This story has been updated. Please see editor’s note below.
For the first time ever, an accurate count of the homeless living in Malibu (and adjacent unincorporated areas) was taken last January as part of the 2016 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count. The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, which represents both Los Angeles County and the City of Los Angeles, recently issued the results with demographic breakdowns. These numbers, for the first time, give a clear picture of the homeless population in Malibu, without including the population count for the San Fernando Valley or West Los Angeles.
Malibu had a total of 160 homeless individuals. This total includes three family households with a total of five children. There were no unaccompanied minors.
There were 117 males and 43 females, with no transgender homeless noted. One hundred and four were ages 25-54, 33 were ages 55-61 and 18 were over the age of 62. Five were under 18.
Thirteen of the 160 homeless were U.S. military veterans, including one female.
All of Malibu’s homeless were counted as “unsheltered” rather than “sheltered,” because Malibu has no homeless shelter. People living out of an RV or other vehicle were counted as homeless.
Largely due to the expertise and knowledge of the LA County Sheriff’s Department — especially Deputies Mike Treinen and Mark Winn and Lieutenant Jim Royal, who all helped with the count and keep tabs on Malibu’s homeless — 58 out of the 160 homeless individuals were classified as “chronically homeless,” as well as a family of three.
The sheriff’s deputies’ expertise and experience were also needed in classifying the homeless according to the following characteristics: 68 with mental illnesses, 37 suffering from substance abuse, 42 with some type of physical disability, eight with a “chronic health issue,” 10 with brain injury, five with a developmental disability and 22 with “domestic violence experience.” Some individuals fell into more than one category.
The Malibu count was coordinated by local resident Bianca Torrence and carried out by volunteers working in teams. The count is taken in order to determine where government resources need to be focused in order to end homelessness.
Several local grassroots volunteer groups have organized to help the homeless in Malibu, including CART, the Malibu Task Force on Homelessness and Standing on Stone, as well as various efforts from the faith community.
Editor’s note: A previous version of this story provided an incorrect count of homeless individuals. The story has been edited to reflect correct information.