A newly available cross-systems data analysis from the Department of Community and Human Services (DCHS) found that at least 40,871 people experienced homelessness during 2020—that’s over three times what the last Point In Time Count found. The analysis includes not just people in HMIS, but also those who have interacted with the County’s Public Health and Behavioral Health Care systems—making it a more informative number than from any single source.
Good management means using the most accurate data available, and adjusting what you do as you learn more. As we get better at the data integration process, the number going up is actually a good thing because it means we know more about who we serve and what they need. That gets us one step closer to a By Name List that will allow us to fully resource and match services to the need
Imagine seeing each of these numbers as an individual person within a system that’s supporting them. By understanding the scope and scale of the problem, we can develop solutions that actually meet the need.
The RHA will use the 40,000+ number for planning and resourcing. That means we will be seeking significantly more tools and resources for service providers (including staffing), for high-acuity needs, and most importantly, for permanent, affordable housing.
- Spurning old way of counting homeless people, King County says number is much higher than previously reported, Dec. 17, 2021, Seattle Times
- New County data reframes the scale of the homelessness crisis, Dec. 16, 2021, PubliCola
- 40,800 people in King County experienced homelessness in 2020, Dec. 17, 2021, KUOW