The 2019 Pierce County PIT (Point-in-Time) Count was conducted on January 25, 2019 via a mobile application.
A total of 1,486 people experiencing homelessness were identified during the count, a decrease of 9 percent compared with the 2018 PIT count. Volunteers found 629 persons sleeping unsheltered outdoors, in cars, or in abandoned buildings — a decrease of 16 percent from 2018 — and 857 people were sheltered in emergency shelters or transitional housing units.
Each year, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Washington State Department of Commerce require communities to conduct a one-night Point-in-Time (PIT) Count of people experiencing homelessness. The PIT Count represents one data source that helps communities better understand why people lose their housing and, in turn, how communities can design responsive programs that ensure homelessness is a rare, brief, and non-recurring phenomenon.
This year, more than 300 volunteers helped County staff conduct surveys and distribute a record number of food, hygiene, and clothing donations. 2019 also marked the first year in which the County organized dedicated outreach teams in Eastern Pierce County and the Key Peninsula. Additionally, a team consisting of young-adult outreach workers with lived experience of homelessness connected with current youth experiencing homelessness.
The PIT Count represents a one-night estimate of the local scope of homelessness. Over the course of the last twelve months however, at least 10,860 people experienced homelessness in Pierce County, according to the County’s Homeless Management Information System data. Over the same period, more than 4,000 people experiencing homelessness secured permanent housing, marking a 163 percent increase over 2013. In 2018, 85 percent of people who found housing the previous year did not return to homelessness.
To learn more about homelessness and Pierce County’s response, visit the Homeless Programs online dashboard.