The city of Seattle has a major homelessness problem. It’s so bad that the former disgraced homosexual mayor, Ed Murray, declared a State of Emergency on November 2, 2015. From my blog post in April 2017:
“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.”
The city has spent a lot of tax payer money to try and solve the problem. Here’s an example of what they’ve done to date:
- Hired a well-paid ($137,500/year) Director of Homelessness
- Hired staff to clean up after the homelessness
- Hired more staff to address the homelessness crisis, with each position paying $100,00/year
- Awarded $34 million to 30 agencies to end homelessness
Three years after the State of Emergency was declared and after all the hires and money spent, homelessness is still a major issue in the city.
The solution now? Form a large task force which, no doubt, will recommend more new taxes.
Jonathan Martin at the Seattle Times reports on the details of this new task force:
The number of people in King County who left homelessness for permanent housing has nearly doubled since 2012, but the overall tally of people who became homeless has risen more steeply — to nearly 30,000 in 2016.
That data, from King County, framed the launch on Monday of a sprawling new regional task force on homelessness to stop the descent of many into abject poverty. The 75-member group, called One Table, is the first evidence of regional collaboration between new Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and King County Executive Dow Constantine on the homelessness crisis.
The mission of the task force remains fuzzy — with a stated goal of finding solutions to “root causes,” including a lack of affordable housing and gaps in the behavioral health, criminal justice and child welfare systems that jettison people directly into homelessness.
At a news conference after the first meeting, Constantine said the task force was in response to a city property tax proposed, then withdrawn, last year by former Seattle Mayor Ed Murray for homeless services.
One Table, co-chaired by Auburn Mayor Nancy Backus, includes leaders from a business community that has objected to a rising tax level. But Constantine suggested its recommendations could include new taxes for homelessness prevention.
“We’re spending a lot of money now on crisis response (to homelessness), but on the prevention side, on the root causes, there is clearly still a gap in the resources available,” he said.
Durkan sounded less enthusiastic. “We can’t reverse engineer this — it’s not the taxes first, and then do the services that fit the taxes,” she said. “Let’s find the solutions, then scope the resource to fill that gap.”
Read the rest of the details here.