Spokane Point In Time Count Occurs January 25

Brian Coddington, 509.625.6740

Thursday, January 25, 2018 at 10:38 a.m.

The Annual Point-in-Time Count is scheduled to begin today. This count is a snapshot census of people experiencing certain categories of homelessness in the Spokane community on January 25. 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)

This year’s count has experienced unprecedented support with I-Pad donations from Wal-Mart, flashing safety lights from numerous individuals and businesses within our community, and a donation drive that garnered support beyond expectations.

The City is the first in the northwest and the third in the nation to utilize a new technology for counting those experiencing homelessness. With Wal-Mart’s I-Pad donations, the City will be able to utilize the Counting Us app to conduct surveys.

“We are excited about the new app, especially the GPS feature,” Spokane Mayor David Condon said. “The GPS information collected from the Counting Us app will give the City never before recorded insight on Spokane’s homeless population and better inform our strategies of how and where we provide services.”

Local businesses sponsored the “Everybody Counts” campaign to give those counted a flashing safety light. Those businesses and individuals included:

  • Providence Health
  • Avista
  • Asuris
  • Witherspoon Kelley
  • Wheatland Bank
  • Express Employment Professionals
  • Daryll and Rebecca DeWald
  • Spokane Transit

“Too often, we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of kindness, all of which have the potential to turn a life around,” Leo Buscaglia, quoted Ira Amstadter, Owner of Express Employment Professionals, “Who can you impact today?”

Donations came in from individuals and businesses. There was so much community support. Businesses were calling and asking to be a donation drop off site. Employees within businesses gathered donations and delivered them to the City. The support for the “Everybody Counts” campaign demonstrates a growing kindness within our City.

Donated items included:

  • Over 2,500 diapers and wipes
  • Over 150 blankets
  • Over 3,000 body care items (shampoo, conditioner and deodorant)

“Our mission is one of a vibrant and safe downtown for everyone; and that includes our most vulnerable homeless population,” said Mark Richard, President of The Downtown Spokane Partnership. “The DSP is proud to support this event to help ensure anyone who wants housing and services has access to them.”

More than 30 local agencies will participate in the Point-in-Time Count, including social service, housing and healthcare providers, faith-based organizations, outreach professionals and local governments. Youth and outreach advisory committees will expand community involvement, awareness, and provide feedback to expand count efforts in the schools and on the streets.

Point-in-Time Count data is 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.

For more details about results from Point-In-Time results in 2017 and previous years, visit Community Housing and Humans Services (CHHS) at SpokaneCity.org.