Making Sure Everyone in Seattle Has a Safe Place to Call Home
Like you, I am frustrated by our city’s lack of progress on ending homelessness. Current and past city leaders have simply failed to address this humanitarian crisis, find supportive housing for those in need, and keep our streets and parks available for all to use. It’s time to finally deliver the help people experiencing homelessness need so they can get housing, access to services, and end the cycle of homelessness. Period. No more excuses or passing the buck. My plan is simple: housing, services, caseworkers, and taxpayer accountability. As Mayor, I commit to:
Secure and Build More Short- and Long-Term Housing
We’ve known for the duration of this crisis that solving homelessness in Seattle at its core will require getting services to people currently experiencing homelessness while investing in stable, long-term housing options. However, we do not currently have the housing stock to accommodate the population of people experiencing homelessness, which has only grown during the pandemic. In collaboration with the Regional Homelessness Authority, my administration will explore every available solution to secure reliable housing for people experiencing homelessness as quickly as possible, including acquiring properties like hotels to speed up our efforts to get every person a safe place to call home.
- In One Year – We will provide over 2,000 interim housing options, including hotel rooms, tiny homes, and FEMA emergency housing.
- In Four Years – We will expand access to supportive housing options, including 3,500 units of permanent supportive housing.
- In Eight Years – We will build or buy over 70,000 units of affordable housing across the city in every neighborhood.
Better Services: Healthcare, Drug Treatment, and Sanitation
We will provide critical healthcare, drug treatment, and sanitation for people experiencing homelessness by deploying caseworkers and medical professionals across the city.
- One-to-One Support: In partnership with the Regional Homelessness Authority, we will invest in 350 case workers and community liaisons who will be tasked with developing relationships with each person living outside and who can connect them to needed services and housing.
- New 911 Response for Emergency and Non-Emergency Responses: We will scale up programs like Seattle Fire’s Health One program to get trained healthcare professionals to people in crisis for both emergency and non-emergency calls. We also must invest in training programs so that our first responders are equipped to provide the appropriate support to people in need.
- Opioid Response: We must rapidly scale up low-barrier mechanisms for delivery of medications for opioid use disorder and work with experts to develop solutions that will prevent the use of opioids in our communities, neighborhoods, alleys, yards, and parks. This includes “upstream” approaches like working with the medical community and state partners to promote alternate pain management strategies, prescription monitoring programs, safe storage and disposal of prescriptions, and training for medical professionals to identify disuse early.
- Sanitation: The conditions within homelessness encampments are inhumane and unsafe. In order for our social service providers and first-responders to assist these populations, we must provide necessary sanitation services. We will provide access to showers and other sanitation options regularly, including through mobile sanitation units and portable restrooms.
Bringing Housing, Caseworkers, and Services to People Living in Parks and on Sidewalks
Parks and sidewalks where people of all ages and abilities can recreate are integral to a thriving Seattle – and they are not safe places for people to sleep. That’s why I will commit to bringing housing, services, and caseworkers to people living in specific parks and streets – so that you know whether your city government is effectively deploying taxpayer resources to address this humanitarian crisis.
Year One locations include: Jefferson Park, Lake City Park, Occidental Square, Haller Lake, Ballard Commons, North Aurora, and any Seattle Public Schools property with unsheltered people.
Regional, State, and Federal Coordination
The City cannot address this alone, and that’s why I will also work with the Regional Homelessness Authority, King County government, the state legislature, the Governor, and our Congressional delegation to assist in funding this critical effort. Study after study has told us that truly ending this humanitarian crisis will take up to a billion dollars of additional public investment each year for the next ten years. Seattle needs a mayor who can deliver results on that scale, and I’m the only candidate in the race with a proven track record of actually securing billions of dollars for investments in our region.