The city of Santa Monica is seeking volunteers to assist with its annual homeless count on the night of Wednesday, Jan. 26.

The street-by-street enumeration of homeless individuals in Santa Monica helps assess the effectiveness of the city’s efforts to address homelessness, according to the human services division.

The city is seeking 200 volunteers for the count, which will take place from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. Jan. 26, with training and a kickoff event at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, East Wing. Volunteers will receive training, and will deploy in teams from the Civic Center to cover every area of the city by foot and by car to conduct a visual count of people living on the streets. At the same time, homeless individuals will be counted in shelters, transitional programs, hospital emergency rooms and other overnight facilities.

Information from the count will enable city officials to better understand changes in trends among the city’s homeless populations and adjust the types of programs and services available according to need. The effort will also help officials comply with U.S. Housing and Urban Development and local stakeholder requirements, and will raise public awareness about the issue of homelessness.

Data from previous homeless counts showed a 25-percent reduction in homelessness from 2007 to 2010 in Santa Monica, and has helped the city determine the tangible effects of the Action Plan to Address Homelessness, local programs and initiatives, according to the human services division.

Interested volunteers can RSVP by completing a brief survey at:

www.smgov.net/homelesscountvolunteer.aspx, or by contacting Dina Aubrey at (310) 458-8701 or dina.aubrey@smgov.net.

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