On Tuesday, over 200 community members attended our event ready and eager to learn how to get involved in the effort to make homelessness in King County rare, brief and one-time. Gay Gilmore and Troy Hakala, owners of the brand new Optimism Brewing Co. on Capitol Hill generously offered their space and their brews, representing an innovative way for community members to use their resources to combat homelessness.
Our partners showcased many of the ways we are working to end homelessness and offered guests ways to get involved. Guests were also encouraged to share their own thoughts and ideas:
“I feel optimistic because we are here! Our collective capacities and commitments make the seemingly impossible, possible.”
“I pledge to talk about homelessness openly and passionately and to support tent cities.”
We also debuted a video highlighting the great work being done in our community by Eddie Wang’s Sleepless in Seattle, Molly and Vanessa with The Ballard Welcome Wagon and Kristine Moreland’s MORELove project. The video was produced by our friends Tracy Dethlefs and Francine Strickwerda from Hullaballoo who donated their time and talents to support this issue.
Homelessness is in a state of emergency and our neighbors are rising up to the challenge. With the leadership of our elected officials and the support of our community, we can make a difference. Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and King County Executive Dow Constantine attended the event and spoke to guests about the importance of community involvement:
“It is a disaster that we made, and a disaster that we need to come together to overcome”
– King County Executive Dow Constantine
“We can actually make a difference if we are unified and willing to work together”
– Mayor Ed Murray
You can watch the full program featuring All Home Director Mark Putnam, Rex Hohlbein and All Home Coordinating Board members Graham Pruss and Rebekah Bastian.
For more on the event please visit https://storify.com/lhabenicht/all-home-optimism.
Please join our community working to end homelessness. Find ways to get involved and share your ideas with us.
Not sure how to do your part to help reduce homelessness? Read the Crosscut editorial by our Director Mark Putnam and Coordinating Board Co-Chairs Lainey Sickinger, board president of REACH and Paul Lambros, Executive Director of Plymouth Housing Group. The declarations that homelessness is in a state of emergency in King County present a real opportunity to make a difference!
Monday November 2, Seattle Mayor Murray and King County Executive Constantine issued declarations that homelessness is in a state of emergency in King County, and outlined local actions, including shelter, prevention, outreach, and they will call on the State and Federal governments to do more.
This act of leadership by Mayor Murray and Executive Constantine represents a significant step toward implementing the All Home Strategic Plan. Their joint requests of the State and Federal government are action steps toward our strategies for addressing the root causes of homelessness, and support our goal of making homelessness rare. Their commitments of local resources are action steps toward our strategies for addressing the immediate crisis of homelessness, and making it brief and only a one-time occurrence.
Los Angeles, Portland, and the State of Hawaii have also recently issued declarations that homelessness is in a state of emergency. Seattle and King County’s declarations go one step further. In addition to local action, the declarations make significant requests of the State and Federal governments. Homelessness knows no borders, and requires synergy of local, state, and federal partners. The effort to end veteran homelessness is a good example of how this can work. With new Federal resources from the Veteran’s Administration, and strong local coordination among nonprofits and government, we have made significant progress – 717 veterans have been housed, and 310 more have a voucher and are looking for housing. We now need a significant investment from the Federal government, and the State, to support all other populations.
Homelessness is in a state of emergency. Our community has rallied to provide shelter and support for others in crisis – from international refugees to local and national disaster victims – and we should also do the same for our neighbors without a permanent place to call home.
All Home Message Re: Emergency Declarations
King County Actions and Requests of State and Federal Government
King County News Release: Proclamation of Emergency
City of Seattle News Release: Proclamation of Emergency
King County Local Proclamation of Emergency
City of Seattle Proclamation of Civil Emergency
Seattle Times:Mayor, county exec declare ‘state of emergency’ over homelessness
King 5: Seattle leaders declare growing homelessness an emergency
Each year the Seattle King County Continuum of Care (CoC) submits an application to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for McKinney Continuum of Care Homeless Assistance Grant funds. HUD requires our local CoC to conduct a local process to determine a priority order of projects, and the final priority order is the result of a very thoughtful process conducted by Continuum of Care staff, under the advisement of providers and local funders, and final decisions were approved by the All Home Funder Alignment Committee. Information on the 2015 Priority Order is available here