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Count Reveals Slight Growth in Homeless Population

City releases results of this year's homeless count, which found 780 people living on the streets, in cars and in shelters.

Santa Monica's homeless population increased 1.4 percent from 2012 to 780, according to the Citywide 2013 Homeless Count announced Monday at the Social Service Commission meeting.

The count conducted Jan. 30 found the unsheltered street homeless population was 316, a 19.7 percent increase from the 264 in 2012; 57 people sleeping in cars, 9.6 percent more than the 52 in 2012; and 407 in shelters and institutions, a 10.2 percent decrease from the 453 in 2012.

The decrease in the number of people in shelters was largely due to the reduced reliance on Santa Monica motels as emergency housing, according to Natasha Guest, a senior administrative analyst with Santa Monica's Human Services Division.

Santa Monica's homeless population was 999 in 2007, 915 in 2009, 742 in 2010, 740 in 2011 and 769 in 2012. The city implemented its Action Plan to Address Homelessness in 2008.

In coming months, the city will seek to identify and house the homeless individuals known to have been in Santa Monica the longest, while re-directing those new to the city back to resources in their hometowns, Guest said.

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Dan Charney March 04, 2013 at 09:30 AM
This is terribly sad to hear. I know that in front of my apt there are many women who have fallen through the cracks - not yet old enough for SS- and having no address to qualify or make it easy to get FS and SSI - they live in their cars- I have tried to talk to them to see if I could find a way to wade through the programs the city offers to help them get a room or at least a meal - many are ashamed- they graze supermarkets or go where samples of food are available- this breaks my heart- I have many times offered my place for them to take a hot shower or relax- I have searched the various programs from the supermarkets and found that I cannot receive food for them-it's either give to non-profits and distributed to places they won't go - not out of anything but being beaten down for so long that they have given up - I see how few people are willing to let these women walk their dogs or run errands or other jobs they can do - often the jobs are going to young kids - retail which used to hire the older women- seems to hire the young attractive ones now or is in trouble itself and the owners working it- so how do we stop these women from this life of living in a car- too afraid to go where help might be? CCore is not the answer - the restrictions are too severe for them- most people on the street do not have good credit or qualify for the studios - so what is the answer? I fear more are coming and it breaks my heart- ideas anyone?

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