Monday, May 20, 2024

Point in Time Count records decrease in homelessness for one-day event

Count also shows increase in number of people living in shelters, temporary housing


The recent Point in Time Count showed the number of people experiencing homelessness on the one-day event is slightly down from last year, a result the Chelan County Housing Program coordinator is attributing in part to efforts by local partners working with the unhoused.

On January 26, outreach teams surveyed 121 people experiencing homelessness in Chelan and Douglas counties. Of the 121 people interviewed or observed, 105 people were unsheltered, meaning they were living out of doors or in a vehicle or RV, an abandoned building, or a tent or other outdoor area not meant for habitation. This is down from 123 unsheltered people counted last year.

“I am really proud of the work everyone involved in the event and its planning put in,” said Sasha Sleiman, Chelan County Housing Program coordinator. “This year’s count is truly a reflection of the dedication over the last year shown by the staff at all our local non-profits who work with the unhoused. They have developed relationships with people, they know where those folks spend their time and they have built trust with people experiencing homelessness over time. These relationships and building of trust are what allow us to get reliable information and data.”

While the results of the event show a decrease in the number of people living unsheltered in the area, they also show an increase over last year in the number of people living in shelters or temporary housing.

Also recorded on Jan. 26 were 368 people staying in emergency shelters, including the city of Wenatchee’s RV Safe Parks, transitional housing programs or in a hotel through an emergency hotel/motel voucher program. This is an increase of 91 people, or a total of 275 in 2022. Shelter data is obtained through the statewide database programs used to track client information, not from the surveys conducted during the PIT outreach and event.

In addition, the Chelan County Regional Justice Center reported 36 people – 30 men and six women – in jail at the time of the count who would, if released that day, describe themselves as homeless. Similarly, the Center for Alcohol and Drug Treatment in Wenatchee reported five people who were in its inpatient treatment program the night of the PIT Count but, if exited from treatment, would be unhoused in Chelan or Douglas counties.

More details of the information gathered at the event include:

• Of the 105 people counted as unsheltered, they reported living:

 -44 adults and 2 minors live out of doors (street, tent, abandoned building, park, etc.)

 -39 adults and 1 minor live in a vehicle (not in a city Safe Park)

 -19 adults refused to say where they slept

• The locations where the 105 unsheltered people indicated they were sleeping on the night of the PIT count were:

 -Wenatchee: 46 (44 adults and 2 minors)

 -East Wenatchee: 15

 -Chelan: 15 (14 adults and 1 minor)

 -Leavenworth: 4

 -Cashmere: 1

 -Unincorporated Chelan Co: 15

 -Unincorporated Douglas Co: 8

 -Refused to answer: 1



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