This week the City of Spokane announced that the number persons and families experiencing homelessness shows a slight decrease in from the last year, for the second consecutive year. The annual, one-night count took place on Jan. 28 in Spokane as well as across the state.
According to a press release, in 2016, 981 people were counted ranging in age from two months to 78 years old — a 5 percent drop from the count of 1,034 people in 2015. The number of families with children dropped 15 percent to 103. The count of unsheltered persons and veterans showed an increase, however. This year, there were 103 veterans, counted a 2 percent increase from the 101 counted in 2015. The number of unsheltered persons counted in 2016 was 172, a 30 percent increase over the 132 counted in 2015.
- During the 2016 Point-in-Time Count, 981 people (a person may be part of a family household, or an unaccompanied individual) were counted in Spokane
- The PIT count included 759 households (a household may include one or more persons).
- 526 people (54 percent) were staying in Emergency Shelters.
- 283 people (29 percent) were staying in Transitional Housing.
- 172 people (17 percent) were unsheltered.
- 57 percent were male, 43 percent were female
- 68 percent were in households without children, 31 percent were in households with adults and children, 1 percent were in households with only children.
- The people counted ranged in age from 2 months to 78 years.
- 72 percent were over age 24.
- 7 percent were age 18-24.
- 21 percent were under age 18.
More than 30 local agencies participated in the 2016 Point-in-Time Count including social service and housing providers, healthcare providers, faith-based organizations, outreach professionals and local governments.
Tracy Simmons is an award winning journalist specializing in religion reporting, digital entrepreneurship and social journalism. In her 15 years on the religion beat, Simmons has tucked a notepad in her pocket and found some of her favorite stories aboard cargo ships in New Jersey, on a police chase in Albuquerque, in dusty Texas church bell towers, on the streets of New York and in tent cities in Haiti.
Simmons has worked as a multimedia journalist for newspapers across New Mexico, Texas and Connecticut. Currently she serves as the executive director of SpokaneFAVS.com, a digital journalism start-up covering religion news and commentary in Spokane, Wash. She is also a Scholarly Assistant Professor at Washington State University.