The 2020 Thurston County point in time homeless count found that 995 individuals were experiencing homelessness - living unsheltered or in emergency or transitional housing. This is a 24 percent increase over 2019 and is the highest count since the the report was first issued in 2006.
Approximately 54% of homeless individuals were unsheltered in 2020 compared to 49% in 2018. "Unsheltered" means living in places not meant for human habitation such as cars, tents, parks, sidewalks, abandoned buildings, or on the street.
The number of public school students experiencing homelessness decreased about 30% (238 students) between the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 school years.
Most students who experience homelessness do so in a doubled-up situation. This means they share the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason.
Thurston County Point in Time Homeless Count and Student Homelessness
Thurston County participates in a statewide annual "Point in Time Count of Homeless Persons." This count helps determine the number of homeless people in the county, as well as the causes of their homelessness, and assists in developing a comprehensive strategic response to the issue.
School Districts report the number of students (pre-kindergarten through 12th grade) that experience homelessness during the school year to the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). While the number of students experiencing homelessness does fluctuate throughout the year, OSPI reports the number on October 1st of each school year. Consequently, the total number of students that have experienced homelesseness at some point during the year is not reflected.
Thurston County Public Health and Social Services; Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction