#402 - Why Increased Spending Appears Not to be Helping Seattle Homelessness

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Manage episode 286042276 series 2792715
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One of the perceptions has long been that Seattle is spending a great deal of money on homelessness and that residents are not seeing the needle move. Is the public concern about the spending versus the outcome a legitimate one?
“The first question I asked Jason (former leader of the Seattle Human Services Department, Jason Johnson) was when he started in 2018, the budget was under $90 million for homelessness, and now it’s $165 million for 2021. And of course, the problem obviously has not gotten better, so I think it’s a legitimate one. I don’t think there’s a lot of discussion out there about when we’re funding fixes versus funding like survival services,” he said.
One of these approaches was spending on improving shelters, and making them more than simply places for the homeless to sleep.
“So a lot of that money went toward making our shelters better. You know, most of our shelters in Seattle used to be just overnight. You get kicked out in the morning and you’re sleeping on a mat on the ground. And what Seattle tried to do is make it so that you could stay there longer, maybe all day if you need to, and rest up. You could store your stuff there, you know, look for a job, different things like that. That costs a lot more money.”
Join your host Sean Reynolds, owner of Summit Properties NW and Reynolds & Kline Appraisal as he takes a look at this developing topic.

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