Special Report: Homelessness

The state of family homelessness in Pierce County

Stories by Jeff Burlingame, Lauren Foster and Danielle Meeker
Photos by Jeff Hobson

Everyone knows who the homeless are.

It’s the guy living under the overpass. The man holding the cardboard sign at the stoplight. The bearded dude with the camouflage jacket asking for money outside the retail store.

To an extent those perceptions are true. However, most of the homeless in Pierce County are hidden. Out of sight and too frequently, out of mind. Many are under age 18, tucked away in a shelter with their mothers. Others are hopping from couch to couch. Some live so far off the grid, no one knows they exist.

It’s as if these families in turmoil are almost invisible. Until now. Here are some of their stories.


Click below to read more stories


Bonus Coverage

Video for the original song, “Hopes and Dreams,” by Jackie Mitchell.
The song’s video was filmed by Andrew Horton and Chad Barker.

Homeless Count by Lauren Foster

Interview with the authors by Katie Baumann

About the Project

South Sound’s coverage of family homelessness in Pierce County was supported by a fellowship from the Seattle University Center for Strategic Communications, Department of Communication, under a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The goal of the Seattle University Project on Family Homelessness is to increase public awareness and understanding of family homelessness in Washington state.

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