In the News: Point-in-Time Count in Snohomish County

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Compass Health in the News:  Homeless count shows scope of problem in Snohomish County

Everett Herald

Julie Muhlstein
Tue Jan 24th, 2017 9:44pm

EVERETT — Slogging through bushes and mud, volunteers with Snohomish County’s annual Point-In-Time homeless count followed two Everett police officers Tuesday. They walked along the Snohomish River, past piles of trash, makeshift shelters and other signs of life on the margins.

A man in a black jacket and cap stood near a bicycle and a raggedy tent. He was wary as he answered survey questions posed by Gretchen Holtz, a count volunteer who works for Compass Health. With morning temperatures near freezing, the man pointed to the tent near the river. It’s where he stays, he said.

Responding to one question, he said, “When was the last time anybody had a permanent address?”

The Snohomish County Human Services Department, along with social service agencies and volunteers, conducts the Point-In-Time count for one day each January. Results help show the scope of homelessness in the county and aid in program planning. The annual data also is key for acquiring state and national funding.

From 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, volunteers from sites in Everett and in east, north and south county gathered information about people staying in emergency shelters, transitional housing, or on the streets and in other places not fit for habitation.

During the 2016 count, 1,118 people were surveyed. Of those, 471 reported being unsheltered. Another 489 were without permanent places to stay, and were in emergency shelters or transitional housing. The 2016 count found 58 military veterans. And those counted last year ranged in age from 44 days to 91 years old.

On Tuesday, Everett Police Officers Mike Bernardi and Inci Yarkut led the way for Holtz and Autumn Manning. Both volunteers were from Compass Health’s PATH program (Project for Assistance in the Transition from Homelessness).

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