Yakima County Homelessness At-a-Glance
Yakima County Homelessness 
At - a - Glance


increase in 2017 of individuals experiencing homelessness


of unsheltered* individuals sleep in the city of Yakima 


increase in 2017 of households experiencing homelessness


increase in unsheltered* individuals


decrease in 2017 of Permanent Supportive Housing 


of all counted have 1+ disability 


Source: Homeless Network of Yakima County,

"2017 Yakima County Homeless and Housing Needs Assessment"

*"Unsheltered" means sleeping in an abandoned building, vehicle, or outside.

How many homeless individuals are in Yakima County?
Getting an accurate headcount of our local homeless community is difficult. The Homeless Network of Yakima County shares the following information about Yakima County:


(Note: Please click here to view their sources used.)


"The population of Yakima County is 247,408 [2]. The following table shows the preliminary results of the 2017 Annual Point in Time Count (PIT) which is conducted on a single night across the nation [3]. For this reason, and others, the count is done the same way each year and the questions asked are guided by HUD and are consistent across the nation. The numbers shown below are the actual number that were counted in the 2017. 

Yakima County Preliminary Point in Time Results 2017








"At first glance, this would be a percentage of 0.3% of the population.  HUD estimates that this highly regulated count identifies one-third of the actual unsheltered population [5].​  


"Another resource for determining the percentage of individuals experiencing homeless in the community the data collected by school districts. All school districts are required to annually report the number of homeless students enrolled. They define homelessness as individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence and includes all of the categories listed above. In Yakima County, during the 2015-16 school year, 2,614 students were identified as homeless out of a total enrolled population of 54,297 for a rate of 5.0%.  This is significantly higher than the state rate of 3.7%."

What is the impact on Yakima County?

According to the Yakima Valley Conference of Governments (YVCOG), “Each year, Yakima County residents’ tax dollars are spent caring for the homeless through our emergency services including 911, emergency rooms and clinics, law enforcement, fire and rescue units, jails, detoxification programs, public health systems, the judicial system and more. The estimated ‘hidden’ expense of supporting a homeless person in this piecemeal manner is approximately $40,000 per year.”[1]  


By providing a low-barrier, managed shelter, we can significantly reduce this cost.


[1] Yakima Valley Conference of Governments (YVCOG), Yakima County’s 5-Year Homeless Plan 2017-2021, “Social Impact of Homelessness: The Cost of Doing Nothing”, Paragraph 2.