2024 preliminary census data reveals an increase in Thurston's homeless population

The annual Point-in-Time Count is part of a national study


Preliminary data released by Thurston County Public Health and Social Services, based on the Point-in-Time Count Homeless Census (PIT), revealed a rise in the homeless population for 2024.

According to the preliminary report, 864 individuals were identified as homeless in Thurston County on January 25, 2024. This figure represents an increase from the 740 recorded in 2023.

“I think the increase in the number counted is reflective of how many people have fallen into homelessness, identifying eviction and job loss as the two primary causes, generally speaking,” said Keylee Marineau of Thurston's Public Health and Social Services during the agenda-setting meeting of the Thurston’s Board of County Commissioners on April 2.

The count encompasses individuals in various states of homelessness: 47 were in transitional housing, 400 were in emergency shelters, and 417 were identified as unsheltered, residing in encampments, vehicles, or other inadequate living situations.

Marineau said this census captures the number of individuals experiencing homelessness within Thurston County at a single point in time.

“The Point in Time count is always an undercount for various reasons, primarily because it's the coldest and darkest time of the year and it's just a one-day snapshot,” explained Marineau. “We don't get a full picture of actually how many people in Thurston are experiencing homelessness.”

Throughout the survey period, eight events were conducted to conduct PIT surveys and provide resources to those in need. These events targeted different sub-populations, including seniors, adults, youth, and young adults.

Participants were offered essential survival gear such as blankets, winter clothing, hygiene kits, and access to food, haircuts, foot care, and veterinary services.

The final comprehensive report for the 2024 PIT data is expected to be provided by the Department of Commerce in May 2024.


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  • AugieH

    "According to the preliminary report, 864 individuals were identified as homeless in Thurston County on January 25, 2024. This figure represents an increase from the 740 recorded in 2023."

    This shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. Offer freebies and they will come. It would have been informative if the number of homeless in Thurston County coming from outside the county/state was reported.

    Friday, April 5 Report this

  • bonaro

    Another homeless survey previously taken unfortunately asked why they were here. The response was that we offer the best social programs (free ****).

    You reap what you sow...

    Friday, April 5 Report this

  • Yeti1981

    So, at what point do we stop doing the things that aren't working?

    Friday, April 5 Report this

  • DWhite5683

    Please correct..... The dog is not Hollywood.. his name is Buddha and his owner is dale. The male sitting up against the wall. Thank you for the journals.

    Friday, April 5 Report this

  • JW

    Despite unbelievable amounts of money poured into the criminal transient rathole the problem is growing worse. Gee, who would have thought?

    Let's not forget the increased prices we all pay at various retailers as these criminals routinely shoplift and endlessly steal shopping carts.

    Saturday, April 6 Report this

  • OlyGuy

    Where's the data on the demographics and whether or not these are families or individuals? Pretty sure the last census showed it was primarily young males that were identified. I imagine that is what the demographics would show here. I am all for helping hard working people and families make ends meet and find housing, but that isn't what's happening. We just give EBT cards, free food, free clothes, and free services to people who don't intend to change their situation and are perfectly happy living outside the bounds of normal society. I guess there will be another tax hike soon so that we can increase the number around here. Great job.

    Monday, April 8 Report this