2024 Thurston County Point-in-Time Count Homeless Census Preliminary Data Released

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Submitted by Thurston County

Thurston County Public Health and Social Services has released preliminary data for the 2024 Point-in-Time Count Homeless Census (PIT). This preliminary data report shares the number of Thurston County residents experiencing unsheltered homelessness, staying in shelters, or transitional housing programs at a single point in time – January 25, 2024.

This year, 864 people experiencing homelessness were counted in Thurston County on the night of Thursday, January 25, 2024. There were 47 people in transitional housing, 400 people in emergency shelters, and 417 people staying in encampments, RVs or other vehicles, small structures, doorways, or in other places not meant for human habitation. The total count in 2024 has increased by about 120 people experiencing homelessness when compared to the 2023 data.

Eight events were held to conduct PIT surveys and share resources. The events focused on different sub-populations: seniors, adults, youth, and young adults. Survival gear was distributed such as blankets, winter gloves, hand warmers, rechargeable headlamps, duffle bags, hygiene kits, socks, and other winter clothing. The events offered attendees connection to services, food, haircuts, foot care, and veterinary care.

Data presented in the preliminary report for people living in shelters and transitional housing programs were reported via the county’s Homeless Management Information System. All data gathered from the 2024 PIT count will be cross-checked by Department of Commerce staff to account for any duplications or ineligible surveys. Final 2024 PIT data will be provided by the Department of Commerce and reflected in a final comprehensive report. It is anticipated the Department of Commerce will finalize the data in May 2024.

What is the Point-in-Time Count?

Every January, partners of the Thurston County Homeless Crisis Response System and community volunteers conduct a count of unsheltered individuals living in the county. This annual event is called the Point-in-Time Count and is required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

The Point in Time Count takes place over one week starting on the third Thursday of January. It’s made up of a series of events where unsheltered community members can complete surveys specifically asking where they stayed on the third Thursday night of January to count the unsheltered population at a specific point in time.

In addition to the survey of unsheltered individuals, people staying in shelters and transitional housing are counted. The events include snacks, information about resources, and incentives like survival gear and winter clothing. This year, the Point-in-Time Count was from January 25 – February 1 to survey where people stayed on the night of January 25, 2024.

The 2023 Point in Time Count Report and reports from previous years are available on Thurston County Office of Housing & Homeless Prevention’s Data and Reports webpage.

A successful PIT Count is dependent on volunteers and county partners to plan, implement, and gather as many surveys as possible. This year, United Way of Thurston County provided volunteer recruitment efforts to ensure all events and survey efforts were well-staffed. This year, there were more than 20 volunteers who staffed event tables, sorted donations, gathered surveys, delivered equipment, and managed supplies for the PIT count.

If you have additional questions about this year’s PIT count, reach out to Keylee Marineau, Homeless Response Program Manager, at 360.490.5910 or keylee.marineau@co.thurston.wa.us.

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