Everyone Counts

Each January, volunteers like you help count men, women, and children who are outside during one winter night.

The One Night Count sets in motion a full year of education, engagement, and action for Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness ("the Coalition"). We work throughout the year to make sure that every person who is homeless counts.

Please consider making a gift to support our Everyone Counts Campaign. We educate, speak up, and act at the local, county, state, and federal levels for safety, survival, housing, and justice - and you can be part of the action!


Because Everyone Counts, the Coalition offers One Night Count volunteers and others ways to take actions that make a difference beyond the Count.

  • Sign advocacy postcards at the 10 Count headquarters.
    Coalition members will hand-deliver the signed postcards to Democratic and Republican leaders in Olympia. Download an advocacy postcard here.
  • Attend a "Homelessness Advocacy 101" workshop.
    A lively, informative, and inspiring workshop for anyone who wants to learn how to speak up for the smart investments, sound policies, and robust budgets that house people and keep them safe. Learn more here.
  • Sign up for our Take Action! Alerts
    Alerts keep our friends and allies informed about when they can really make a difference by speaking up on key priorities like the Housing Trust Fund and Disability Lifeline. Sign up here.

What is the One Night Count?

King County has one of the nation's best-established point-in-time counts of homeless people. The One Night Count remains the largest community-organized count in the United States. Since 1980, the Coalition and Operation Nightwatch have organized the One Night Count of people who are without shelter.

The One Night Count has two parts:

  1. A survey of emergency shelter and transitional housing providers about who is staying in their programs or facilities on that night. Staff from the King County Community Services Division, Homeless Housing Program coordinate the survey.
  2. A street count of people who are homeless, without shelter and staying outside, in vehicles or in makeshift shelters. The Coalition has expanded the count from its downtown Seattle origins to include parts of over a dozen suburban cities and unincorporated King County and Metro Night Owl buses.

When is the One Night Count?

The annual Count takes place at the end of January.

How does the Count work?

Over 1,100 volunteers go out with 125+ trained team leaders to pre-arranged areas in parts of Seattle, East King County, North King County, Southwest King County, and South King County. The Count is only possible through the dedicated support from hundreds of individuals and dozens of community organizations, congregations and government agencies.

Since 2006, partial funding for the One Night Count has been provided by the King County Committee to End Homelessness, the coalition of government, business and nonprofits responsible for implementing our community's Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness. The Count helps to inform progress on the Plan, as well as provide insight into the dynamics of homelessness and inform strategies for solving it.

Why do we do the Count?

We carry out the One Night Count for two reasons: to document the nature and extent of homelessness in King County, and to build public engagement and action around the issue. It is a solemn and eye-opening opportunity to witness the survival struggles of our neighbors who are homeless. Hundreds of community members come together for this annual count, which acts as a powerful launching off point for participants to speak up and act and write and advocate to end this crisis.