Last Wednesday the City Council got another monthly update on the city’s short-term response to the homelessness crisis.
Late last summer, Mayor Murray announced Bridging the Gap, his administration’s short-term plan too address homelessness while the longer-term plan Pathways Home, took its time to spin up. Both efforts have sputtered along since then, mired in city government bureaucracy and hidden behind a maddening lack of transparency and accountability. But there are now signs that the shorter-term effort is starting to find its groove thanks to a creative idea for how to reorganize the effort.
The City Council members today spent a fair amount of their public meeting time discussing one issue: what to do about the unsanctioned encampment called “The Field” that is scheduled for clearing tomorrow.
Late last summer the Mayor promised that the Human Services Department was working on an assessment of the needs of Seattle’s homeless population. Originally due out in November, it was finally released today.
The report gives the most detailed view to-date of who our homeless neighbors are, how they became homeless, and the issues they are struggling with. Along the way, it debunks several persistent myths about the homeless population and suggests the services that the city could provide that would do the most to lift them out of homelessness.
Since its inception last fall, the City of Seattle’s “Bridging the Gap” interim plan for addressing the homelessness crisis in the city has had its ups and downs — and mostly downs. But based on the team’s report to the City Council last week, it may finally be finding its feet.
This afternoon, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Martinez had his first hearing on the ACLU’s lawsuit on behalf of Seattle’s homeless to try to stop the so-called “sweeps” of unsanctioned homeless encampments. It didn’t go well for the ACLU.
This morning the city posted for public review and comment a draft of its rewritten rules for removing unsanctioned homeless encampments from city-owned property.
On September 8th, the Mayor rolled out the city’s Pathways Home plan to address the homeless crisis. It’s almost five months later, and last week the Council got its first status update on how things are coming along.
Short answer: they’ve been doing a lot of talking with their partners and with the public, they’ve made a few decisions, but very little has happened that actually makes things better for homeless people in our city.
Last Friday morning, Seattle and King County did its annual “One Night Count” of homeless people living here. A lot changed from last year in the way they performed the count, which partially explains why you haven’t heard a result yet. Here’s what the City Council was told about it last week.
A few quick notes from this morning’s Council Briefing.