Cowlitz County sees jump in homeless numbers

LONGVIEW, Wash. (AP) — The number of homeless people in Cowlitz County in southwest Washington state soared 38 percent in the last year, according to the annual Point in Time Count results recently released by the state.

The Daily News reports that local social-service providers said the increase doesn’t surprise them and attribute the gain to the lack of affordable housing.

This year’s Point in Time Count reported 468 sheltered and unsheltered homeless people in the county, up from the past four years’ average of 340 people. Last year’s count was 338.

State law requires each county to conduct an annual homeless count. This year’s count took place on Jan. 24. Counties must complete the count to receive funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the state Department of Commerce.