As a recipient of federal and state funds supporting homeless services, our community is required to conduct Point-in-Time Counts annually. In Spokane, we call this the Everybody Counts Campaign.
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The Everybody Counts campaign is essentially a point-in-time census of the homeless population in Spokane. This census is conducted every year during the last ten days in January and is designed to give every federally-funded community a snapshot of homelessness where they live. This is a critical element in our effort to end homelessness, as the data gathered from this census shows us much more than how many people are homeless in Spokane. We learn more about who is living in homelessness in Spokane County; why they are homeless, what barriers they are facing, as well as, key data points that can impact how new programs are designed. With data from previous years, we can see trends, target areas, and gather information about whether or not our programs are effective. The data from this count also helps us secure funding for future services from state and federal sources as it provides the data used to complete grant applications and reports required by state and federal homeless service funders.
The Point-in-Time Count is a snapshot census of people experiencing certain categories of homelessness in the Spokane community on one night January. The count includes people who, on the night of the count, are:
The Everybody Counts campaign has a positive impact on service delivery and results. When we learn about populations that are disproportionately impacted by homelessness – for example, chronically homeless individuals, unaccompanied youth, and homeless veterans – we are able to focus our programs to be responsive to those needs. In fact, the City of Spokane and its partners throughout the region did just that. Throughout 2017, efforts and interventions were focused and tailored for these three populations. As a result, in the 2018 Count, we saw a decrease in homelessness among all three of these groups.