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Fifty-three homeless people found in Kent during annual count

Fifty-three homeless people were counted in Kent during the 33rd annual One Night Count in King County during the early hours of Friday, Jan. 25.

The Seattle King County Coalition on Homelessness organized more than 800 volunteers who fanned out across the county to count the number of men, women and children who were homeless and sleeping outdoors without shelter between 2-5 a.m., according to a coalition media release.

The volunteers counted people trying to survive in cars and tents, riding late night buses, or curled up in blankets under bridges or in doorways. That same night, staff at agencies that operate shelters and transitional housing programs recorded select information about the people staying in their programs. Staff at the Homeless Housing Program of King County's Community Services Division compiled the data.

At least 2,736 men, women, and children were without shelter during the three-hour street count. This number is an increase of 5 percent over those found without shelter last year. The number is always assumed to be an undercount, because volunteers do not count everywhere, and because many people take great care not to be visible.

In Kent, 13 people were counted in doorways, eight in cars or trucks, eight under roadways, seven in city parks, six walking around, four in structures, three in bushes or undergrowth, two in parking garages, one in an alley and one listed as an "other" category.

A total of 118 homeless were counted in Federal Way, 83 in Renton and 57 in Auburn. Seattle had 1,989 homeless.

During the 2012 count, Kent had 104 homeless, including 36 in cars or trucks and 19 under roadways. Federal Way had a total of 77, Renton 73 and Auburn 44.

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