Seattle continues to fight homelessness with more high-paying government jobs


Ed Murray

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray

Last April I told you about Seattle’s serious homelessness problem. From my post:

In 2016, the King County region saw an increase of 19% of our unsheltered population, the majority of those people residing in Seattle. In November of 2015, Mayor Murray declared a State of Emergency on Homelessness to bring light to this crisis and seek greater support from our state and federal partners. Mayor Murray has increased spending on homelessness intervention and prevention and the City of Seattle is now spending a record high of nearly $50 million dollars to address this crisis.”

How did the city respond to this emergency? They hired a “Director of Homelessness.” This was “to ensure that the City’s increased efforts are well coordinated and driving toward the greatest outcomes for those in need, the new Director of Homelessness will be tasked with executing the Mayor’s priorities on this issue.” The pay rate when this position was advertised? Between $97,279.92 and $160,483.68.

In August 2016, the city hired George Scarola to fill this position, who makes $137,500 per year.

Apparently just one high-paid city worker is not enough to help the homeless. Now comes this: Seattle hiring to clean up after the homeless.

From Seattle is putting its money where its mouth is in its latest effort to staff the homeless crisis. The city seeks to fill three positions, all targeted at cleaning up garbage along Seattle streets and around encampments.

“All three positions will support the city’s efforts to mitigate impacts of unsanctioned encampments,” said Julie Moore with the City of Seattle.

The first position will supervise pilot programs that address homeless litter in neighborhoods affected by encampments. Two other jobs will organize the cleanup efforts around encampments. All are already funded under the 2017-18 budget and pay between $37-46.80 and hour (that translates to $76,960/year – $97,344 [not including benefits]).

Seattle Public Utilities started two pilot programs in 2016 to address the issue of litter and trash related to the homeless crisis — the litter abatement pilot, and the encampment trash pilot. The Homeless Encampment Trash/Litter Abatement Pilot Program Administrator will oversee both programs. The position pays up to $46.80 an hour.

The homeless litter program focuses on street sweeping, washing sidewalks, and picking up trash in general. “The encampment trash pilot program provides scheduled solid waste pick-up services to five unsanctioned homeless encampments and on-call trash pick-up service, as needed,” Moore said. “This service is separate of collection of trash following a scheduled encampment cleanup.”

The program focused on the International District and Little Saigon when it was enacted last year. Four new neighborhoods will be added in 2017. It is unknown which four neighborhoods those will be.

Two Field Operations Supervisor positions were created in 2016 and have been filled temporarily. The city is seeking to fill them permanently for up to $42 an hour ($87,360/year). “They provide additional capacity to increase the city’s response to unsanctioned encampments…” Moore said, noting the supervisors will work with the city’s Navigation Team.

According to the job post:

The Field Operations Advisors will be responsible for coordinating cleanup efforts, directing on-site operations, overseeing assigned City employees and contract laborers, ensuring compliance with legal and environmental standards and regulations including outreach to offer alternative safe shelter, overseeing proper collection and storage protocols, collecting data, and liaising with other city departments, outside agencies, property owners, law enforcement, contractors and the public to ensure collaborative and efficient operations at assigned encampment sites.

All three jobs had an application deadline of March 14. It is unknown how soon the city plans on filling the positions.


10 responses to “Seattle continues to fight homelessness with more high-paying government jobs

  1. This just goes to show that “fighting homelessness,” like all Democrat “social justice” causes (e.g., welfare, global warming, refugee resettlement), are schemes to enlarge and further empower government by creating more govt jobs and more govt bureaucracy. The latter, once established, seeks to perpetuate itself — one of the iron laws of politics.

    Then when someone like Pres. Trump comes along who sets out to trim govt, everyone screams bloody murder. And so, govt employees don’t get fired, govt bureaucracies continue to proliferate, and Big Govt/Big Brother gets bigger and more tyrannical.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am unfamiliar with the homeless issue in other cities, but I can tell you that there are sufficient beds in the Phoenix metro area to shelter every single homeless person, including families. However, many of the chronic homeless choose not to avail themselves of this safety net due to the no-drugs, no-alcohol policies. They also do not want to take part in any program that will help them to get off the streets and into a job and permanent housing arrangement. If you see someone who is chronically homeless, there is a reason: drugs, alcohol, or mental illness. Until the underlying issues are addressed, these people will remain homeless because it is a lifestyle choice (and, yes, there are people who choose not to take their meds). Volunteer to aid the homeless and the scales will fall from your eyes. The vast majority of homeless are not some poor person who lost their job and find themselves temporarily without a roof over their heads, but people who choose not to conform as it inhibits their lifestyle choices.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Carrie K-W . . . . . thank you for really “telling it like it is.” We have homeless here in Portland, and I can tell you from the dirty syringes they leave in a lot next to my place that many of these transients are hooked on alcohol and/or drugs, and many are mentally ill. In bygone times the mentally ill would be sheltered in mental asylums for their own good. But liberals want those potential voters.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I would have thought that litter clean up would come under the Department of Sanitation! I will bet the head of that department doesn’t make the kind of money this new “Director of Homelessness” nor his deputies will make. In the long run the new Czar of Homelessness will just call the head of sanitation and tell him to get his team to clean up the mess. You might also want to try putting some Porta-Potties and large trashcans in the encampment areas to see if that will keep the trash down!


  4. Of all the scam charities out there, some of the worst are government jobs. Did any money at all help even one homeless person?


  5. You have to delocalize the work of politicians and advisers with fees exorbitant and ill-defined.

    In the office of employment there are great professionals waiting for his opportunity.

    Veterans (military) are another group at risk, who are always forgotten by politicians, these people (military) veteran must take precedence and suit their business needs and supports all those local governments and the own nation (that is, to which it belongs).

    Adapt salaries and distribute the country’s wealth.

    Is very simple, the life of luxury only to private life.


  6. Basically, a typical government solution to any problem. Create a new department to ‘handle’ the ‘issue’ so that for every dollar taken in .99% goes for funding and one penny to solutions. It doesn’t matter that it never works, it’s intentions which count. After trillions spent the war on poverty still continues with no substantial advancement except a staggering debt but, hey, their hearts were in the right place. That’s what counts.


  7. This is a solution that has always been proposed in many governments in the world, but it never actually does anything at all.


  8. Most of these new jobs could be incorporated into already existing government agencies. Most of the employees in these existing agencies are already making good money. Most have plenty of down time that could be used to do some extra jobs. The police and fire departments are the only agencies that would not be able to pick up on some extra work because their jobs require quick response . The sanitation department can clean up around these camps as with any new agency added to solve the clean up, they will only call the sanitation department in to do the job anyway. Two departments rolled into one using only ONE director. Tax money saved and well spent!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This is a good start and I am sure to believe that homelessness should be tackled carefully.


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