Spokane Homeless Count Shows Decrease

Results are in from City's annual Point-In-Time Count

Sheila Morley, Community, Housing and Human Services, 509.625.6052

Monday, June 1, 2015 at 12:34 p.m.

Results of this year’s Point-in-Time count of persons and families experiencing homelessness show a decrease in Spokane from the previous year. The annual, one-night count took place on Jan. 29 in Spokane as well as across the state.

This year, 1,033 people were counted ranging in age from one month to 83 years old – a 10 percent drop from a year ago. The number of families with children dropped 17 percent to 121. The number of unsheltered persons dropped by 15 percent to 132.

“The decrease is encouraging, but also reminds us that there is much more to do to get people into safe permanent housing,” said Mayor David Condon. “We are generally heading in the right direction, although it is important to note that this tool only provides us with a snapshot of people experiencing homelessness.”

The Mayor praised collaborative efforts including the City and several local non-profit partners toward addressing homelessness in Spokane. He also pointed to the opening of more housing-first options in the city, such as Catholic Charities’ Father Bach Haven.

In an area where the City focused additional resources this year, the number of veterans counted increased by 19 percent to 101. The City, however, continues its initiative to end veteran homelessness in Spokane and is asking citizens to get involved. Learn more about Homes for Spokane’s Heroes at SpokaneCity.org.

The Point-in-Time Count of homelessness provides data used to complete grant applications and reports required by state and federal homeless service funders. The information also supports strategic planning for the allocation of resources that most effectively meet community needs.

The Point-In-Time Count includes individuals and persons in families, including youth, who on the night of the count are:

  • Sheltered – Living in a supervised publicly or privately operated shelter designated to provide temporary living arrangements, including congregate shelters, transitional housing, safe havens, and hotels/motels paid for with emergency shelter vouchers, or
  • Unsheltered – Using a primary nighttime residence that is outdoors or a place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation including a car, park, abandoned building, bus or train station, airport, or camping ground.

The Point-in-Time Count is made possible through an extensive partnership of social service providers, outreach professionals, volunteers, and local government agencies.