Lewis announces first step toward replacing Navigation Team in compromise deal with Mayor’s Office

After three and a half weeks of working behind the scenes today Council member Andrew Lewis announced that an agreement had been reached between the Mayor’s Office, the City Council, and homeless outreach providers on a first step toward replacing the disbanded Navigation Team with a new model for how the city will deal with homeless encampments.

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Mayor Durkan responds to Council’s veto override: starts SPD layoffs process, shuts down Navigation Team, funds community programs

This afternoon, Mayor Jenny Durkan took first steps to respond to the City Council’s override of the vetoed 2020 rebalanced budget, by largely complying with the Council’s directives — while giving a “be careful what you ask for” warning. Her actions today include immediately moving forward with distributing $4 million in funding (out of $14 million allocated by the Council) for community-based programs, starting the process of “out of order” layoffs for 70 SPD officers, and shutting down the Navigation Team.

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Annual homeless count report released, and it’s still a mess

Earlier this month King County released its annual “Point in Time” count of homeless persons in the county, as required by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as a condition of receiving grant funding. Last year, SCC Insight reported on the significant methodology issues with the count that rendered its year-over-year trend data unusable. This year those same issues exist, plus some new ones.  However, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to learn from the new report; we just need to dig harder.

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Interview with Council member Morales: on protests, police, oppression, and sweeps

Editor’s note: last Friday morning I was asked by the Council’s communications staff whether I wanted to speak with Council member Tammy Morales about her proposed legislation restricting the removal of homeless encampments, because in the aftermath of last Wednesday’s committee hearing she felt that there was more that needed to be said. I agreed to speak with her, and the interview was scheduled for midday today (Sunday). Obviously a lot has transpired between then and now, and after thanking her for still doing the interview in the midst of so much else happening, I gave her the option to …

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Marathon Council meeting on encampment removals ends in impasse, but hints at a better path

The City Council met for five and a half hours this afternoon. The official topic was a proposed bill that would codify restrictions on the removal of unsanctioned homeless encampments, and from time to time the bill garnered a mention or two.  In the end there were no votes today on amendments or on the bill itself, and for the most part things concluded right where they began. But there were the occasional nuggets of wisdom shared, and if you squinted you could see hints of a path to get the city to a better place in its attempts to …

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Local “unlikely alliance” proposes plan to solve chronic homelessness — and this one could work.

Yesterday the Third Door Coalition, a self-described “unlikely alliance” of representatives from the business, human services, government and advocacy worlds, unveiled a proposal to bring an end to chronic homelessness in King County. Their pitch, which they call “an invitation to the entire community,” is the result of two years of effort to put their differences aside and focus on a solution.

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