Contact: Jackie Anderson
County’s 2018 Point-in-Time Count Announced
EVERETT, Wash., February 6, 2018–
Today, Snohomish County announced the release of the 2018 preliminary
Point-in-Time (PIT) Count regarding unsheltered people. A full report,
also including the sheltered count, will be released later this year.
The annual PIT count
conducted by over 250 volunteers and County staff on January 23, 2018, surveyed
378 persons in 331 households who were unsheltered at the time of the
count. This represented a 27% decrease over the number of unsheltered
individuals in the 2017 count. While the PIT count fluctuates from year
to year, the overall trend since 2013 is downward with a decrease of 9.9%.
This year’s count of
unsheltered individuals showed a decrease in chronically homeless individuals
from 313 in the 2017 count to 270 in 2018. Chronically homeless
individuals make up a substantial percentage of those unsheltered, representing
71.4% of the unsheltered homeless count. Chronically homeless individuals
are individuals with a disability who have been homeless continuously for at
least 12 months or who on at least 4 separate occasions had a combined length
of time in homelessness of at least 12 months over the last 3 years. It
also showed a high number of individuals who had two or three disabling
conditions, including mental health disorders, substance abuse disorders,
and/or chronic medical conditions, pointing to the need of more intensive and
individualized evidence-based services.
“We are encouraged that our
efforts to eliminate homelessness seem to be making progress, but there is
still much work to do,” said Dave Somers, Snohomish County Executive.
“With our housing prices booming, some are left out and end up on our streets
and in camps. To relieve human suffering, we are finding innovative ways to
help our fellow residents find a place to call home and get the services they
need. I applaud all of those who have selflessly worked to stem the tide of
homelessness and give our neighbors hope.”
will continue to implement proven strategies to help those suffering from
homelessness,” said Council Chair Stephanie Wright. “When our neighbors
need help, we must do what we can to assist them.”
The annual count is a key
measure used to inform priorities for federal, state, and local funding and
helps gauge progress toward ending homelessness for vulnerable individuals and
families. The analysis and overall trends are utilized by the Snohomish
County Partnership to End Homelessness to address needs and track progress
toward goals to prevent, reduce, and end homelessness.
“The Point in Time results for
2018 show a small but significant decrease in the number of chronically
homeless individuals living without shelter. However, chronically
homeless individuals comprise a growing percentage of Snohomish County
residents who are unsheltered. This is of great concern to our community.
We know that people become homeless due to a variety of circumstances.
Regardless of cause, we must work to reduce human suffering and provide a path
forward for men, women, and children experiencing homelessness in Snohomish
County. The County, the Partnership to End Homelessness, and our network
of dedicated partner agencies have implemented numerous evidence-based
strategies that are increasing the number of individuals who obtain permanent
housing through our system. We are making progress toward our shared aim
of reducing, and ultimately ending, homelessness in our community,” said Mary
Jane Brell-Vujovic, Human Services Director.
Outreach workers and
navigators were able to assist a number of people during the count to begin
accessing needed services, shelter, and/or housing. County staff wish to
thank all the volunteers and agency staff who made the count possible.
The Snohomish County
Human Services Department helps all persons meet their basic needs
and develop their potential by providing timely, effective human services and
building community. The Housing & Community Services Division
administers a wide range of programs that provide affordable housing, community
development, and related services to low-income and homeless persons.