Snohomish County holds annual point-in-time count of homeless population

EVERETT, Wash. — Snohomish County is trying to get a head count on all of its residents, including those experiencing homelessness.

Since 2006, Snohomish County has been conducting an annual Point-in-Time Count.

“So the Point-in-Time count, we go out in the community, we count, we survey, we talk, you know we get to know some of our unsheltered population,” said YWCA Director of Housing Services, Kresha Green.

On Tuesday, volunteers and community organizations went to different communities. Larry Donk said it was his first time helping out with the count.

“I just wanted to get a firsthand look at what’s going on in the community,” said Donk.

Tony Thompson, outreach director with The Hand Up Project, said they have five clean and sober houses in the county and that this kind of work is truly eye-opening.

“A lot of drugs, alcohol, and mental health issues. There’s a lot of need out there,” said Thompson.

Throughout the years, the PIT count has gone up. In 2022, over 1,000 people were staying in shelters, transitional housing or living without shelter. It’s the highest number since 2012.

“We need more mental health support. We need more treatment you know, for chemical dependency. We need more housing, we need more shelter. It’s unfortunately the same thing we’re hearing,” said Green.

Once all of the information is gathered it’s reported to the county which then works with the Department of Housing and Urban Development to see what kind of support is best needed.

One thing all advocates can agree on is that it’s a team effort.

“Give a little bit of your time. Just be aware that somebody’s brother, mom, friend, sister — just help them out,” said Thompson.