Submitted by San Juan County
The 2020 San Juan County “Point-In-Time” homeless count identified 133 people who have no stable place to live, a decrease from the 2019 count of 149.
Of the 133 people identified as having no stable place to live, 66 people were living out of doors, in vehicles, in abandoned buildings, or in an RV or boat that lacked one of the following: drinking water, a restroom, heat, the ability to cook food, or the ability to bathe. The remaining 67 were at risk of homelessness, in temporary, unstable living arrangements, often with friends or family. In 2019, the count found 67 people homeless and 82 at risk of homelessness. The 2018 count found 57 homeless and 63 at risk of homelessness.
The one night PIT count is by definition variable and in San Juan County can fluctuate greatly from year to year. San Juan County has prioritized consistency in its PIT methodology as part of the County’s Five-Year Homeless Plan. The 2020 PIT year over year change of -11 percent from 2019 represents the smallest year over year change in a decade.
The first San Juan County count, conducted in 2005 counted 21 homeless or at risk of homelessness. The numbers have varied with an overall upward trend since then. The state-mandated count is conducted in January. The count was initiated by the State of Washington in 2005 (RCW43. 185C). The Washington State Department of Commerce oversees the count statewide.
Count organizers and volunteers worked with local family resource centers; food banks; churches; healthcare providers; senior centers; libraries; the Sheriff’s Office; schools and preschools and many other community support service providers to conduct the count. San Juan County Housing Program Coordinator Ryan Page extends to all the many volunteers involved in the count his sincerest thanks.
The results of previous counts can be viewed at https://www.commerce.wa.gov/serving-communities/homelessness/annual-point-time-count/.
For more information, contact: Ryan Page, San Juan County Housing Program Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org, 360-370-0590.