In a previous post, 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.”
The city hired a “Director of Homelessness” to ensure that the City’s increased efforts were well coordinated and driving toward the greatest outcomes for those in need. The new Director of Homelessness was tasked with executing the Mayor’s priorities on this issue. In August 2016, the city hired George Scarola to fill this position, who makes $137,500 per year.
In 2016, the Human Services Division invested $55 million in homelessness services. That large amount of tax-payer dollars didn’t solve the problem so $34 million more is needed.
From MyNorthwest.com: Calling it a fundamental shift in the City of Seattle’s approach to homelessness, Mayor Tim Burgess says the Human Services Department will fund 30 agencies to help move people into permanent housing. Those agencies plan to use the $34 million awarded to move more than twice as many people into housing next year than in 2017.
“By moving people from living on the street to permanent homes, we provide them a springboard to better opportunities and a more stable life,” said Mayor Tim Burgess. “We are focused on the only result that ends homelessness: housing. We are holding our providers accountable to that same result. I commend HSD for their focus on results and accountability for public dollars.”
The goal is to move more than 7,000 households into housing in 2018, including 739 families and 1,094 youth and young adults. (According to the HSD 2016 report, there was 6,128 exits to permanent housing throughout King County. Yet in 2017 there was another 7,000 homeless? That’s an awful lot of new homeless households in one year. The numbers just don’t make sense to me.)
The city says the awards fall into seven categories: Prevention, Diversion, Outreach and Engagement, Emergency Services, Transitional Housing, Rapid Re-Housing, and Permanent Supportive Housing.
The Human Services Department received 181 applications from 57 agencies, according to the city.
According to the city’s annual point-in-time count, 8,746 people are homeless in Seattle, and there are 3,857 unsheltered people.