JustCare program faces fiscal cliff next month, scrambles for new funding

The JustCare program, which takes a compassionate and constructive approach to bringing off the streets 130 of downtown Seattle’s homeless individuals causing the greatest issues, is set to run out of money next month. That has left organizers and some local officials scrambling to find additional funds to keep the program running through September.

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Lewis unveils new partnership to build twelve “tiny home” villages

This afternoon, Council member Andrew Lewis announced a new partnership, called “It Takes a Village,” to create an additional 480 units of “tiny homes” in twelve 40-unit villages sited across the city. The effort is intended to help close the gap between the number of people living unsheltered in the city and the number of emergency shelter beds available.

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Mosqueda unveils 2021 budget balancing package

This afternoon, Council budget chair Teresa Mosqueda rolled out her “balancing package,” a collection of changes to the Mayor’s 2021 proposed budget that address Council members’ consensus priorities, while keeping the overall budget balanced as required by law. The package follows through with the cuts to SPD they proposed two weeks ago, and it cuts Mayor’s Durkan’s $100 million Equitable Communities Initiative down to $30 million. Shortly after it was released, Durkan issued a press release… largely praising it. Wait, what was that again?  

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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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