These new proposals and plans need community support to become reality

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As our petition has quickly gained over 9,000 supporters, community leaders have stepped up with proposals to meaningfully address the humanitarian crisis that has been unfolding in Seattle for years.

Councilmember Lewis proposes building 800 new tiny homes in 2021

Seattle City Councilmember Andrew Lewis, who chairs the city’s homelessness committee, has developed a bold new proposal to quickly add 800 tiny homes in twenty new “villages” in Seattle in 2021. These villages would become a pathway to permanent housing for thousands of people in the coming years. 

This interview with Councilmember Andrew Lewis and Leo Flor, Director, King County Department of Community & Human Services provides an excellent overview of the state of homelessness and the response in Seattle and King County.

Former Seattle Mayor and Councilmember, Tim Burgess, offers a constructive path forward

Former Mayor Burgess’ entire post is well worth reading. Following are excerpts of some of the key points in his post, Tent Encampments Are Here to Stay Unless…

The tents, dilapidated vehicles, and piles of trash you see in almost every Seattle neighborhood have become an enduring fixture. So has the human suffering.

We should quickly prioritize addressing these tent encampments and follow the lead of other cities that have successfully tackled this issue. Since 2015, when the mayor declared a homelessness emergency, we have spent hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars — and there are success stories to tell — but, tragically, there is no comprehensive plan to remove these illegal encampments or to help those living in them. Not now. Not any time this year or next. Not in five years. They are essentially permanent.

Is this [proposal] all a pie-in-the-sky fantasy? Could we actually serve our unsheltered and chronically homeless population better? The answer is absolutely “yes” because other cities have already done it. Look at Bakersfield-Kern County, California. Or Bergen County, New Jersey. Or Abilene, Texas. Each of these jurisdictions — along with more than 75 others across the country — joined Community Solutions, a national nonprofit organization, and rigorously followed their step-by-step process to reduce the unsheltered homeless population. It is a successful model Seattle should follow, and quickly.

A plan like this can eliminate unsafe encampments and start hundreds of individuals on a path to safe, stable, and healthier lives. Wouldn’t that be worth it?

Volunteer with We Heart Seattle

We Heart Seattle is a boots on the ground, grassroots community effort to promote effective use of city and privately funded resources to make Seattle beautiful and safe for all to enjoy.

Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in. We Heart Seattle volunteers have helped 20 people get off the streets and into better situations while also removing over 20,000 pounds of trash from Seattle parks and public spaces.

Join the conversation on Facebook and learn how to participate in our weekly outreach and litter pick efforts. Or add your name to our mailing list and see our new calendar feature for details about our volunteer events. 

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