The Snohomish County Department of Human Services, in collaboration with community and human service providers, is gearing up for the annual Point-in-Time (PIT) Homeless Count on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024. This annual initiative remains a cornerstone in Snohomish County’s commitment to understanding and addressing homelessness within the community, the department said in a news release.
“Every year we have the necessary task of counting how many people are living in circumstances not meant for human habitation,” said Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers. “Over the last few years, we have seen an increase in homelessness and the resulting impacts on our neighbors and businesses. By doing the PIT count each year, we can understand how the problem is changing and what we need to do to adapt.”
The Point-in-Time Homeless Count is a comprehensive assessment covering individuals and families experiencing homelessness. This includes those in emergency shelters, transitional housing, as well as individuals living unsheltered on the streets or in places not intended for habitation. This effort includes:
Unsheltered Count (on Jan. 23, 2024): Individuals who were unsheltered on the night of Jan. 22 will be counted between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.
Service-Based Counts (through Jan. 29, 2024): A collaborative effort involving human service providers, community service providers and county staff to count families and individuals experiencing homelessness.
The collected data plays a pivotal role in securing federal and state funding to combat homelessness, the department said. It aids in understanding the scope of homelessness in Snohomish County and identifying the most impacted demographics. The Point-in-Time Count is also a valuable tool for prioritizing state and national funding and planning local programs and systems.
During the 2023 count, the survey was supported by the efforts of 247 volunteers, county personnel, and partnering agency staff. The 2023 count identified 1,285 people in 1,028 households residing in shelter, transitional housing or living without shelter in Snohomish County the night of Jan. 23, 2023. In 2023, the total PIT count was up 8.5% from 2022, which represents an increase of 101 people. The total PIT count is again the highest it has been since 2012.
“We know we can’t solve homelessness without help from many members of our community,” said Somers. “This is not a bureaucratic exercise but a heartfelt effort to quantify the problem so that we can implement solutions. We appreciate all of the volunteers who lend a hand.”
The county is divided into four quadrants, including areas outside the jurisdictions mentioned below:
- North County: Arlington, Marysville, Stanwood, Granite Falls, Darrington
- East County: Sultan, Monroe, Snohomish, Lake Stevens
- Central: Everett, Mukilteo
- South County: Lynnwood, Edmonds, Mountlake Terrace
Interested community members are encouraged to participate. More information on the PIT history and methodology is available on the Human Services Point-in-Time Count webpage.
For additional details on the count, contact at Snoco-PITCount@snoco.org or 425-388-3922.