Count finds fewer homeless in county in 2013

Preliminary data collected Thursday during Snohomish County’s annual Point in Time count of homeless people show a decrease from 2012 numbers.

This year’s incomplete total shows 1,960 people in 1,117 households without permanent places to live. That compares with last year’s final count of 2,287 individuals in 1,410 households.

Figures are divided into three categories: those in emergency shelter or transitional housing; those unsheltered and on the streets; and people precariously housed, doubled up or “couch surfing.”

There were 1,362 sheltered this year, compared with 1,347 a year ago. Without shelter were 298 people, compared with 717 in 2012. And 300 were precariously housed this year, while a year ago there were 323.

In the next month, county staff and members of the Homeless Policy Task Force will verify results of the count, which is a federal and state requirement. They also also look at reasons for the decline, particularly in the number of homeless on the streets.

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