The homeless population in the City of Santa Monica differs in some key aspects from the homeless population nationwide. Differences include a higher percentage of chronically homeless individuals, higher rates of mental illness and substance use, lower rates of veterans, more women, and a higher average age.
The statistics cited below are from an Urban Institute report, Ending Homelessness in Santa Monica: Current Efforts and Recommended Next Steps, commissioned by the City of Santa Monica in 2006.
It is estimated that there are between 2,300 and 3,000 people who are homeless on any given single day in Santa Monica. This includes people in homeless shelters or transitional housing facilities and people sleeping outside.
91% are single, 7% are couples, and 2% are families with children. 60% are men, versus a national average of 80%. 53% are white, 35% are African-American, 11% are other or mixed-race. 14% are Hispanic (these people were also categorized in this study in racial categories as white, African-American, other or mixed). 24% have co-occurring addiction and mental health issues. 56% have addictions but no mental health issues. 14% are mentally ill but do not suffer from addictions. Median age is 42 (versus mid-30s nationally). 10% are veterans (versus 23% nationally). 33% meet the definition of “chronic homelessness,” meaning that they have a disability and have been homeless for one year or longer, or have been homeless four or more times in the past three years.
OPCC is the largest and most comprehensive provider of services to homeless people in Santa Monica and on the Westside of Los Angeles.