Volunteers packed into the Compass Center early Friday morning to receive their directions and forms before spreading out across Seattle and King County for the annual one-night homeless count.

All Home is required to conduct the count every two years as the lead agency for the Seattle/King County Continuum of Care for the annual funding application to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Last year’s Count Us In documented 11,643 people experiencing homelessness in King County — 3,857 unsheltered in Seattle and another 4,665 living in some form of shelter.

“I don’t anticipate a lower count,” said All Home acting director Kira Zylstra, “and I don’t want to make assumptions any time.”

But data All Home has seen shows more people are falling into homelessness even as more resources have become available, Zylstra said.

Former All Home director Mark Putnam broke down the 2017 report for the King County Council and Seattle City Council last May. He said more than 7,500 homeless families were housed in 2016, a 52 percent gain from 2013. However, rents had risen 57 percent between 2010 and 2016.

All Home put out a request for proposal in 2016, and in 2017 contracted with Applied Survey Research to improve on how data was collected for the one-night count, Zylstra said.

“Any count isn’t perfect,” she said.

On top of the street count, All Home also gathers data on people staying in shelters and transitional housing, and over the next several weeks the organization will conduct surveys that seek to get a better number of people experiencing homelessness, as wells as the circumstances that resulted in them being unsheltered and what needs they may have.

A report for the 2018 Count Us In isn’t expected to be completed until May.

“More people doesn’t necessarily mean more money,” Zylstra said, but it does provide a clearer picture of the homelessness issues facing the county.

While there is concern about what the federal government’s future commitment to ending homelessness will look like under the Trump administration, Zylstra said, Continuum of Care program funding has been allocated through 2020. But agencies will still have to compete for them, she said, adding All Home was approved to receive all of its renewable funding earlier this month.

Washington 7th District Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal took a break from Washington, D.C., to participate in Friday morning’s one-night count.

“This is my first in a long time,” she said. “I’ve done this, but it’s probably been over a decade.”

Under the leadership of Ben Carson, whose background is as a neurosurgeon and 2016 Republican presidential candidate, HUD has worked to cut back funding and roll back fair housing rules, Jayapal said.

“He doesn’t really believe in affordable housing — that’s the problem,” she said.

Trump’s 2018 budget proposal would cut $6 billion from HUD.

Jayapal said there are a number bills that have been introduced in congress that seek to support people experiencing homelessness, including homeless youth, such as the Pathways Out of Poverty Act.

King County Executive Dow Constantine has covered Capitol Hill and the woods outside White Center during past one-night counts, he said, but Friday morning he was assigned to downtown Seattle.

“I think that anyone would be foolish not to be concerned about what’s going on in the federal government,” he said, citing what he considers a lack of empathy and concern for the nation’s homeless population.