One Night Count finds an increase in homelessness

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Sharon Lee sounds the gong at City Hall. (Photo from Sharon Lee)

The One Night Count, a count of homeless people in King County, took place early in the morning on Friday, Jan. 25.

Volunteers with trained leaders were dispatched from 10 locations throughout the county to count. Approximately 800 volunteers observed people trying to survive in cars, tents, all night buses, hospital emergency rooms, or curled up in blankets under bridges or in doorways.

In total, 2,736 individuals were observed with no shelter, an increase of 142 compared to last year’s count.

The Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness, an independent coalition of organizations and individuals that work on homelessness issues in our region, organizes the count, now in its 33rd year.

“The One Night Count is a humbling experience,” said Coalition Executive Director Alison Eisinger. “This morning, we are especially reminded that everyone should have a place to call home. The Count is a call to action each January — the beginning of a full year of education and action for all of us who care about this crisis.”

Following the count, a gong was sounded 2,736 times, once for each homeless person counted.

Seattle City Councilmember Nick Licata was first to ring the gong, followed by the Executive Director of the Low Income Housing Initiative, Sharon Lee, and King County Councilmember Larry Gossett. (end)

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