King County’s homeless count reaches record-breaking 16,000+ individuals

According to recent data, the number of individuals experiencing homelessness in King County has reached an unprecedented level.

In January, the King County Regional Homelessness Authority carried out a comprehensive count to assess the number of individuals facing homelessness in King County. The findings of the unsheltered and sheltered point-in-time (PIT) count revealed that a total of 16,385 people were experiencing homelessness in the region.

The KCRHA unveiled the PIT count findings on Wednesday, as mandated every other year by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The number of homeless individuals recorded by the agency has increased by 22.6% compared to the previous point-in-time count conducted by the county in 2022. In 2022, there were 13,368 homeless people in King County, whereas the current count reveals a total of 16,385 individuals experiencing homelessness.

The PIT count in 2020 recorded a total of 11,751 individuals who were experiencing homelessness.

Callie Craighead, press secretary for Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell, stated that the data is currently being reviewed by the office to guide their continuous and future initiatives aimed at addressing homelessness. Seattle, being the largest contributor to KCRHA’s funding, allocated 42% of the agency’s 2024 budget, amounting to $104.67 million.

“The city remains committed to working alongside KCRHA as the primary agency in our region to combat unsheltered homelessness. We will collaborate to enhance the efficiency of our homelessness response system and establish countywide partnerships to address this ongoing crisis in a coordinated manner,” stated Craighead in an email.

King County, located in Washington state, is home to an estimated 2.3 million residents, making it the most populous county in the state. However, it is crucial to acknowledge that the Point-in-Time (PIT) count, which aims to measure homelessness, is recognized as an undercount of the true number of individuals experiencing homelessness in the area.

According to the latest data from the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, there are a total of 71,320 homeless individuals residing in the greater Los Angeles area.

In 2022, the total number of homeless individuals in San Francisco reached 7,784.

The number of homeless people in King County has not only increased, but the funding for KCRHA, the organization responsible for coordinating funding and services for unhoused individuals across the county, has also seen an increase since 2019.

The budget allocated for KCRHA this year is $249.1 million, which is slightly lower than the $253.3 million budgeted in the 2023 budget. However, it represents a significant increase of 45% compared to the budget of nearly $171 million in 2022.

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MBS Staff
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