Who is Homeless

For the first time in a decade, the City of Seattle contracted with Applied Survey Research (ASR) to talk with 1,050 unsheltered individuals and held multiple focus groups with 80 attendees. The research served to dispel several commonly held myths about the City's homelessness crisis. The results also provided greater understanding of the situations and needs of those experiencing homelessness in Seattle, to better inform the city's response to homelessness with it's community partners.

3 Main Self-Identified Contributors to Homelessnes

  • The Needs Assessment highlighted many contributors to homelessness. The results show that nearly ½ of respondents were homeless due to the loss of a job or housing issues. Additionally, 93% of respondents said they would come inside if it were safe and affordable.

Too Many Families Sleep Outside




  • The Needs Assessment highlighted that too many families are living outdoors, in addition to those that are housed in transitional housing, rapid re-housing and emergency shelters.

People of Color

  • Homelessness in Seattle impacts Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, and Native Americans disproportionately to their representation in the overall population of Seattle. HSD is committed to funding culturally responsive services. Agencies applying for the Homeless Investments RFP must demonstrate the capacity to provide culturally responsive services through delivery of participant-centered and strength-based services.



LGBTQ Community

  • There is limited data on the number of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) individuals experiencing homelessness, however, the available data does suggest that LGBTQ individuals experience homelessness at higher rates, especially in the youth and young adult population.

housing issue king county

  • All Home (the Area's Continuum of Care Provider) analyzed what it would take for King County to reach a state in which the number of homeless people at any given time could be housed within 30 days.  Currently, the rate at which people are becoming homeless is outpacing the housing resources in King County available to help them.

count us in

  • Count Us In-a new and more comprehensive point-in-time homelessness report was released May 31,2017--- providing critical new baseline on homelessness in Seattle and King County. The 2017 Count Us In tally counted a total of 11,643 people experiencing homelessness throughout King County, with 8,476 experiencing homelessness in Seattle. Despite early actions taken by the City including; opening of new shelters, launching of the navigation team and center, and other actions, the number of people experiencing homelessness has grown.