Spokane Homeless Count Shows Slight Decrease

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

Sheila Morley, Community, Housing and Human Services, 509.625.6052

Thursday, April 14, 2016 at 2:58 p.m.

Results of this year’s Point-in-Time count of persons and families experiencing homelessness show a slight decrease in Spokane from the previous year, for the second consecutive year. The annual, one-night count took place on Jan. 28 in Spokane as well as across the state.

In 2016, 981 people were counted ranging in age from 2 months to 78 years old – a 5 percent drop from the count of 1,034 people in 2015. The number of families with children dropped 15 percent to 103. The count of unsheltered persons and veterans showed an increase, however. This year, our community counted 103 veterans, a 2 percent increase from the 101 counted in 2015. The number of unsheltered persons counted in 2016 was 172, a 30 percent increase over the 132 counted in 2015.

Here's a breakdown of the 2016 Point-In-Time Count:

  • During the 2016 Point-in-Time Count, our community counted 981 people (a person may be part of a family household, or an unaccompanied individual).
  • The PIT count included 759 households (a household may include one or more persons).
  • 526 people (54 percent) were staying in Emergency Shelters.
  • 283 people (29 percent) were staying in Transitional Housing.
  • 172 people (17 percent) were unsheltered.
  • 57 percent were male, 43 percent were female
  • 68 percent were in households without children, 31 percent were in households with adults and children, 1 percent were in households with only children.
  • The people counted ranged in age from 2 months to 78 years.
  • 72 percent were over age 24.
  • 7 percent were age 18-24.
  • 21 percent were under age 18.

“It is encouraging to see a decrease in the Point-In-Time Count again this year,” said Mayor Condon, “but the City and its community partners are not resting and are committed to getting homeless individuals and families into safe permanent housing.”

More than 30 local agencies participated in the 2016 Point-in-Time Count including social service and housing providers, healthcare providers, faith-based organizations, outreach professionals and local governments.

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 offers a snapshot census of people experiencing homelessness in the Spokane community and does not necessarily reflect the exact number of homeless individuals and families in the area.

For more details about results from Point-In-Time results in 2016 and previous years, visit SpokaneCity.org’s CHHS page.