The 2015 Thurston County homeless census found that 476 individuals were homeless or lived in emergency or transitional housing. This total represents a significant decrease from the total in 2010 – 976 individuals – and several reasons may account for the decline. Successful new housing resources, a stronger economy, changes in the census methodology, and non-cooperation of some homeless populations, among other factors, may have lowered the count of homeless individuals.
Of the homeless population, approximately 34% were unsheltered (or living in places not meant for human habitation such as cars, tents, parks, sidewalks, abandoned buildings, or on the street) in 2015.
The number of homeless public school students (kindergarten through 12th grade) counted as part of the school census rose from 1,584 in 2014 to 1,658 in 2015. This surpasses the former peak of 1,269 students counted in 2010.