Homeless numbers low, but trending upwards

A large camping tent appeared on the beach at 14th Street in Hermosa Beach last Tuesday, as rain was approaching. The tent was gone Wednesday, after the rain passed. Photo by Kevin Cody

by Kevin Cody

Hermosa Beach is the only Beach City to report an upward trend in the number of homeless in recent years, according to the results of the annual Homeless Count, released last week by LAHSA (Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority).

But the number of homeless in Hermosa, as well as neighboring Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach, is low, by comparison with the greater Los Angeles County, according to the report.

Homeless Count volunteers found 34 homeless people in Hermosa Beach during this year’s “point in time” count, conducted February 23, between 8 p.m and midnight. 

In 2020, the Homeless Count found 28 homeless in Hermosa; 25 in 2019; 23 in 2018; 19 in 2017; 20 in 2016; and 17 in 2015. 

Because of COVID, the Homeless Count was not conducted in 2021.

Manhattan Beach’s Homeless Count found nine homeless this year; 15 in 2020; and 22 in 2019.

Redondo Beach’s Homeless Count found 99 homeless this year, 176 in 2020; and 173 in 2019.

El Segundo’s Homeless Count found 15 homeless this year; 47 in 2020; and 19 in 2019.

The LAHS report identifies where the homeless were found by census tract. In Hermosa, 24 of the homeless found in the February count were in south Hermosa, between Pier and Herondo avenues, west of Pacific Coast Highway. The area includes the Greenbelt, and South Park. The next largest concentration of homeless was found in the census tract that includes Valley Park and the Greenbelt, in north Hermosa. Only one homeless person was found in the census tract that includes the beachfront Strand area.

In 2018 Hermosa Beach adopted a Five Year Homeless Plan, utilizing funding from Measure H, a successful, 2017 county ballot measure that established a .25 percent sales tax, over 10 years, to fund homeless programs.

Hermosa’s Five Year Homeless Plan included enhancing regional coordination with neighboring cities, the Beach Cities Health District, Harbor Interfaith Services, and SBCCOG (South Bay Cities Council of Governments).

Last August, Hermosa partnered with Redondo Beach to hold its first Housing Initiative Court, on the Clark Stadium tennis courts. The court offered to dismiss non-violent misdemeanor charges against homeless individuals on the condition that they work with social services to find permanent housing.

The next Housing Initiative Court will be held at the Clark tennis courts on Wednesday, September 21, from 8:30 to 11 a.m. ER

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