A record number of unhoused people have died in King County in 2022
At least 253 unhoused people in King County have died, so far, in 2022. That's a record for the county. A vigil will be held for them this month in Seattle.
The recent number continues a rising trend in annual unhoused deaths in King County. In 2021, WHEEL Women in Black noted the record numbers then, saying it was "unbelievable."
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Michele Marchand told KUOW in December 2021 that the group felt, "it was the end of the world" when the record hit 139 in 2020. It rose to 178 in 2021.
The King County Medical Examiner’s Office says common causes of death in 2022 include hypothermia, drug overdose, and carbon monoxide poisoning. The Medical Examiner confirms deceased peoples’ identities and ages.
For two decades now, a local group has been holding vigils for deceased unhoused people outside Seattle City Hall. This year, a record 253 names will be read aloud on National Homeless Persons' Memorial Day. That’s Dec. 21, the longest night of the year.
According to a report released by the county's Medical Examiner earlier this year, the "median age of presumed homeless decedents was 51 compared to the median age of all King County residents who died which was 79."