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Number of Homeless People in Santa Monica Stayed Static in 2010

The results from last month's Homeless Count were made available Monday night.

Santa Monica's homeless population has stayed the same numerically over the past year, according to the results of this year's . The results were unveiled Monday night at a Social Services Commission meeting held at the .

Roughly 200 volunteers and 30 members of the city staff participated in this year's effort, which took place the night of Jan. 26. It was the third campaign that specifically covered Santa Monica. Los Angeles County stages its own Homeless Count.

Results showed that there are 740 homeless individuals in Santa Monica, meaning there has been virtually no change since last year. In 2007, the results indicated there were 999 homeless individuals in the city. In 2009, the number fell to 915, followed by an additional drop in 2010 (742).

Among the 740 homeless individuals in Santa Monica, 263 live on the streets. Shelters and other institutions house 426 individuals, with 51 more residing in cars or encampments.

The count also indicated that there are no unsheltered families in Santa Monica. However, the Homeless Count results show that 24 percent of the population consists of family members.

The roughly 25 percent drop in homelessness that Santa Monica has seen since 2007 may be due in part to the Action Plan to Address Homelessness, and the Housing First model that the city began implementing in 2009.

Housing First involves placing chronically homeless individuals into private housing instead of shelters and transitional homes–even if they're still using substances. According to Executive Director John Maceri, 60 people have been housed through the effort.

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