joseph Center helped him apply for a Santa Monica housing voucher to help him pay his rent on-going so he can stay in the community that he loves,” the report, prepared by City Manager David White, stated.
On the “behavioral health” front, the CRU responded to 88 emergency calls for service in the past three months.
“This allows our front-line paramedic fire engines to be more available for higher acuity emergencies, and the opportunity to better navigate patients to appropriate services or a psychiatric urgent care center,” the report detailed. “The benefits of the CRU are connecting more people to services, reducing the impact to local emergency rooms, and keeping front-line fire engines available for higher acuity emergencies.”
Finally, under the “clean and safe” pillar, a 4,000-square-foot area of public space in Palisades Park was reopened to the public with “capital improvements [that] will benefit thousands of park and beach users.” In addition, there was “substantial replumbing of several high use public restrooms at the Beach.”