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King County Exec touts new homeless shelter, treatment centers in ‘state of county’ speech

King County Executive Dow Constantine says he refuses to be "bullied" by the federal government. (King County)

Like the mayor of Seattle, King County Executive Dow Constantine says he’s focused on spending money wisely on the homeless issue.

Related: King County exec. pushing for another sales-tax hike

Much like Seattle, the county is “collecting and using data to understand” how homeless people are using resources so that it can adjust and make improvements. And it’s also reforming the way it provides services with a focus on the actual results.

“It’s not just about investing more money,” Constantine said. “It’s about investing in the right way.”

In his State of the County speech on Monday in Auburn, Constantine said the county is opening another shelter. The family shelter, operated by Mary’s Place, will open in White Center on Tuesday.

Related: Mayor Murray outlines $275M levy for homelessness

“It will be available 24 hours a day, with onsite case management, meals, job counseling, homework areas and other services to help families successfully transition to permanent housing and long-term stability,” Constantine said.

In addition to the new shelter, the executive told the crowd the county opened 46 inpatient treatment beds, with 40 more on the way. He also said Renton, Kent, and Seattle are getting new drug and alcohol treatment facilities.

And let us not forget the affordable housing issue. Constantine said King County has awarded $26 million to build 800 units in Renton, Bellevue, Seattle, Tukwila, and Auburn in areas near transit stations.

“We are determined to make homelessness rare – and we secured stable, permanent housing for more than 3,000 families last year – up 10% from just the year before,” the executive said.

Constantine also focused on the light rail expansion, youth detention, services for military veterans, and his proposed “Access for All” ballot measure, which would be funded by a one-tenth of a cent sales tax.

Related: King County exec. pushing for another sales-tax hike

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