Given today’s existential debate on the Navigation Team, I thought it would be useful to have a timeline for it, extending from its creation in early 2017 to the present day.
This morning the City Council began discussing in earnest its competing ideas for changes to next year’s budget for the homelessness response, following its first conversation two weeks ago. Much of the time was taken up with one question: what to do with the Navigation Team. And it’s clear that the Council is nowhere near consensus.
A study released last week confirms something that many people in the homeless-services community had suspected: a key tool used to assess and prioritize homeless people in King County for access to services is biased against people of color.
With a plan in the works to transition to a regional authority to organize the response to the homelessness crisis, yesterday the City Council and a collection of city departments had a public discussion of the Mayor’s proposed homelessness budget for next year.
This morning, the City Council had another hearing to discuss the proposed regional governance structure to respond to the homelessness crisis that was developed by representatives of Seattle and King County.
This afternoon, the Council once again took up the Mayor’s bill prohibiting “RV Ranching” of dilapidated vehicles. But it rewrote the bill to change the focus from cracking down on the predatory ranchers to protecting and providing assistance to the victims.
This morning, King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced that they have jointly submitted a long-awaited proposal for a regional governance structure for responding to the homelessness crisis.
The proposal, as detailed in a proposed Interlocal Agreement and a Charter for the new organization, lays out the services that will be consolidated into the new authority, the governing bodies that will oversee it, and the initial funding.
Earlier this week, the City Council had another committee hearing on the Mayor’s proposed ordinance to curb “RV Ranching,” predatory renting of RV’s and other vehicles in poor condition to homeless people.
The second conversation went better than the first one last week, and the issues are becoming clearer.
This morning, the Human Services Department delivered its second-quarter report to the City Council on the Navigation Team. Last fall the Council placed a proviso on the team’s 2019 budget so that it must deliver a report each quarter in order to get the next quarter’s budget released and available to be spent.
The Nav Team has been increasing the amount of metrics it tracks and produces, though quite frankly most of the numbers in the report (for January – March) are not terribly insightful — especially since its regular work was suspended for two weeks during the February winter storm while the team focused on emergency work getting people indoors. There were, however, some interesting parts of today’s conversation that shed light on recent issues with the team.
The efforts to create a new governance structure for King County and its cities continues to make slow progress. They still don’t have many answers, but they seem to be focusing in on the key questions in the hopes of finding answers by the end of the summer.