EVERETT, Wash., January 10, 2022—In collaboration with community and human service providers, the Snohomish County Department of Human Services is conducting the annual Point-in-Time (PIT) Homeless Count on Tuesday, February 22, 2022.

The annual count is an important tool in the community’s efforts to assess the number of homeless individuals and families in Snohomish County, as well as to determine ways of ending homelessness. The count covers people staying in emergency shelters, transitional housing, and on the street or other places not meant for habitation.

The unsheltered count will take place between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 22 for individuals who were unsheltered on the night of February 21. Service-based counts will take place through February 28, 2022.

Human service providers, other community services providers and county staff will join together in this effort to count the number of families and individuals who are experiencing homelessness in our community.

The results of the count will help ensure that vital federal and state funding continues to come into the community to fight homelessness. Data from the annual count is also used to help understand how widespread homelessness is in Snohomish County and who is most affected. The Point-in-Time Count is only a count of some of those who are homeless at one particular time. By itself, it is not a predictor of how many people will be homeless or receive housing resources throughout the rest of the year. However, when used along with other data points, the data can help paint a picture of the need and how well we as a community are doing in efforts to address the problem of homelessness. Priorities for state and national funding and planning for local programs and systems are based on Point-in-Time data.

“We must use all of the tools at our disposal to address the crisis of homelessness,” said Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers. “Too many are suffering from the significant negative impacts from this crisis: our families, our neighbors, our communities large and small, our businesses, and our quality of life. The data we collect allows us to make informed decisions as we look for ways to meet the full spectrum of needs across the county. I urge interested members of our community to join us in this important task.”

During the 2020 count, 673 individuals in 553 households reported they were unsheltered. Another 459 persons in 344 households were without a permanent place to stay and were temporarily housed in emergency shelter or transitional housing. There were 41 veterans, 532 chronically homeless individuals, and 121 households with children under 18. Snohomish County did not conduct a count of unsheltered households in 2021 due to the pandemic. Our methodology is in the process of being revised to include public health precautions while still meeting U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development requirements for the 2022 count. It is particularly important that a complete count be conducted in 2022 given that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Snohomish County was not able to do so in 2021.

Emphasis on the Point-in-Time Count began in 2006, with Snohomish County’s approval of the local homeless plan that included strategies for ending homelessness. While noteworthy progress has been made, there remains a daunting effort ahead to provide solutions for people experiencing and at imminent risk of homelessness. 

More information on the PIT history and methodology may be found on the Human Services Point-in-Time Count webpage:  http://www.snohomishcountywa.gov/2857/Point-In-Time.

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