The Opportunity Council and the Whatcom County Health Department recently published results of the 2019 Point-In-Time (PIT) Count, an annual snapshot of homelessness in our community. This year’s results show the largest decrease in homelessness since 2012, with 14% fewer individuals living homeless than in 2018. Participants in the count cited eviction or loss of housing as the most common factor that contributed to their homelessness.
The decrease in homelessness in 2019 is in part attributable to the new 22 North supportive housing facility and expanded programming to support individuals facing homelessness. In fact, the services provided by non-profit partner agencies of the Whatcom Homeless Service Center collectively helped 2,281 individuals to find temporary or permanent housing or financial assistance to prevent homelessness in 2018.
Five hundred and fifteen (515) households comprised of 700 individuals who spent the night homeless were counted in the January 2019 Point-In-Time Count. Of those:
- 280 households were sheltered, meaning they had a temporary place to stay.
- 234 households were unsheltered, meaning they did not have a place to stay. Unsheltered people often sleep in a car or on the street.
- 119 individuals were aged 55 or older.
- 72 households were families with children (207 individuals).
- 394 households were single-person adult households.
Nearly half (47%) of the individuals identified as female, and the median age of all respondents was 37. Fifty-one (51) veterans were counted.
The full 2019 PIT Count Report is available online.