Article: Why are people homeless in Seattle? Look upstream – Seattle Times

By Naomi Ishisaka
The Seattle Times
Feb. 19, 2024

Local headlines around homelessness recently have been even bleaker than usual – and that’s  saying a lot. 

Some recent headlines include:

“The private sector’s biggest bet in homelessness fell apart. What now?”

“King County homelessness authority layoffs result in housing instability”

And tragically, “Cold weather emergency highlights homelessness system’s flaws”

These stories, largely reported by Seattle Times Project Homeless staff Greg Kim and Anna Patrick, have highlighted our region’s continued failure to address our homelessness crisis.

Worse, the grand solutions that were meant to get us on better footing to address the problem have mostly failed.

In 2022, I wrote about one private sector and philanthropy-funded effort that launched with fanfare to create living wage jobs for those who have direct experience with homelessness and hire them to become “systems advocates” helping people navigate complex bureaucracies. That program collapsed just 1½ years later. The program’s laid-off staff were again left with housing instability as well as without severance.