July 19, 2024 3:13 pm

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Snohomish County unsheltered count decreased from 2023 by 9.6 percent

SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash., May 20, 2024 —Snohomish County Human Services has released the Annual Point-in-Time (PIT) unsheltered count, designed to provide a snapshot of households experiencing homelessness on a single night. This survey was supported by the efforts of 274 volunteers, County personnel, and partnering agency staff. The 2024 count identified 1,161 people in 945 households residing in shelter, transitional housing, or living without shelter in Snohomish County the night of January 22, 2024. In 2024, the total PIT count was down 9.6 percent from 2023, which represents a decrease of 124 people. 

Snohomish County unsheltered PIT count. SOURCE: Snohomish County Government

“The Point-in-Time results are a testament to the collective efforts made by Snohomish County and the dedication of our partners,” said Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers. “Recent investments have significantly expanded our community’s ability to provide timely, effective supportive services and affordable housing solutions. This year’s count affirms our commitment to addressing homelessness comprehensively and emphasizes the need for sustained investment and close collaboration in the coming years.” 

While a downward trend has not yet been recognized, this year’s statistical improvement brings the count closer to pre-pandemic numbers and reflects increased resources, including federal funds like the American Rescue Plan Act, HOME American Rescue Plan, and Chemical Dependency and Mental Health Sales Tax funds. In addition, partnerships with law enforcement, social service agencies, and community partners played a critical role in reaching and assisting households that may have otherwise been undercounted.  

From February 2023 to February 2024, just over five percent more total households, including an increase of almost seven percent more households with adults and children, engaged with the Coordinated Entry system for homeless services assistance. These households meet with Navigators countywide to access appropriate housing and service programs more efficiently and effectively. More information about the County’s Coordinated Entry system can be found at https://snohomishcountywa.gov/2238/Coordinated-Entry

Point-in-Time Homeless Count:    

The total unsheltered count for Snohomish County decreased from 2023 by 9.6 percent, to 625 total individuals. Most of these households had only adult household members (554), while 16 households included adults as well as children under the age of 18. The total number of homeless persons who were sheltered either in emergency shelter or transitional housing the night of the PIT decreased 9.8 percent to 536 in 2024. The number of sheltered child-only households increased to 19, up from 12 in 2023. 

The 2024 count saw an increase in the total percentage of persons who are American Indian, Alaska Native, or Indigenous; Asian or Asian American; Black, African American, or African; and Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, while the percentage of persons who are white decreased in 2024. This year, the federal Office of Housing and Urban Development added Middle Eastern or North African to the race category and combined Hispanic or Latina/e/o ethnicity with race. People in both categories were represented in the 2024 PIT, though due to the change, a comparison of the total percentages won’t be possible until next year.  

The percentage of children and young adults under age 25 decreased while the percentage of people 65 and older increased compared to 2023. The percentage of women decreased from 2023 to 38.4 percent while the percentage of men increased to 60.5 percent. Transgender, non-binary, and persons of more than one gender each accounted for 0.3 percent of the total, and those questioning their gender accounted for 0.2 percent. 

The PIT includes people residing in emergency shelter and transitional housing, as well as people living without shelter. In addition to volunteers and staff, the count utilized partnerships in the community with law enforcement embedded social workers, first responders, outreach workers, social service agencies, and Human Services Department employees. The County uses extensive data available through the Coordinated Entry System to reach households that otherwise may be under counted through the PIT.  

Data for Impact: 

While an imperfect measure, the PIT count is required by the state and federal governments and is one of the tools used to inform priorities for federal, state, and local funding. It also helps identify trends and craft solutions for the needs of vulnerable individual and families. The analysis and overall trend data are utilized by the Snohomish County Partnership to End Homelessness as one of the many tools to track progress toward goals to prevent, reduce, and end homelessness. A detailed infographic is on this year’s count and additional historical Snohomish County PIT information can be explored at: https://snohomishcountywa.gov/2857/Point-In-Time

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. 

One Response

  1. I don’t know if these homeless numbers are intended as comedy. I’m homeless in Snohomish County for the last 13 years, hidden away and certainly not included. MANY are out there who aren’t on the radar. MANY more than 625 people. It’s a JOKE to say that number.

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