Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell unveils city’s homelessness plan

Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell released details Tuesday on the city’s plans to address homelessness. 

The One Seattle Homelessness Action Plan and public-facing dashboard will provide a "transparent and interactive framework" of the Harrell administration’s approach to the homelessness issue and offer new data. 

According to the city, the plan will also identify priorities and actions to make progress on the city’s goal of getting people indoors, create places for people to live and develop innovative and regional solutions to ensure sustainable progress. 

Dashboard data will be updated on a quarterly basis, click here for more information.  

"Issues created over decades cannot be solved overnight, but we must reject the status quo where people are left to suffer unsheltered on sidewalks and in parks. By acting with urgency and compassion we can – and will – move from crisis response to stability and sustainability," Harrell said. 

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The Governing Board of the King County Regional Homelessness Authority approved a resolution sending a proposed $227 million budget to the City of Seattle and King County.

Some actions include:

  • Driving a regional approach by providing $118 million to the King County Regional Homelessness Authority (KCRHA) this year.
  • Surveying, inspecting, and verifying encampment sites and providing a publicly accessible map of encampment concentration by neighborhood citywide.
  • Creating new ways for Seattle businesses, organizations, philanthropies, and communities to help address this crisis, including development of public-private-philanthropic partnerships, funding efforts, and volunteer opportunities.

"Seattle residents deserve to see a plan and progress. With a new level of transparency, the One Seattle Homelessness Action Plan was designed to display informative and important data and provide a roadmap for how the City is making progress on this crisis – today and in the long-term," he said.

When Harrell took office, his administration developed a new interdepartmental team, the Unified Care Team (UCT), to deliver on key priorities, which include: supporting regional solutions, bringing people indoors, building more affordable housing faster, identifying needed shelter and housing, expanding our public safety toolkit and giving Seattle new ways to help. 

'We don’t do sweeps here in Seattle:' City implements no shelter, no sweep policy

The decision makers in charge of the region’s homelessness efforts have tipped their hand to a new strategy regarding encampment removals - no shelter, no sweep.

Harrell also announced that the city acquired the Dockside Apartments in Green Lake, which will house 70 people experiencing homelessness. This will start on July 1. 

"We know access to housing is both a symptom of and a solution to the homelessness crisis," said Mayor Harrell. "This plan prioritizes creating new affordable housing and meeting immediate shelter and housing needs. Both are critical to our mission to bring people indoors and prevent people from becoming homeless in the first place. Dockside is a great example of how we can strategically deploy our resources to make an immediate impact, as we continue toward our goal of identifying 2000 new units for people experiencing homelessness this year."

According to the King County Department of Community and Human Services, more than 40,000 people are experiencing homelessness in the county. As of May 2022, the city of Seattle counted 763 tents and 225 RVs. 

The city’s homelessness budget increased by 125% over the last four years. It went from $77 million in 2018 to $173 million in 2022.