Today, All Home King County released “Count Us In,” a point-in-time count of people experiencing homelessness in our community. This year’s survey utilized a new counting methodology to ensure greater accuracy. Mayor Ed Murray issued the following statement about the City of Seattle’s actions to address the homelessness crisis:
The point-in-time count confirmed we are living in a homelessness crisis, but it also provided new, vital information about who precisely is living unsheltered—and more important, why they are living unsheltered. We set out to do a more rigorous, comprehensive, and thorough count than ever this year so we could assess the specifics of this crisis and develop concrete solutions to it.
Knowing that King County’s unsheltered population overwhelmingly comes from King County, knowing that the unsheltered population is disproportionately made up of people of color, and knowing the actual percentages of unsheltered people who have substance abuse disorders or are victims of domestic violence, helps us turn spreadsheets of numbers into faces with names.
Since this count was taken, we’ve aggressively implemented a hands-on to addressing this crisis. Our Navigation Team of social workers, health professionals, and police officers have successfully engaged with more 600 people and connected services and housing to more than 250. This is how individualized services can help and how having a complete picture of this crisis helps us better service those experiencing it.
In addition to adding 175 new enhanced shelter beds that will accept people with partners, pets, possessions, or a substance abuse disorder, our Human Services Department will rebid $30 million homeless service contracts to ensure these are meeting our goals. It is critical that we continue to collect data like the Point in Time count and ensure our funding and programming are meeting the needs of people living unsheltered.
For more information on the City’s homelessness response, visit seattle.gov/homelessness.
For more information on Count Us In and All Home, visit allhomekc.org.