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Seattle’s latest homelessness count finds 34% drop in homeless tents

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(The Center Square) – The City of Seattle has released new data showing a decrease in homelessness within the city, countering disappointing statistics on homelessness throughout King County.

In March, the city’s Unified Care Team counted 345 tents within city limits, a 34% decrease from 523 tents counted in the fourth quarter of 2023.

The team also counted 179 RVs at active encampment sites last March, a 21% decrease from the 227 RVs counted last time.

The new data counters the latest Point-In-Time count that the King County Regional Homelessness Authority released last week. The King County Regional Homelessness Authority conducted both an unsheltered and sheltered PIT count in January, with results showing 16,385 people experiencing homelessness in King County.

The 16,385 homeless people tallied by the agency is a 22.6% increase from the last point-in-time count conducted by the county in 2022, which found 13,368 homeless people in King County.

The Seattle Unified Care Team’s approach to homelessness is based on coordinated, strategic and data-driven action. The team has a shared goal of ensuring Seattle’s public spaces, sidewalks and streets remain open and accessible to all.

The city’s 2023-2024 biennium budget includes $13.8 million in new funding and 53 new full-time positions under the Unified Care Team.

The team also had 3,157 emergency medical response calls at encampments in the first quarter of 2024. That is an average of 35 calls per day, which is steady with the 2023 rate.

“The Unified Care Team continues to make progress in its work to ensure Seattle streets, sidewalks, and public spaces remain clean and accessible to all, a coordinated effort that includes more than a dozen city departments and partners,” Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell’s Office stated in a news release.

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