Thursday, June 5, 2014

Spokane's homeless population rises

Posted By on Thu, Jun 5, 2014 at 1:50 PM

The number of homeless people in Spokane rose 12 percent over the past year, ending a three-year decline, according to new data from the city's annual point-in-time count.

A one-day survey conducted in January identified 1,149 homeless individuals — including 155 unsheltered people, a 158 percent jump from 2013.

Homelessness among families and veterans, however, dropped: The count found 146 homeless families, a 4 percent decrease from last year, and 85 homeless veterans, a 36 percent decrease.

"We have worked hard to direct resources where they are needed most and provide assistance in a coordinated manner,”said Jerrie Allard, director of Spokane's Community, Housing and Human Services department, in a press release. “Those investments have helped us make gains with families and veterans, although we recognize there is still much work to do to end homelessness in Spokane.”

This year, the survey also identified 257 homeless individuals with severe mental illness (up 44 percent), 182 with a chronic substance abuse disorder (up 12 percent), and a record-high 238 survivors of domestic violence.

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Deanna Pan

Deanna Pan is a staff writer at the Inlander, where she covers social justice, state politics and health care. In her cover stories, she's written about mass shooting survivors, NGRI patients and honey bees...