Volunteers scattered across the streets of Santa Monica on the night of Jan. 25 to help conduct an annual count of the city’s homeless.
The street-by-street count of homeless individuals helps assess the effectiveness of the city’s efforts to address homelessness, according to the city human services division.
The initiative also helps the city in efforts to understand changes in trends among the city’s homeless populations; adjust the types of programs and services available based on need; and raise public awareness about the issue of homelessness, according to the division.
Data from previous homeless counts showed that the city experienced a 19 percent reduction in homelessness from 2009 to 2011 and the tangible effects of the city’s Action Plan to Address Homelessness, local programs and initiatives.
Federal and regional regulations require cities to conduct bi-annual homeless counts on odd-numbered years, but by conducting annual counts, the city has demonstrated its commitment to address homelessness, said a spokesperson for the human services division.