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Monthly Poll Finds Strong Support for LA's "Inside Safe" Homeless Program
By Jorge Casuso
March 1, 2023 -- A monthly poll of Santa Monica residents found the vast majority wants the City to follow Los Angeles' more "aggressive" approach to tackling homelessness.
The poll of some 140 "civically engaged" residents also found residents were evenly divided over taking COVID booster shots and had little confidence the city is headed in the right direction under a new City Council.
Conducted between February 22 and 28, the poll found that 82 percent of respondents would like Santa Monica to follow LA's "aggressive approach to clearing out homeless encampments and getting homeless individuals off the street."
Seven percent opposed the "Inside Safe" program, while 11 percent weren't sure.
The "Inside Safe" program will "immediately begin to move people living in encampments indoors," according to an executive order issued by LA Mayor Karen Bass on December 21.
"Once in interim housing, social service agencies will provide wrap-around care to each participant to transition those previously living in encampments into permanent housing, improve their wellbeing, and promote their stability," the directive reads.
"Such an effort will simultaneously enhance the safety and hygiene of our neighborhoods for all residents, businesses, and neighbors."
Santa Monica last month followed the led of LA City and County in declaring a homelessness emergency but has not announced any new programs ("Council Votes to Declare Homelessness Emergency," February 15, 2023).
The poll also asked if the City is "headed in the right direction" two months after two new City Councilmembers were sworn in.
More than half -- 56 percent -- said it wasn't on the right path, while 6 percent said it was and 38 percent weren't sure.
The result is not surprising given that a Pulse poll taken shortly before the November election found little support for two of the three winning candidates ("Most Undecided Voters Have Made Up Their Minds in Council Race, Poll Finds," October 28, 2022).
The residents polled were also asked if they have received or planned to receive the COVID-19 booster shots LA County Health officials are urging all adults and children six months or older to take.
Of those polled, more than have 53 percent have not taken the booster shot, while 47 percent have. Of those who had not received a booster shot,7 percent said they planned to.
The push came the U.K. joined other European nations that have tailored bivalent COVID booster shots to those under 50 only if they are at high risk of severe illness.
As with previous polls, the latest Santa Monica Pulse poll was sent to nearly 1,000 residents who "previously opted in to receive more information on education efforts surrounding crime and safety in their city." It had a 14 percent response rate.
Those who wish to be included in the next poll should email their name and cell phone number to SaMoPulse@gmail.com.
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