King County Council Vice Chairman Reagan Dunn issued a letter calling on the King County Regional Homelessness Authority (KCRHA) to re-instate the 2022 Point in Time Count.
Today, King County Council Vice Chairman Reagan Dunn issued a letter calling on the King County Regional Homelessness Authority (KCRHA) to re-instate the 2022 Point in Time Count, a one-night count of the homeless population that is federally required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The KCRHA recently announced that they will not perform the count due to concerns that the resulting data would be “harmful in skewing the narrative” and limit “the budget and resources dedicated to solutions.”
Dunn’s letter cites the need to follow federal regulations in order to preserve funding and highlights the duty of government to be transparent to taxpayers and build public trust.
Writes Dunn, “I am concerned that the failure to conduct the count for the second year in a row will not only result in a loss of valuable data, but will diminish a major measure of accountability for the hundreds of millions of dollars the taxpayers have spent in this area.“
Dunn continues, “… by making the unusual decision to forgo the Point in Time Count, KCRHA risks the possibility that we may not receive federal funding for homelessness services in the future. This is prospect that should alarm everyone in our region who cares about helping those who are experiencing homelessness.”
In addition to warning against the financial consequences of not performing the Point in Time Count, Dunn criticizes “avoiding the collection of data because of fears that the information will not fit a certain narrative,” one of the reasons that the KCHRA cited as contributing to their decision to not perform the Point in Time Count in 2022.
King County’s Point in Time Count has been performed annually since the 1980’s. Though KCRHA received a federal waiver for the 2021 PIT Count due to COVID-19, no such waiver has been issued for 2022. Dunn’s full letter is attached to this release.