Out from the shadows
A gong tolled 3,117 times, and each reverbation marked a person found outside without shelter in King County.
The 2014 One Night Count Sounding of the Gong on Jan. 24, held simultaneously at Westlake Park and First Congregational Church in Bellevue, brought together almost 60 people with one goal in mind: to provide an auditory reminder of the lack of shelter in the county.
An annual One Night Count tallied 3,117 people without shelter in the county.The number represented a 14 percent increase over last year. It was the highest number counted outside in the survey.
Each person who struck the gong did so in five-minute intervals. At Westlake, the event began at 10 a.m. The gong rang for the 3,117th time at 1:40 p.m.
The sounding of the gong began on a cold, bright morning hours after the One Night Count finished. The annual point-in-time count, sponsored by the Seattle King County Coalition on Homelessness, involved close to 1,000 people who covered areas in Seattle, 11 suburban cities and parts of unincorporated King County. People riding Metro’s Night Owl buses were also included in the count total.
The event marked the start of the OutsideIN campaign, a Real Change advocacy effort to reduce the number of people sleeping outside by 1,000.
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