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250 Volunteers Turn Out for Homeless Count

Were you among the volunteers who participated in Santa Monica's 2013 Homeless Count? Share with us your experience.

There was a jump in the number of people who turned out Wednesday night for  Santa Monica's 2013 Homeless Count.

More than 250 volunteers canvassed every street and alley well past midnight, counting how many homeless people were living on streets, in their cars and in shelters. There were about 200 volunteers last year.

"It seems like there are more volunteers every year," Jim Aubrey told Santa Monica Patch on Facebook. "It was a great time."

The results—which won't be released until Feb. 25—will be used by the city when applying for federal and state funds, and to guide city officials in choosing who and where to allocate social services.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development requires all communities receiving federal homelessness funds conduct a count every two years, the Santa Monica does its count annually.

The spike in volunteers "could be because this was a countywide count (i.e., not just Santa Monica counting) and there was a lot more advertising that included markets outside the City," said Natasha Guest of the city's human services department.

Last year, volunteers counted 769 homeless people. In 2010 and 2011, the number of homeless people in Santa Monica hovered at about 740. That's a significant drop since 2007, when the counts first began and volunteers noted 999.

"It's always fun to get involved and to help out your community," Aubrey said. "You also get to meet a lot of great people in the process."

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Chris Knauf February 01, 2013 at 06:52 PM
The count is always a great community-building and community-serving event - I've done it for 5 years now and always enjoy it and feel good about the work. This year I had working with me two first-timers and a man who is himself homeless - they were all a pleasure to work with and instrumental in us getting an accurate count. (The homeless gentleman is ready, willing and able to work, in case anyone has an office/admin position they need to fill.)
Glenn E Grab February 08, 2013 at 03:49 PM
yeah, chris, why don't you hire him, or, better yet, let him live in your house or apartment...that'll make you "feel" really great...
Dan Charney March 05, 2013 at 12:16 AM
Chris- there are many women 50-70 living in their cars in my neighborhood- I try to help them but they fall through the cracks for most programs or they are too ashamed to reveal their circumstances so prefer to graze supermarkets or god knows what- I do let several of them shower and receive mail here or do what I can- I know a few that have gone through the various programs- Step UP-OPCC - UPBound- etc- are there any others that help women like this? Its very hard to find all this out - I know all the systems are overloaded and many I've actually found rooms for or convinced doctors to help - just turn it down and disappear - I wonder how these women- many of them were just housewives with bad divorce lawyers- they once lived in nice places and had lives- it's very sad to me and I am not a registered non-profit but have done what I can and continue to - any suggestions would be very appreciated- thanks

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