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Volunteers count 104 Kent homeless people

Kent had 104 homeless people during the 32nd annual One Night Count in King County by volunteers.

The count took place in the early hours of Friday, Jan. 27. The 800 volunteers spread out across the county to find the number of people who were homeless without shelter, according to a media release from the Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness.

The Kent homeless included 36 spotted in cars or trucks, 19 under roadways, 16 in bushes or undergrowth, 13 by structures, eight walking around, two in doorways, one in a parking garage and nine in other places.

A total of 2,594 homeless people were counted in 13 cities, including 1,898 in Seattle, 77 in Federal Way, 73 in Renton and 44 in Auburn.

Organizers recognize that the count is an undercount of people without shelter on the one night. Counters can reach only a portion of the geographic area of the county, and many homeless people sleep in hard-to-reach places.

"The street count is only a snapshot, which can be influenced by a number of factors," said Bill Block, director of the Committee to End Homeless, which implements the Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness in King County. "We know without our prevention and housing programs, thousands more people would be on the streets. Even in the face of the recession, we know that our investments can reduce the number of people who are homeless -- that happened last year and the year before.”

The coalition organizes the One Night Count to document the nature and extent of homelessness in King County, and to build public engagement and action around the issue.

A full report that also includes the number of people in shelters and transitional housing will be released in the spring. Last year, volunteers found 2,442 people surviving outside, without shelter, and another 6,382 in shelters and transitional housing programs.

A total of 108 homeless were counted last year in Kent.

For more information, go to www.homelessinfo.org.

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