According to the annual report to Congress, according to new national data, Washington has the highest estimated increase among people living homeless in 2019-2020.
According to the report, the total number of homeless people in the United States increased by more than 2% that year, but in Washington it increased by 6.2% or 1,346 people, the third largest increase in the number of homeless people in all 50 states.
The presentation showed that Washington was far from battling one of the most devastating “difficult” types of homelessness, chronic homelessness, defined as frequent or prolonged periods of homelessness by people with disabilities. People who fall into this category often struggle with mental health or addiction problems, forcing them to stay indoors without intensive care or other assistance. National, 15% more chronically homeless people are counted that year due to the increase in the number of people living abroad.
The U.S. Department of Housing և Urban Development 2020 2020 Homelessness Assessment Report is based on a time-based survey conducted in January of last year across the country. imperfect means of homelessness. Although these annual surveys almost certainly do not describe the full range of homeless people, they together put the Washington homelessness crisis in the context of a larger epidemic of housing instability across the country.
The latest report presents a moment of national homelessness before the coronavirus epidemic devastated the United States, which many see as a distant reality before the homeless system went through a crisis response.
“The world is so different now,” said Ted Keleher, chief executive of the Department of State for Housing Support, who said government officials were so focused on spreading the epidemic that they had little time for that year. : data:
But some trends in the national report still resonate with people working in the homeless.
For example, in 2019-2020, Washington saw a 20% increase in family homelessness, which is one of the largest countries. At the same time, the number of people in homeless families, that is, those living in uninhabited areas, has increased across the country.
“People see a lot more families in camps, in cars,” said Derrick Belgard, deputy director of the show’s premier club. “And there is a lack of resources for that.”
Belgard said the finding was not surprising given the economic pressures on low-income families.
“Everyone brags about Northwest Seattle, having all these big companies, from Amazon to Microsoft,” said Belgard. “It simply came to our notice then. “There is no way you can get the minimum wage.”
For the seventh year in a row, Seattle և King County also ranked third in terms of total homelessness populations in large urban areas.
“The HUD report confirms what we already know. “The fact that homelessness remains a complex, growing challenge is a result of the very broken systems that exist in this country,” said Kamaria Heightower, Seattle mayor’s spokeswoman.
Heitower noted that while Seattle has increased its investment in the homeless, “we know Seattle is serving more and more people outside Seattle, King County, especially those with chronic homelessness.”
“There is a great need in the region. Seattle cannot be the only city that invests in affordable housing, ancillary services, and shelter resources,” Haytwar said.
Overall, Washington State had one of the highest rates of chronic homelessness, with an additional 1,497 people in that category.
Daniel Malone, executive director of the nonprofit Downtown Emergency Service, said that was not surprising given the pressure on the housing market. Private market rents are incompatible with fixed incomes in many areas, Malone said. Եւ The low-income housing system meets only part of the demand.
“People who may have been able to get out of homelessness in the past, even though they had very low incomes, are not able to,” Malone said. “And many people are crossing the threshold of chronic homelessness.”
But the results show that Washington’s urban areas were not the only parts of the state with a large number of chronic homeless people. Rural areas of Washington are ranked as the country with the highest number of people living with chronic homelessness in rural areas.
For example, during 2019-2020, the estimated number of chronically homeless people in the Yakima area doubled from 47 to 97 people. Some of it may be due to a change in methodology, explained Esther Magassis, the county’s director of human services, but the numbers also reflected the community’s housing shortage.
In 2019, Yakima County had a 1.2% rental vacancy rate, 4.4% lower than Seattle’s vacancy rent at the time. According to Magasis, construction in the area has never been fully recovered from the shock of the 2008 housing crisis, combined with a growing population փոքր a small tax base to build roads նոր infrastructure for new development, which meant that demand for housing exceeded supply.
“Rent is obviously more affordable than in a city like Seattle, but given the average income, the types of wages people can afford in the community, it’s still a pretty high rent,” Magassis said.
As elsewhere, the tight rental market often means that insecure people find it difficult to accommodate.
Finding more hope, the national report notes that Washington had one of the largest declines, at 7%, in the number of homeless young people.
However, young people working for homelessness have long questioned the decline. Annual homelessness surveys do not include young people surfing the couch, which some say is the majority of homeless young people.
“It’s hard to say how accurate that is [decrease] said Bridget Cannon, Washington, D.C., of the U.S. Volunteers, Senior Vice President of Youth Services in Northern Idaho.
Cannon noted that the number of young people accompanied by Spokane has increased in 2019, although he doubts that this is due to a better calculation methodology.
But the big issue that attracts the attention of many has nothing to do with 2019. How did the year of the epidemic affect homelessness?
It’s so hard to say. There are no data yet քանակ The number of tents seen in Seattle parks is not a reliable indicator of whether homelessness has actually increased or has simply become more visible.
“Did we have an absolutely horrible year? A little horrible or a little more horrible next year?” Melon asked. “It’s very difficult to say, I do not know how meaningful it is. That is definitely terrible. “