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.

Continue reading

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 …

Continue reading

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 …

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Editorial: here’s what the city should do about the Navigation Team

Yesterday afternoon’s Council committee hearing to review the most recent quarterly report for the Navigation Team was nothing short of a bloodbath. You can watch the video here, if you are so inclined, and read Erica Barnett’s summary. In a nutshell: the Human Services Department tried to put lipstick on a pig, obscuring the struggles that the Navigation Team faces. And the Council was having none of it. Prior to yesterday’s meeting, there were already some vocal critics of the Navigation Team, including Council members Sawant and Mosqueda, but the rest of the Council appeared to see the team as …

Continue reading