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How Many Homeless Are There in Santa Monica? There are 915

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A homeless woman and a Santa Monica Police Officer | Photo by Javier Alejandro Martín Ramos via Flickr
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In late January, around 250 volunteers combed through Santa Monica block by block through all 19 of the city's census tracts--a total of 226 linear miles--counting the homeless. The end result, announced last night in a public meeting, was that there are around 915 homeless in the city.

That's an 8% drop, or around 80 or so people, since the last time homeless were counted in 2007, the city says. But if you look at records, the count two years ago revealed that 1,500 homeless live in Santa Monica. That math is not adding up, but the former count was hardly as thorough--it only included 12 of the 19 census tracts and then used multipliers to conclude a final number, a questionable method at the very least.

After this year's final tally of 915, the city went back and reconfigured 2007's total to be more conservative. To them, they wanted to be as accurate as possible. However, a cynical tone by some at the North Hollywood homeless count the same night led some to believe that inflated numbers on either side of the coin would lead to a significant drops or increases in funding (LAist also participated in the homeless count in Venice). But LA County just received the highest amount of funding in its history--$73 million--a few days ago from the federal government (.pdf). Some of that will go to Santa Monica.