OLYMPIA - This year the 2016 Thurston County Homeless Census volunteers counted 579 homeless people during their annual day count of homeless in the community. This is an increase from the 476 people counted in 2015, but nearly the same as the 576 people counted in 2014. -30-
"It is normal to expect the overall numbers to fluctuate year by year and it is good to see the downward trend since the peak in 2010 when the total was 976 homeless persons. The overall decrease can be attributed in part to the dedicated work of non-profit partners in the community. They are striving to implement strategies developed through the Thurston Thrives Housing Action Team, chaired by County Commissioner Bud Blake. They provide essential housing and services for those in need." said Gary Aden, Thurston County Housing and Community Renewal Manager.
The 2016 census took place on Thursday, January 28 from 5 a.m. until 9 p.m. It included about 140 local volunteers who worked with partnering agencies across the county. This year the event also included a "Census Jam" at the Artesian Well in downtown Olympia that included prize giveaways for census participants. These items were donated by local businesses and community members and included "warming kits" food certificates and other items.
The preliminary count numbers have been confirmed by the Washington State Department of Commerce but will not be finalized by the state until late April or early May. The number is not anticipated to vary greatly.
For more information about 2016 Homeless Census contact Gary Aden at (360)867-2532or email@example.com