A total of 12,112 individuals were experiencing homelessness in Seattle/King County on January 26, 2018. Fifty-two percent (52%) of the population was unsheltered, living on the street, or in parks, tents, vehicles, or other places not meant for human habitation. Compared to 2017, the number of individuals experiencing homelessness in Seattle/King County increased by 4% (469 persons). The unsheltered population increased by 15% (835 persons).
The report on the 2018 point-in-time count of King County homelessness has been released and — if you’re looking for even the faintest silver lining — at least the problem didn’t grow significantly more challenging in the past year. The Count Us In report shows a smaller than expected 4% total increase from 2017. But the count of
unsheltered homeless in Seattle rose 17%. The full report is below. UPDATE: CHS erroneously described the Seattle population as “living unsheltered” when the report count we referenced was for the total homeless individuals. Sorry for the error and any confusion.
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According to the report, the largest increase was found in people living in cars, trucks, vans, and RVs:
In 2018, there were an estimated 3,372 persons living in cars, RVs, and vans. This represented a 46% increase compared to 2017, when there were an estimated 2,314 persons living in vehicles. Alternatively, the unsheltered population not residing in vehicles, i.e., on the streets, in buildings, or in tents, decreased by 7% (223 persons), indicating a shift within the unsheltered population.
In Seattle, the counted population added up to 71% of the county’s total — 8,600 people.
Within those numbers and across the county, an estimated 3,552 individuals were experiencing chronic homelessness — “sleeping in places not meant for human habitation or staying in emergency shelters for a year or longer—or experiencing at least four such episodes of homelessness in the last three years—and also living with a disabling condition such as a chronic health problem, psychiatric or emotional condition, or physical disability.” Compared to 2017, the number of people experiencing chronic homelessness leapt 28%.
With homeless youth a focus on Capitol Hill, the 2018 count showed a slight dip in young people counted this year. An estimated 1,518 individuals were classified as “unaccompanied youth and young adults” —
Young people represented 13% of the total count population, and included 172 youth under 18 years old and 1,346 young adults between 18 and 24 years old. Three-quarters (75%) of unaccompanied youth and young adults were unsheltered on the night of the count and 25% were sheltered.
According to the report, a disproportionate number of those homeless young people identified as LGBTQ+.
The full 2018 Count Us In report is below. You can learn more at allhomekc.org.