Homelessness in Pierce County

Ending Homelessness in Pierce County

Pierce County Human Services is working with stakeholders on implementing the Comprehensive Plan to End Homelessness, which was formally adopted by the Pierce County Council in March 2022. 

Stay updated on the plan here.

View our Homeless Crisis Response System data.

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Homelessness by the Numbers

As of July 2022, there are an estimated 4,300 people in Pierce County experiencing homelessness. 

There are 1,300 emergency shelter beds and 30 safe parking units across the county, leaving about 2,970 people without shelter each night. This means an estimated 70% of people experiencing homelessness must find shelter in their car, an encampment, or elsewhere.

  1. Who experiences homelessness?
  2. Where do people experiencing homelessness live?
  3. Types of Shelters

While families, children and youth are all affected, most of the people who experience homelessness are single adults. The reality is that there is no such thing as a 'typical' person experiencing homelessness. No one is absolutely safe from experiencing homelessness.

The personal circumstances that may lead to homelessness are many, and can afflict people from virtually every community. People become unhoused when individual and family problems become insurmountable. This may include catastrophic events; loss of employment; family break up; family violence; onset of mental and/or other debilitating illnesses; substance use by oneself or family members; a history of physical, sexual or emotional abuse; and, involvement in the child welfare system.

Based off Point-In-Time Count data, the most common reasons people in Pierce County say they experience homelessness is due to a family crisis and not enough affordable housing. Using that same data, we also know that over 70% of people experiencing homelessness in Pierce County are from Pierce County. When people become homeless, they often stay near the community they're used to.