Today Human Services Director Catherine Lester announced that she is resigning so that she can move to Toronto to be closer to her family.
This afternoon, Mayor Tim Burgess and Human Services Department Director Catherine Lester announced funding grants to human services providers as a result of the $34 million RFP published earlier this year.
For the first time in ten years, the City of Seattle is bidding out $30 million of homelessness funding through an open RFP process. It’s using the RFP as a chance to rewrite the rules for service providers — and more importantly to ratchet up the requirements placed upon them.
Welcome to the weekend!
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.
Wednesday afternoon in the Human Services and Public Health Committee meeting, the City Council was asked by the Human Services Department (HSD) to lift restrictions on $125,000 set aside in this year’s city budget for a contract related to human service providers in the North Seattle area. They asked no questions, and quickly passed it out of committee for final approval on Monday. This represents their general approach to oversight of HSD, and it is a big mistake.
The Human Services Department, often referred to as HSD, is one of the largest departments in the city with 325 full-time employees and a proposed 2017 budget of $156.7 million. Where does the money come from, and where does it all go?
This is the second installment of a two-part report on last week’s big announcements around the city’s response to the homeless crisis in Seattle and King County.
This is the first installment of a two-part report on last week’s big announcements around the city’s response to the homeless crisis in Seattle and King County. Part 2 can be found here.
Last week we all finally got to see the long-awaited and much-delayed report from consultant Barb Poppe on Seattle’s response to its homeless crisis. And it immediately became clear why it took so long to see the light of day.
Yesterday we saw the Parks Department leadership demonstrate that they haven’t yet built a strong working relationship with the Council committee that provides oversight to their work, and how that can go wrong. Today we saw what happens when a department — in this case, the Human Services Department — builds a relationship that is close and comfortable. Too comfortable.