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Homelessness down since services, housing integrated

Annual Point-In-Time Count shows 13 percent decrease

Release Date: 5/1/2013 10:45:00 AM

MEDIA CONTACT: Brian Coddington, (509) 625-6740

Homelessness in Spokane has seen a significant decline a year after the City implemented an innovative approach to integrate services and housing, according to the annual Point-In-Time Count conducted by Spokane Regional Continuums of Care published today.

A census taken on January 24 found 1,030 homeless individuals, down 13 percent from last year and 19 percent since 2011, according to the PIT Count. Several factors contributed to the reduction, including increases in permanent and rapid re-housing options, and a coordinated regional assessment program for homeless families.

“Our approach is tailored to provide the right level of assistance, at the right time and in a coordinated manner to direct resources where they are needed most,” says Jerrie Allard, director of the City’s Community, Housing & Human Services department. “We invest significant dollars into affordable housing and effective social services programs to quickly house and stabilize our homeless population.”

Spokane Mayor David Condon combined the Community Development and Human Services departments during his first year in office to emphasize the importance of housing our most vulnerable citizens and connecting them to supportive services to achieve housing stability. His goal was to ensure that federal, state and local grant funds to serve Spokane’s extremely low to moderate income citizens were spent buying services.

Data gathered during the annual PIT Count is used to track progress toward the goal of reducing homelessness in Spokane to 796 by 2015 and identify subpopulations in need of greater support. The City is required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Washington State Department of Commerce to submit an annual regional homelessness census.

“We recognize that the Point-In-Time Count is simply a snapshot of the homeless population on that day and know that we still have significant work to do to reduce homelessness in our community,” Allard says.

Spokane’s first homelessness census was conducted in January 2006. That census counted 1,592 homeless participants.

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