A message from Alison Eisinger of the Seattle King County Coalition on Homelessness …
Beginning at 8.00 a.m. this morning, folks who work at more than 30 programs serving homeless families will begin tallying phone calls for 24 hours, keeping track of all of the people whom they have to turn away, because local shelters are already full. Through last year’s Family Turn Away Survey, we were able to show that at least 253 children and 177 of their adult family members — that’s 141 households — tried unsuccessfully to find shelter in a single day and night. That is an unduplicated count, and an eye-opening glimpse of the unmet need in our community.
Why do we do the One Night Count of people who are homeless in King County? We have been doing this since long before it was a HUD requirement. We want to acknowledge what is really going on — the good work, the thousands of people inside at night thanks to our network of shelter, transitional housing, and services, as well as the heartbreaking truth that thousands more need safe, warm, stable homes. Each January, the process of collaborating to document how our neighbors are attempting to survive feeds our outrage, our determination, our hope, and our work together in the rest of the year.
Well over a hundred people put substantial skilled work and thoughtful preparation over untold hours into this extraordinary community project. Let’s thank everyone who is involved. Each of them, and the agencies that employ them, thanks to their tremendous in-kind contributions, make this extraordinary community project possible.