Tulalip prepares for annual Point-in-Time Count

By Jeannie Briones, Tulalip News staff

TULALIP, Wash. – on January 22, 2013, the Tulalip Tribes will join the annual Point in Time Count to gauge the local homeless population. By counting the homeless, Tulalip may become eligible for federal funding to assist the homeless with permanent housing.

This is a nationwide survey that emergency shelters, transitional housing programs, permanent supportive housing programs, renting assistance programs, homeless resources and outreach centers, feeding programs and food banks are required to conduct.

The importance of this homeless count is to survey the un-sheltered population that includes people who live in cars, parks, sidewalks, abandoned buildings, and on the street. The homeless count is to understand the size of the homeless population and to determine federal homeless funding.

The count will take place during Tulalip Food Bank hours at the Tulalip Church of God from 10:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Sandy Tracy and Homeless Shelter staff, along with staff members from Housing Hope, and the Director of the Tulalip Food Bank, Frances Morden, will work attentively on getting an accurate count of the homeless

The count consists of community members that come in that day. Each person who is considered homeless will be asked to fill out a basic questionnaire form with assistance from volunteers in the community. The survey does not require a name or personal information, but it will ask about the person’s status as a veteran, their living situation, disabilities, and if they’re homeless due to domestic violence.

“We will be approaching people when they’re getting their food from the food bank and asking them if they’re homeless and if they’re willing to participate in the survey. It’s important for Native Americans that we get an accurate count because the number of homeless we find in the county determines what federal funds will be available,” said Sandy.

Having not received funding in the past, Sandy states that next year Tulalip Tribes should be eligible for federal funding to help with the rising issues of homelessness in the community.

“We are part of this national effort to come up with the most accurate numbers. According to the federal government, the amount of homeless has decreased from the past year. In our specific area, it’s seems like the majority of the long-term homeless are due to chemical dependency issues. So until we get a better handle on the chemical dependency issues, we are going to have this ongoing problem,” said Sandy.



Jeannie Briones: 360-716-4188; jbriones@tulaliptribes-nsn.gov