In the early morning hours of Friday, Jan. 28, 2011, the One Night Count of homeless people in King County occurred and the result was a nearly 12% decline in the number of homeless people on the street. This year’s count, which which took place from about 2-5 a.m., found 2,442 people sleeping on the streets, under bridges, in their cars, on public transit, in temporary shelters and in makeshift campsites. This is 317 fewer people than a year ago. Data from the count, along with the data in Safe Harbors and other sources, are key to helping us understand who is homeless in Seattle/King County, and tailor our services appropriately. For more details, see this news release from the Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness.
On Aug. 17, Mayor Mike McGinn announced the formation of a citizen review panel to make encampment policy recommendations to the Mayor’s Office and the Seattle City Council. This group has been convened to provide recommendations that are sensitive to the changing economic climate and the city’s ongoing budget realities. For a list of those serving on the panel see this press release.