Early Friday morning, hundreds of volunteers will spread over all of King County to witness and enumerate the scope of homelessness in our community. Formerly known as the One Night Count, this year, Count Us In will utilize new and improved data collection methods for the full range of count activities including a street count of people living unsheltered, a count of people living in shelter or transitional housing, a qualitative survey of people experiencing homelessness, and specialized approaches to counting subpopulations, including youth/young adults, families, and those living in vehicles. Obtaining comprehensive, accurate and actionable data through our annual point-in-time count is imperative to our community’s response to homelessness.
Local advocates, service providers and Applied Survey Research have all been active and valued partners in the planning and implementation of Count Us In. Exciting changes to this year’s count include the addition of paid guides, who are currently or formerly homeless individuals with lived experience in or near their count area, a shift from “known areas” to a 100% canvass of every census tract in King County and sample-based survey efforts including both shelter/service sites as well as non-service locations. Because of changes to the count methodology, a raw unsheltered number will not be available following the street count, as has been the practice in previous years. A complete report of count findings including data on youth, vehicle residents, chronic homelessness and other specialized populations will be available in the spring of 2017. The City of Seattle has a separate assessment of homelessness that was also conducted in partnership with Applied Survey Research that will be released soon.
Immediately following the count, All Home director, Mark Putnam will be available to answer questions at Compass Center (201 Alaskan Way South, Seattle 98104) or by phone (206) 384-8475 from 6:30-7:30 AM. Homelessness continues to be a crisis in King County and we have continued and collective work to do to make homelessness rare, brief and one-time until no individual or family sleeps outside. More information on Count Us In is available through this training video and on the All Home website.