Point in Time Count Results

Julie Happy, 509.625.7773

Wednesday, April 10, 2019 at 3:26 p.m.

Updated April 18, 2019

The Annual Point-in-Time Count occurred this year on January 24. The count is a snapshot census of people experiencing certain categories of homelessness throughout Spokane County. The Count is mandated by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and therefore follows HUD definitions of homelessness. This does not mean that all people counted are living on City or County streets without shelter. City staff and volunteers go out into the community to shelters, warming centers, transitional housing projects, and other locations that people frequent (e.g. meal and service sites) to count those who may be sheltered but not in permanent housing. Understanding the circumstances and situations of people experiencing homelessness in the greater metro area allows us to better serve those vulnerable populations and their direct needs.

On the night of the count, City staff, service providers, and volunteers count people who 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 yielded critical information that will inform grant applications, project shifts, and funding for services based on the needs of our metro area. The data analysis of the count can be found on the City website.

The 2019 Point-in-Time Count surveyed 1,309 people experiencing homelessness and the results reflect both continued successes and clear challenges. The results of the count showed continued progress in reducing homelessness for several populations, including: continued decrease in veteran homelessness (28% since 2017), a decrease in chronic homelessness (21% since 2017), and 8% fewer families experiencing homelessness. These trends indicate that targeted programs are working. However, results also indicate an increase in homelessness among single adults. Also, 30% of those surveyed indicated they were experiencing homelessness for the first time. “The City remains dedicated to working with its regional partners and the community to find solutions to ensure homelessness is rare, brief, and non-reoccurring throughout our Continuum of Care.” said Kelly Keenan, Director of Community Housing and Human Services.

For those interested in understanding the numbers further, a presentation is scheduled for the public:

WHEN: April 18, 2019

WHERE: City Hall, Council Chambers, 808 west Spokane Falls Blvd

TIME: 10:30 a.m.

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. Last year, our region’s Continuum of Care was the first in the northwest and the third in the nation to utilize a mobile data collection tool for counting those experiencing homelessness. The City continues to be a frontrunner in utilizing technology to improve our work and provide a more thorough understanding of those experiencing homelessness within our community.