Homelessness in Seattle

Ty'ina Hill, Staff Writer

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Commonly when people think of the City of Seattle they envision a beautiful city and rainy weather, but what they don’t see is the recurring issue of the homelessness population in Washington State. There are many causes of homelessness in Seattle and most commonly the issues range from unemployment, substance abuse, eviction and medical issues. Over the last decade Seattle has invested millions of dollars in order to address the issue. They’ve even implemented many programs such as the extensive emergency shelter program for behavioral health in order to collect data on their effectiveness on the homelessness population.

How does Seattle intend to address the issue of homelessness? Through investments that first focus on preventing homelessness in the first place. With the help of services such as the Seattle Rental Housing Assistance Pilot Program by offering Rapid Rehousing assisting others and helping them get out of the homeless service system and into a more permanent housing solution. This allows housing and shelter units to become safer places for the homeless, while also allowing them protection and the services needed to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle, this includes the support from agencies such as the Chief Seattle Club, Seattle Indian Health Board, Center for Multicultural Health, and many more. 

As of recently mayor Jenny A. Durkan has issued a statement on how she continues to deal with the issue into the new year, In 2020, we set forth on a new path to consolidate services that are too fractured and don’t serve individuals experiencing homelessness…” says Durkan. As a community we could offer our support by volunteering in local shelters to help those in need as well as, donating items such as food and clothing to those who cannot afford it. Doing this we are not only helping people, but inspiring others to make a positive and impactful change in the Seattle area.

https://www.seattle.gov/homelessness/addressing-the-crisis

https://durkan.seattle.gov/2019/12/statement-by-mayor-jenny-durkan-celebrating-seattle-city-councils-passage-of-the-interlocal-agreement-creating-the-king-county-regional-homelessness-authority/

https://www.seattle.gov/homelessness/the-roots-of-the-crisis