Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Seattle/King County Modified Plan to End Homelessness

The ambitious plan undertaken by the Seattle and King County governments to end homelessness in ten years has reached its deadline, and, of course, homelessness is very much the persistent and nagging issue that it always was and is growing progressively worse.  It is a complex problem that has been discussed at length on this site on the page entitled, "Homelessness."  There are many factors that contribute to this appalling condition of existence, but foremost among them is the glaring inequitable distribution of wealth that has effectively drained the public financial resources that are a crucial and critical piece of the puzzle.

Realizing  that under the current conditions, the expectation that homelessness will end anytime soon will create false hope, the Seattle/King County governmental bodies have now put forward a modified plan that has three stated goals -

  • Making Homelessness Rare
  • Making Homelessness Brief and One-time
  • Building a Community of Support. 
The details of this ambition undertaking are enumerated on the official Website entitled, "ALLHOME (http://allhomekc.org.).  A fundamental part of the overall strategy is the so-called, Coordinated Entry for All (CEA).  To implement this strategy, "regionally-based resource centers - regional access points (RAP) - will be created to serve as the primary front-door for our homeless housing system."

It is envisioned that these resource centers - strategically placed throughout the county - would provide appropriate services to all segments of the homeless community  including homeless families, single adults and those young individuals seventeen years and younger.  About one million dollars is currently budgeted for up to five RAPs to be run by community-based agencies.  Agencies wishing to participate have until April 7 of 2016 to submit applications.  A so-called, "bidders conference" will be held on March 24.  Once these RAPs have proven successful, they will afforded access to additional public monies.

The one glaring reality, however, that overshadows these ambitious efforts is the fact that there is a real and substantial shortage of affordable housing.  Nonetheless, it is a laudable effort and will undoubtedly have a positive impact upon those who have found themselves homeless.