Count Us In 2016: Navigating the Seattle Homeless Crisis

In January 2016, King County’s Committee to End Homelessness and the United Way of King County sponsored it 6th Annual Count Us In event, a point-in-time count of the homeless and unstably housed.  Bringing together Teen Feed and 30 other King County youth service providers to outreach to and survey youth experiencing homelessness and housing instability, the early stats are in.  The survey found at least increased homeless youth and young adults in King County on the day of the event January 21, 2016. 

This year’s count already demonstrates a 19% spike overall since 2015 in which over 800+ youth were identified as homeless or unstably-housed. The committee attributed this increase to improved survey administration as a result of a greater number of participating sites, and greater numbers as a result of the drastically increasing cost of affordable housing. Click Here to read the Count Us In 2015 report in its entirety.

“Even one homeless young person is too many and having the most reliable count of youth experiencing the crisis of homelessness strengthens our community’s response,” said Mark Putnam, Director of the Committee to End Homelessness in King County.

Statistics obtained through Count Us In provide important information about youth homelessness to help improve the ability of agencies like Teen Feed to most effectively help youth in need achieve stability.

Teen Feed’s 2015 Count Us In activities included a warm Teen Feed meal, extended drop-in hours, an overnight shelter, and even a midnight snack in the University District. Special thanks to Epiphany Parish of Seattle for preparing a delicious dinner,  and Fat Duck for an early morning treat. Special thanks to Starbucks for doing a deep clean of the sites in preparation for Count Us In activities as part of their MLK Day Volunteer service project. Check out images from Teen Feed’s 2015 Count Us activities below…

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“Count Us In provides invaluable opportunity to survey young people in need in our community” shared Teen Feed’s Board Chair Brad Papineau. He adds, “The information collected from youth through Count Us In enables us to best identify the needs of young people and informs our efforts to provide them with the resources and support they need to achieve stability.”

Thank You to all of our partners, volunteers, supporters, and the United Way for helping make 2016 Count Us In possible! To learn more, please reach us at 206.409.1202 or