Local News

Spokane's homeless count shows slight increase

SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane's homeless count has increased slightly this year.

City of Spokane Community, Housing and Human Services Department officials attribute the rise to the pilot program that provided temporary shelter space for everyone that needed it this past winter, as well as expanded outreach.

Overall homelessness numbers were up by 11% during the annual Point-in-Time Count, a federally mandated count of homeless in Spokane that occurred on Jan. 16.

The annual count includes individuals who are sheltered and unsheltered at the time of the count.

Increases were also recorded among veterans (15%), chronically homeless (73%), and unaccompanied youth (20%). The city, in partnership with local service agencies, operated a 24-hour temporary shelter program that began in February and continued through April.

The city, in partnership with local service agencies, operated a 24-hour temporary shelter program that began in February and continued through April.

“Providing 24-hour emergency shelter regardless of temperature during the winter months gave our homeless population some much-needed relief from the weather and allowed us to make great individual connections,” Spokane Mayor David Condon said. “Those connections helped us capture a more accurate snapshot of the homeless population in Spokane.”

The Point-in-Time Count is a snapshot census of people experiencing certain categories of homelessness in the Spokane community. The count includes people who, on the night of the count, are:

-Sheltered (living in emergency shelters or transitional housing) or
-Unsheltered (staying out of doors or places not designed for habitation including vehicles, streets, parks and abandoned buildings)

For a more exact breakdown of the count, visit the city's website.


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