Results from the 2012 One Night Count

The 32nd annual One Night Count of homeless people in King County took place in the early hours of Friday, January 27, 2012. The Coalition organized more than 800 volunteers who fanned out across the county to count the number of men, women and children who were homeless and sleeping outdoors without shelter between 2.00 and 5.00 a.m. They counted people trying to survive in cars and tents, riding late night buses, or curled up in blankets under bridges or in doorways. That same night, staff at agencies that operate shelters and transitional housing programs recorded select Informationrmation about the people staying in their programs. Staff at the Homeless Housing Program of King County's Community Services Division compile these data.



Over 8,830 people were known to be homeless in King County on this one night. What we know about these people is based on Informationrmation reported by agency staff or collected by the Coalition on Homelessness (through the street count, the Family Turn Away Survey, and the Veterans Interview Project).

At least 2,594 men, women, and children were without shelter during the three hour street count. This number is an increase of 6% over those found without shelter last year. This number is always assumed to be an undercount, because we do not count everywhere, and because many people take great care not to be visible.

Local programs served 6,236 people indoors:
2,682 people were staying in overnight or emergency shelters
3,554 people were living in transitional housing programs


Veterans, survivors of domestic violence, and families with children

Of the 6,236 people in shelters and transitional housing, slightly more than 10% identified as veterans - that's 633 people.
In addition, the Coalition conducted a special Veterans Interview Project to identify veterans who had no overnight shelter. Through this work, we demonstrated that at least 163 veterans lacked basic shelter in our community - though there is good reason to believe that the total number is higher.

Seven hundred and sixty-six adults (or 17% of the 4,403 adults in shelter and transitional housing) were recorded as having experienced domestic violence. This number, also, likely reflects the minimum number of people who are homeless and affected by family violence.

Of the 952 families with children served indoors that night (see TABLE 3B), 80% were living in transitional housing. For households without children, 33% were in transitional housing that night (see TABLE 3A). Children (under age 18) make up nearly 30% of the people who are homeless in our shelters and transitional housing programs (see TABLE 4). The Coalition's 2012 Family Turn Away Survey also documented that 366 people (at least 214 children and 152 adult family members) were turned away from full shelters in the 24 hours around the One Night Count.

During the 2011 One Night Count, volunteers found 2,442 people surviving outside, without shelter, and another 6,382 were counted in shelters and transitional housing programs (total 8,824).

Graphic of 2012 Count Stats by Area

Table 1

Table 2

Table 3A

Table 3B

Table 4

Download the 2012 results.

See our publications for previous year's One Night Count results.