Tag Archives: homelessness

Understanding the One Night Count report on homelessness

Last week, the results of the annual One Night Count (renamed “Count Us In” this year) were released, giving us updated data on the extent and nature of the homeless crisis in King County and Seattle.

The full report is 116 pages of tables. It’s heavy on data and light on interpretation.  After spending several days poring over the report, here are my thoughts on what it means.

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One Night Count results released today

This afternoon King County released the results of its annual One Night Count (renamed this year to “Count Us In”).

It’s a long, detailed report, and the methodology changed this year so making comparisons with previous years is very difficult. I’m going to take a few days to thoroughly read and analyze it before doing a detailed post, but here are pointers to the key reading, and a few top-line points.

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Bridging the Gap gets a boost from the Emergency Operations Center

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.

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Homeless needs assessment paints a detailed picture of the city’s homeless population

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.

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Murray and Bagshaw create new task force to review homeless sweep protocol

Last Friday, Mayor Ed Murray sent a letter to the nine City Council members, announcing a new stakeholder group that he and Council member Sally Bagshaw are convening. That task force will review the city’s rules and procedures for dealing with unsanctioned homeless encampments and deliver recommendations to him and the Council.

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It’s Time for New Leadership on the Homelessness Crisis

In this gig, I spend far more time reading and listening than I do writing, and over the last several months much of that  time has been spent learning about homelessness and how people are trying to address it. It’s a big, complicated problem, but the way we talk about it and let ourselves get rat-holed in side issues has given it an aura of intractability. Seattle is a city with money, resources, skilled people, and lots and lots of compassion. There is no reason our city can’t make a dent in our homelessness problem. And yet, over the past few years and even with a State of Emergency in place, we haven’t. It’s time for us to admit that what we’re doing isn’t working, that doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is insane, and to change our plan.

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