Each year in January the Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness sponsors the annual One Night Count of homeless people in King County, Washington. Over 1,100 volunteers come together and fan out across the county to count the number of men, women, and children who are homeless and sleeping outdoors without shelter. At the same time, staff at agencies operating shelters and transitional housing account for people staying in their programs. The resulting numbers are critical to understanding the magnitude of homelessness in this region and to crafting strategies and solutions to this problem.
Beacon staff gather from 2:00-5:00am each year to participate in the One Night Count. According to the Coalition on Homelessness the number of unsheltered homeless people counted this year totaled “at least 4,505 men, women, and children. This number is an increase of 19% over those found without shelter last year. This number is always assumed to be an undercount, because we do not count everywhere, and because many people take great care not to be visible.” Complete statistics from the count can be found here.
These numbers are sobering news for the Seattle/King County region and underpin the urgent need for aggressive solutions to homelessness. Through its volunteer and professional efforts, Beacon Development Group will continue to advocate for more resources to address the number of unsheltered people in Seattle/King County, such as the renewal of the Seattle Housing Levy later this year, and will continue to partner with clients to build quality, safe, and decent affordable housing to permanently transition people and families off the streets.