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134 people in San Juan County counted as unhoused

March 13, 2024 (en español) – The 2024 San Juan County “Point-In Time” (PIT) 20240312 PIT Results_EnglishUnhoused Count identified 134 people who have no stable place to live, down from the 148 identified in 2023. The Washington State mandated count was conducted on Jan. 25, 2024, and is a yearly, nationwide event with a mission: to identify and better serve unhoused individuals and families.

Of the 134 people identified as having no stable place to live, 59 people were living out of doors, in vehicles, in abandoned buildings, or in an RV or boat that lacked one of the following: drinking water, a restroom, heat, the ability to cook food, or the ability to bathe. These individuals are considered “homeless” by the Washington State Department of Commerce and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

The remaining 75 survey respondents were at risk of being unhoused. These families reside in temporary, unstable living arrangements with family and/or friends, or live in substandard housing. In 2023, the count had identified 51 ‘homeless’ and 97 at risk of being unhoused. In 2020, the count found 66 people homeless and 67 at risk of homelessness.

The one-night PIT Count is by definition variable and in San Juan County can fluctuate greatly from year to year. San Juan County has prioritized consistency in its PIT methodology as part of SJC’s Five-Year Homeless Plan. The count was initiated by the State of Washington in 2005, and the Washington State Department of Commerce oversees the count statewide. The first San Juan County count, conducted in 2005 counted 21 homeless or at risk of homelessness. The numbers have varied with an overall upward trend since then.

PIT count organizers and volunteers worked with local family resource centers, food banks, churches, healthcare providers, senior centers, libraries, the sheriff’s office, schools and pre-schools, and many other community support service providers to conduct the count. SJC Housing Program Coordinator Ryan Page extends his sincerest thanks to all the many volunteers involved in the count.

The information we collect during the PIT plays a pivotal role in informing policymakers at the local, state, and national levels. This data is sent to the Washington State Department of Commerce and the HUD, giving them a snapshot of San Juan County residents experiencing both sheltered and unsheltered homelessness. This invaluable information helps:

  • Secure millions of dollars in funding for vital resources, including affordable housing
  • Inform policy at the local, state, and national levels
  • Guide local resource allocation and planning
  • Drive advocacy efforts

If you are interested in volunteering in next year’s PIT count and survey, please call 360-378-4474 to learn more.

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