SPOKANE, Wash. -- Homelessness among families and veterans decreased over the past year in Spokane while the total individual count of homeless people rose during the same period, the City of Spokane announced Thursday.
The annual one-night snapshot ‘Point-In-Time Count,’ taken January 23, counted 146 homeless families. That is a four percent decrease from the previous year. The finding continued a four-year trend of fewer homeless families, representing a 47 percent aggregate drop since 2011. Homelessness among veterans also decreased to 85 this year, down 36 percent since last year, according to the report.
“We have worked hard to direct resources where they are needed most and provide assistance in a coordinated manner,” said Jerrie Allard, director of the City’s Community, Housing & Human Services department. “Those investments have helped us make gains with families and veterans, although we recognize there is still much work to do to end homelessness in Spokane.”
The census also found the number of total homeless persons counted increased to 1,149 last year, a 12 percent jump over the previous year. The increase ended a three-year downward trend.
The count of homeless individuals included 155 unsheltered persons, a 158 percent increase over the 60 unsheltered persons counted in 2013. The highest number of unsheltered persons counted in the last six years was 172 persons in 2010.
Other findings included:
• 257 people experiencing severe mental illness, a 44 percent increase since last year. The number has increased each of the past two years.
• 182 people with a chronic substance abuse condition, a 12 percent increase over the 162 counted the previous year. The number has increased each of the past two years.
• 238 survivors of domestic violence—the highest number counted in any of the past six Point-in-Time Counts.
• 151 chronically homeless individuals, a 76 percent increase over the 86 chronically homeless individuals counted in 2013. The highest number of chronically homeless individuals counted during the past six years was 270 in 2009.
Spokane’s first homelessness census was conducted in January 2006. That census counted 1,592 homeless participants.