Report: Washington state homelessness increased 6.2%

Washington state experienced one of the largest estimated increases in homelessness between 2019 and 2020 relative to other states in the U.S., according to recently released data from an annual report to Congress.

Washington state reported an increase in homelessness of 6.2% between 2019 and 2020, the third-largest increase among all states, the Seattle Times reported Saturday.

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Homelessness grew by more than 2% across the country over the same time frame, according to the 2020 Annual Homeless Assessment Report from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Washington state also reported a 20% increase in family homelessness between 2019 and 2020, one of the largest nationwide.

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"People are seeing a lot more families in encampments, in cars," said Derrick Belgarde, deputy director of Chief Seattle Club. "And there’s a lack of resources for that."

Much of the data was compiled before the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the newspaper reported.

Seattle and King County ranked third in the country among urban areas in the number of total people experiencing homelessness, according to the report.