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Seattle’s latest numbers: more people moved out of homelessness

Newly-released data indicates the city of Seattle moved a greater number of people out of homelessness and into permanent housing in 2019, so far, than in previous years.

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The latest numbers represent the results of city-funded programs, aimed at the homeless crisis in the first six months of 2019.

“These are just some of the highlights that continue to make us cautiously optimistic that things are changing for the better,” the city writes on its Human Services blog.

The city of Seattle reports:

  • A 6 percent increase in households moving from homelessness to housing in the first half of 2019 than the same time period in 2018.
  • 2,127 households were supported to remain housed in permanent supportive housing during the first half of 2019.
  • 20 percent more households were served in the second quarter of 2019 than during the same time in 2018.

Seattle has also measured the homeless exit rates depending on the type of service used. Prevention is by far the most used program, along with rapid rehousing, or transitional housing.

  • Villages: 17 percent in 2018; 37 percent in 2019
  • Enhanced shelter: 21 percent in 2018; 23 percent in 2019
  • Basic shelter: 4 percent in both 2018 and 2019
  • Prevention: 89 percent in 2018; 92 percent in 2019
  • Transitional housing: 64 percent in 2018; 73 percent in 2019
  • Rapid rehousing: 80 percent in 2018; 81 percent in 2019

The city also included numbers from the previous years (for the first six months of the year) for the number of households that went into permanent housing, or were prevented from becoming homeless.

  • 2017: 1,745 households (2,785 individuals)
  • 2018: 2,233 households (3,642 individuals)
  • 2019: 2,433 households (3,780 individuals)

The city concludes that “Programs that receive funding from the City of Seattle are supporting more unique households, and individuals, in leaving homelessness programs for permanent housing compared to the same time periods in 2017 and 2018.”

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As Sydney Brownstone with The Seattle Times points out, the city previously boasted its homeless data in early 2019. But it was pointed out that there were flaws in its methodology. There was no way to determine if families were counted more than once, across various service providers. The new numbers are meant to be a more exact representation of the situation.

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