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Point-in-Time Count of Homeless Planned for Jan. 23-29

Release Date: 1/11/2011 4:00:00 PM

MEDIA CONTACTS: Dan Rudel 625-6056 or Martha Lou Wheatley-Billeter 477-7195

Every One Counts—an annual point-in-time count of people who are homeless in our community—has been set for the week of Jan. 23 to 29, 2010.

The count is conducted to provide local service providers with data on the extent of homelessness throughout the Spokane region and its impact on our community. The count also provides local government with homeless information and its impact upon housing and services agencies as they work together to end homelessness.

“Local service providers work very hard throughout the Spokane region to address the needs of people who are homeless—work that has grown during the national economic downturn,” says Dan Ruddell, co-chair of the Every One Counts steering committee. “This is our sixth annual count. We use the information to help the Spokane Regional Continuum of Care network prioritize and align housing and supportive services to better meet the needs of homeless persons.”

During the week of January 23, count stations will be set up throughout the City and County at various sites including emergency shelters, churches, food banks, public transportation hubs and community centers. The count stations will be staffed by non-profit agency staff and community volunteers. Homeless people will be asked to provide basic demographic information to ensure an unduplicated count.

“Our goal is to get a comprehensive count of all homeless families and individuals throughout the County,” said Christy Zuniga, co-chair of this year’s count.

“People can also call in with information on folks who are staying with family or friends because they don’t have homes of their own. These people are often forgotten, and they are considered homeless,” Zuniga added.

This information can be provided by calling the City Human Services Department at 625-6130 or the One Day Count Hotline at 228-3200 for count locations.

Since 2005, the City of Spokane, Spokane County, state agencies, and the Spokane Regional Continuum of Care network have worked together to conduct the count. The annual point-in-time count is mandated by federal and state departments to meet compliance in accessing grant funding for housing and supportive services. Homeless information obtained through the count will be used to apply for state and federal Homeless Assistance Grants.

These same legislative mandates require communities to develop a 10-year plan to reduce homelessness by 50 percent over a 10-year period. The City of Spokane and Spokane County established 10-year plans in 2005, and updated and merged their plans in December 2008 into a regional plan called the Road Home. A copy of the Road Home: Spokane Regional 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness can be found at  www.spokanehumanservices.org.

More information on the count is available by calling the City of Spokane Human Services Department at 625-6130.

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