City Hall Updates

Text to 911: On December 1st, Santa Monica joined regional partners and launched “Text-to-911” allowing the public to send text messages to local 9-1-1 call centers during an emergency.

Community Conversations: This September, Santa Monica City Manager Rick Cole authored an op-ed entitled “Tackling Crime Together as a Community” where he discussed the changing realities of crime and homelessness in Santa Monica, and how we as a City can work on addressing these issues. In the op-ed, he proposed convening a series of community conversations to discuss crime, community policing, homelessness and the selection of the next Police Chief.

We invited community members to host one of these discussions to be led by a representative from the City Council, City Manager’s Office, Police Department and Human Services. So far, we have hosted five community meetings and have three more next week. Alongside meeting hosts, City leadership listened, informed and shared what the City is already doing– and learned what more we can do. In the coming year, we look forward to continue these kinds of thoughtful discussions on how we can move forward together to tackle issues impacting Santa Monica.
If you are interested in joining a conversation, here are two next week that are open to the public:

Monday, December 11, 6pm-7:30pm
Host: City
Roosevelt Elementary
801 Montana Ave
To RSVP, click here

Thursday, December 14, 7pm-8:30pm
Host: Santa Monica Coalition for Police Reform
Virginia Avenue Park Annex
2200 Virginia Avenue
To RSVP, click here

Homelessness Update: At its meeting on November 28, 2017, the Santa Monica City Council unanimously voted to approve a Homeless Strategic Goal Action Plan and a series of new investments included in the plan to address homelessness. Recommendations came as part of staff’s Annual Homelessness Report to Council at a time when homelessness is up by 23 percent throughout Los Angeles County. The City is maximizing the use of existing resources and on October 24, 2017, Council authorized $1.4 million in one-time funds to support the roll out of new investments identified through the Action Plan. The plan includes coordinated, proactive outreach approaches with new, multidisciplinary outreach teams, place-based engagement strategies and additional Library resources.

Here’s a look at some of the concepts included in the Action Plan approved by Council:

New coordinated, proactive outreach teams to connect homeless individuals to services:

  • Place-based engagement by 10-12 new outreach workers through a contract with Los Angeles County for a C3 homeless outreach team. These teams are currently working in neighboring Venice.
  • Santa Monica Police Department is enhancing officer training so the entire department is focused on proactive engagement, re-deploying existing officers to high-impact areas and expanding the Homeless Liaison Program (HLP) team.

Ensure effective, safe and respectful use of the Library

  • Two additional Library Services Officers will be funded for an 18-month limited term pilot.
  • A full-time social worker will be funded for a 12-month pilot to conduct homeless outreach and train staff.
  • Regular Pop-up Resource Fairs are bringing local and regional agencies to the Library.

Increase availability of housing and homeless prevention

  • Housing staff recommend use of locally allocated federal funds to support rehabilitation of a Venice supportive housing development in exchange for three units being dedicated to Santa Monica homeless residents.
  • Preventing homelessness among existing residents through flexible funding for eviction prevention, housing rights education and protection, tenant harassment and eviction defense through Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, and the Senior Housing Taskforce to prevent vulnerable low-income seniors from losing housing.

Activate city and community stakeholders to collectively address homelessness

  • The City is investing in a Senior Advisor on Homelessness who will actively engage with the growing number of county and regional partners in ever-accelerating homeless efforts. The Senior Advisor will ensure the City is participating in policy and resource discussions regionally, while facilitating coordination across City departments.
  • The City secured $70,000 in LA County Measure H funds, through United Way of Greater Los Angeles, to design a flexible training curriculum for City staff, businesses and residents to safely and effectively interact with homeless neighbors.

The success of these new investments will be regularly monitored through the City’s performance management system or SaMoStat process to do more of what works and change what doesn’t.

Santa Monica Public Library Wins Five Stars:Star Libraries rankings from the Library Journal are out and for eight years in a row, our Santa Monica Library received five stars.  Beverly Hills Public Library is the only other library in California to get 5 stars this year, and this is their second year in a row with that designation.

Staff Updates

Misti’s India/Dubai Trip: