Community

Snohomish County is seeking volunteers for its Jan. 24 Point in Time homeless count

Snohomish County - Contributed art
Snohomish County
— image credit: Contributed art

Snohomish County is seeking volunteers for its Jan. 24 Point in Time homeless count.

The annual count is an important tool in the community’s efforts to assess the number of homeless individuals and families in Snohomish County, as well as to determine ways of ending homelessness. Volunteers are needed for different parts of the county between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.

Human service providers, county staff and community volunteers will join together in this effort to respectfully count the number of families and individuals who are homeless in the community. The results of the count will help ensure that vital federal and state funding continues to come into the community to fight homelessness. Data from the annual count also is used to help understand how widespread homelessness is in Snohomish County and who is most affected.

“The only way to address the issue of homelessness is to know who is out there and what the causes behind their homelessness are,” said Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon. “Volunteers are one way to ensure that we’ll get the most accurate count possible when we go out Jan. 24.”

During the 2012 count, 2,387 individuals in 1,410 households were identified as being homeless. About 800 of those individuals, or 33 percent of the count, were homeless children under the age of 18. Those numbers were slightly up from the previous count.

Volunteers are asked to commit to a three-hour period during the Jan. 24 count. All training and materials will be provided at the sites specified below. For residents in north Bothell please contact Maria Bighaus at 425-774-9843 ext. 236 or mbighaus@ywcaworks.org to volunteer or for more information.

Emphasis on the Point in Time count began in 2006, with the approval of the “Everyone At Home Now” report, a strategy for ending homelessness here in Snohomish County. The plan calls for the expansion of affordable housing and homeless-prevention services, as well as for the development of programs geared toward specific groups.

 

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