How Well is the Homeless Response System Meeting the Need for Services?
We want to understand the system’s ability to meet the demand for services from the number of households experiencing homelessness in King County. Many variables, including the availability of affordable housing, economic, educational, and health inequities, and with structural racism, affect whether and when a household might fall into homelessness. When the number of households entering the homeless response system is higher than the number of those exiting it, we expect to see the number of households experiencing homelessness and receiving services increase. The wider the gap is between entries and exits – with fewer households becoming homeless and more households ending their experience of homelessness – the better our system will be able to support households in need.
Important Note: King County confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on February 26, 2020; local and statewide orders prohibiting large gatherings to mitigate spread were issued shortly thereafter. Our dashboards show that the number of households entering the system in 2020 was lower than the number of those exiting it – reversing the trend observed in the last several years. Read our Data Review to learn about the primary drivers of this shift and other changes to the homeless response system during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.