JASON RANTZ

Amato: Not even the homeless believe King County’s homeless count

Jun 12, 2019, 5:21 AM | Updated: 5:00 pm
(Tom Amato, KTTH)...
(Tom Amato, KTTH)
(Tom Amato, KTTH)

Last month, Count Us In released its 2019 homeless count, which showed a decrease in homelessness for the first time since 2012. It was reported there were 5,971 people sheltered and 5,228 people unsheltered. Those numbers have come into question, however, and now, a couple of people close to the situation are saying those figures are way too low.

Full Seattle homeless count report shows who is on the street and why

I spoke to a pair of homeless people at a camp located under the I-5 ramp in the University District on a myriad of issues, one of them being the recent homeless count. One man, who told me he recently accepted housing, said the county’s figures are inaccurate.

“They don’t know what they’re doing,” the man said.

He also said the method Count Us In uses is flawed. He said he saw the people who were doing the count.

“I said, ‘every time you do the count, you don’t get people because you do the counting wrong,’” he said. “I showed the people who were doing the count where everyone was and they still didn’t do it right.”

The man said the counters won’t go up to a tent and ask how many are in it. He estimated about 5,000 more homeless people than were counted.

“I said, ‘You guys come up with these weird numbers,’” he said. “They don’t know what they’re doing.”

One woman I spoke with agreed that the county’s numbers were off.

“They never do it right,” she said. “A lot of people are hiding … they’re sweeping us all over the place.”

Others calling the count inaccurate include King County Councilwoman Jeane Kohl-Wells and Seattle Councilwoman Lorena Gonzalez.

“Some things that were found, almost defy common sense,” Kohl-Wells said in an early June hearing regarding the count.

Bellevue’s newest tool in the fight against opioid addiction

Even the company that does the count has admitted to its flaws.

“I point out every time that this particular effort has its limitations — particularly the data points you are asking about here really depend on the survey responses. This is information that can’t be captured through observation only,” said Kira Zylstra, the Executive Director of All Home. All Home is the agency that conducts the one night Point in Time Count.

Conversely, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan has gone on record to use the results to applaud the city’s work combating homelessness.

“This new one-night count shows that our work and data-driven investments over the last year to prevent and address homelessness is having an impact,” Durkan said in a recent news release.

The Point in Time count only reflects a snapshot of homelessness on one specific night. In 2018, the point in time count was 12,112, but over that same year, the county’s Homeless Management Information System counted 22,500 households accessing homelessness services.

Jason Rantz on AM 770 KTTH
  • listen to jason rantzTune in to AM 770 KTTH weekdays at 3-6pm toThe Jason Rantz Show.

Jason Rantz Show

Jason Rantz

Photo from the Office of the Insurance Commissioner...
KTTH staff

State Sen. Muzzall on bipartisan support of insurance commissioner to resign

State Senator Ron Muzzall-R of Oak Harbor, came on the Jason Rantz show to discuss the scandal and why he thinks both Republicans and Democrats are uniting against Kreidler. 
3 days ago
(Photo by Suzi Pratt/FilmMagic)...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Cops rip bigoted Seattle Pride leaders as they ban uniformed officers from LGBT march

Initially, Seattle Pride explained that "all city departments – including SPD – are able to participate as contingents in the parade" this year.
4 days ago
The city hall and public library of Sultan, Washington, United States....
KTTH staff

Seattle exodus causes small Washington town to invest in new infrastructure

As Seattle housing prices continue to skyrocket, many look outside the city leading to new improvements needed in small towns like Sultan.
4 days ago
(Photo by Ben Birchall/PA Images via Getty Images)...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: City of Seattle isn’t answering police non-emergency line, doesn’t track missed calls

To help meet the demands of police abolitionists, the city of Seattle removed the police from handling emergency calls. The transition has been a disaster.
5 days ago
Kevin Doyle from Mad Hatter Muffler shop works on replacing a catalytic converter on a truck (Getty...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Astonishing 10,000% increase in catalytic converter theft due to WA Democrat’s law

Catalytic converter theft is up an astonishing 10,000% in Washington state since 2019. You can place the blame almost entirely on a Democrat-passed bill.
6 days ago
Photo from Northshore School District Facebook and website...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Teacher levels ‘veiled threat’ against parents on LGBT lesson plan

A Bothell music teacher offered a not-so-subtle warning to parents to not pull their kids from his upcoming LGBT-themed lesson.
7 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
...

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]
...

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]
...

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
Amato: Not even the homeless believe King County’s homeless count