Homeless Count in the Wenatchee Valley
The Chelan County Housing Program has released its findings on homelessness from its annual Point in Time Count.
"It looks like our numbers of individuals who are living out of doors physically on the street, abandoned building or a park has dropped from last year," Chelan County Housing Program Coordinator Sasha Sleiman said. "And the number of people who are in shelters, transitional housing, Safe Parks has gone up."
According to the count, 105 people were unsheltered, meaning they were living outdoors or in a vehicle or RV, an abandoned building, or a tent or other outdoor area not meant for habitation. This is down from 123 unsheltered people counted last year.
Sleiman says the rise in people living in shelters and temporary housing is due to an increase in options such as Wenatchee's Safe Parks.
"Hopefully we can get more of those folks in that 105 category into emergency shelter." Sleiman said.
The number of people surveyed on January 26th was a combination of people who came to planned outreach events as well as people who were approached by outreach teams in Chelan and Douglas counties.
“I am really proud of the work everyone involved in the event and its planning put in,” Sleiman said “This year’s count is truly a reflection of the dedication over the last year shown by the staff at all our local non-profits who work with the unhoused. They have developed relationships with people, they know where those folks spend their time and they have built trust with people experiencing homelessness over time. These relationships and building of trust are what allow us to get reliable information and data.”
More details of the information gathered at the event include:
Of the 105 people counted as unsheltered, they reported living:
- 44 adults and 2 minors live out of doors (street, tent, abandoned building, park, etc.)
- 39 adults and 1 minor live in a vehicle (not in a city Safe Park)
- 19 adults refused to say where they slept
The locations where the 105 unsheltered people indicated they were sleeping on the night of the PIT count were:
- Wenatchee: 46 (44 adults and 2 minors)
- East Wenatchee: 15
- Chelan: 15 (14 adults and 1 minor)
- Leavenworth: 4
- Cashmere: 1
- Unincorporated Chelan Co: 15
- Unincorporated Douglas Co: 8
- Refused to answer: 1
Surveyors also asked where a person’s last permanent residence was.
- Ninety-four of the 105 unsheltered people answered the question:
- 6 people said their last known permanent home was from out of state.
- 23 people said their last known permanent home was from out of the two-county area (but from other locations in Washington).
65 people said their last known permanent home was from a city/town in Chelan or Douglas counties:
- Wenatchee: 20
- Chelan: 15
- East Wenatchee: 14
- Leavenworth: 5
- Cashmere, Entiat, Dryden: 2 (each)
- Peshastin, Waterville, Bridgeport, Malaga: 1 (each)