MOUNT VERNON: The Washington State Department of Commerce released the official Point in Time Count of homeless numbers for Washington State and Skagit County last week. Every January, communities across the nation administer a one-day count of individuals and families experiencing and facing homelessness. This year’s Point in Time Count occurred on January 29, 2015.
For Skagit County, total sheltered individuals were 152 across 83 households; total unsheltered individuals were 199; and total individuals doubled-up (i.e. temporarily staying in homes that were not their own) were 115 for a grand total of 466 people experiencing or facing homelessness. Of that total, 101 were children and 16 were unsheltered veterans. This total number is up 12% in Skagit County from 2014, with a statewide increase of 8%.
Additionally, Skagit’s Housing Resource Center has seen an 18% increase in families and individuals needing shelter and affordable housing over the last year, from 632 requests for housing assistance in March 2014, to 807 request in March 2015. The Housing Resource Center is a community based project located at Community Action of Skagit County that works with landlords, shelters and community housing programs to create a first stop, coordinated system for people experiencing a housing crisis, with the goal of connecting people to the right resources as quickly as possible.
Community Action of Skagit County and the Skagit County Coalition to End Homelessness recognize that the county’s Point in Time Count totals are likely much higher. The count is conducted on just one day of the year and only includes people willing to fill out a homelessness survey. However, this number provides a baseline that helps our community and local coalitions when creating plans to fight homelessness and increase affordable housing opportunities. For further information you may contact Melissa Self, Housing Program Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org or Susan Lange at email@example.com.
Source: Community Action of Skagit County Press Release