King County’s homeless population continues to increase
The homeless population in King County increased again over the past year, and more than half are unsheltered.
The latest point-in-time count from All Home on Jan. 26 found 469 more homeless people living in the county than in 2017. An estimated total of 12,112 people were homeless earlier this year.
All Home is the county’s homelessness coordinating agency.
Additionally, there were more people living unsheltered during the homeless count this year than last year. People are considered living unsheltered even if they are in sanctioned camps, or vehicles.
All Home notes there are more unsheltered peopled living in vehicles than previous years. On Jan. 26, there were an estimated 3,372 people living in vehicles; well over the 2,314 estimated in 2017.
There were nearly as many people sleeping in vehicles as there were people sleeping in emergency shelters during the count, according to the report from All Home.
The unsheltered population not living in vehicles, meanwhile, decreased.
Of the 6,320 unsheltered population, 4,488 were living in Seattle at the time.
4 percent increase in homeless population is progress
Interim Director of All Home Kyra Zylstra told KIRO 7 that, compared to previous years, a 4 percent increase is progress.
“It’s not the kind of progress we all want to see,” Zylstra told KIRO 7. “But our performance data shows that the resources that we are investing in are housing people faster.”
And some segments of the homeless population decreased significantly. The number of veterans experiencing homelessness decreased by 31 percent. And the number of homeless families with children decreased by 7 percent.