Thurston County has released the results of its 2018 Point in Time Count of Homeless People, which showed that the number of homeless people in the county has increased significantly.

On January 25, 2018, the day of the PIT census, 828 homeless people were counted. 324 of those were identified as unsheltered. Those numbers represent a 43 percent increase in Thurston County’s homeless population in one year.

According to the county, the recent PIT census resulted in the second highest number of homeless people counted since the census started 12 years ago.

“The results of the latest census are extremely alarming, and indicate that we are in the midst of a major homeless and affordable housing crisis in our community,” said Thurston County Public Health and Social Services Director Schelli Slaughter. “This is going to take a coordinated response effort and more resources than we currently have. The record numbers of those living outdoors without safe, stable housing is a great public health and humanitarian concern, and we know that the problem is likely even larger than we were able to capture in this survey.”

The initial PIT report has a 3 percent margin of error. Final results, including demographic information and the causes of homelessness in the region, will be released in May of this year.