SEATTLE -- There were 3,117 men, women and children sleeping on the streets of King County Thursday night, with no shelter.
That's according to volunteers from The One Night Count, who counted every single person they could find on the streets, from Shoreline and Bellevue, through downtown Seattle, Kent and Federal Way.
This is a 14 percent increase from last year, when 2,736 people were counted on the streets.
"This year’s Count is an unmistakable call to action,” said Coalition Executive Director Alison Eisinger. “As teams handed us their tally sheets, they described the people behind the numbers: a teenager sleeping in a doorway with a suitcase, a family-size tent under the roadway with a stroller parked outside, a man who proudly showed off the garden he made around his campsite. Next Tuesday is Housing & Homelessness Day in our state capitol. We ask everyone to call their state lawmakers and urge them to fund housing, shelter, and services. There is no overstating the urgent need in our own backyards."
This counting method helps advocates get a clear picture of how many people are homeless, on any given night and helps community leaders better utilize local resources to help them. Approximately 800 people volunteered, and found people trying to survive in cars, tents, by riding all night buses, waiting in hospital emergency rooms, or curling up in blankets under bridges or in doorways.
The One Night Count does not include those in transitional housing, or shelters.
How can I help?
Visit www.homelessinfo.org to find out how you can: