Seattle is third in the nation behind New York and Los Angeles in housing those who are homeless. But the problem is only worsening.
In 2015, we housed 6,700 people, but 6,900 people became homeless and another 600 people returned to our shelter system. In addition, an estimated 5,000 people cycle in and out of emergency shelters each year without specific attention given to address the factors that made them homeless in the first place.
What is the City Doing?
In August, Mayor Murray released Pathways Home, Seattle’s person-centered plan to reduce homelessness in our city. In his words, “Pathways Home helps us create a coherent, integrated, coordinated system out of the more than 180 contracts spread out among 60 different service providers. It establishes a “by name” list of those seeking housing that is shared among all providers, so the entire system can begin to better know and understand what each individual’s situation entails, which will allow providers to begin to unclog the system at the shelter level and redirect investments towards housing. It sets clear and consistent performance expectations, and institutes accountability measures to ensure that the City is paying for the best outcomes possible. This includes competitively bidding our provider contracts — something that has not happened in over a decade.”
To learn more about Pathways Home and the City’s efforts to address homelessness, please visit seattle.gov/homelessness.
How does the Innovation Team fit in?
Mayor Murray charged the Innovation Team with exploring opportunities to support and accelerate the City’s response to homelessness in two areas. Exploring these two challenges will enable the Innovation Team to test innovative ideas in parts of the city while contributing to the Mayor’s broader vision for reducing homelessness in Seattle.