Councilmember Clark left office on April 14, 2015.
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One Night Count


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More than 970 volunteers strode streets, scaled hillsides and shone flashlights into dark spaces this morning as part of the annual One Night Count of homeless people in King County. The project counts the number of homeless in the county including those in shelters, but this morning the search was for “unsheltered” people sleeping on sidewalks, behind dumpsters, in doorways, on utility vents, on buses, in cars, under freeways, and in the damp of parks and greenbelts. At the end of the night, the count totaled 2,759 people in 14 cities across the county.

The good news is that this number is slightly lower than last year’s total. The bad news is that it’s still 2,759.

Tonya and Dan from my office participated, as well. We compared notes this morning on what can be a physically trying and sometimes moving experience. An odd part of the experience is the tension between counting and not counting. You’re up in the middle of the night and jazzed about playing a small part in ending homelessness by helping to measure the extent of the problem. So, you want to do some counting! However, it means the system of shelters, services, and housing might just be working if you find no one to count. It’s a weird contradiction.

Many thanks to the Seattle King County Coalition on Homelessness for their organizing prowess. Big thanks to the crew from the Aloha Inn that had me along as part of their team. We combed an area of the green belt on the west side of Queen Anne. Along the way they reminded me of the Aloha’s great model of self-governance and the important role living there can play in someone’s recovery and progression to greater self-sufficiency. Maybe we need more Aloha Inns.

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Comment from Los Angeles Parking
Time April 29, 2010 at 3:28 am

The homeless population of King County are lucky to have people like you who care about them. They won’t have to resort to scaling billboards like Danny in Austin – http://www.iamheremlf.org/ – to draw people’s attention to their plight.

Dan H. (Best Parking)

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