“When you live on the streets, you have to do what you can to survive,” Coreen says. For her, that meant using drugs, as well as stealing clothes, food and cars. After a decade of struggling with addiction and going in and out of incarceration, Coreen turned her life around. Now she's a devoted mom, but court-imposed debt is keeping her from giving her son the life he deserves.
Shortly after volunteering at the One Night Count, social work student Tara Lee Lange reflects on the acute dangers that people who experience homelessness face every day. The rate of violence against a national sample of people experiencing homelessness was almost 25 times that of the general U.S. population.
The number of people sleeping outdoors in King County increased by 19 percent in a year. Reports about homelessness from across the state are similarly grim, but there is reason for hope. Community members and policymakers are paying attention to homelessness and housing, and now is a great time to advocate for policies that will help end our statewide crisis.