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Proposal would buy bus tickets for Seattle-area homeless

FILE - In this May 24, 2018 file photo, a man sleeps on the sidewalk as people behind line up to buy lunch at a Dick's Drive-In restaurant in Seattle. An elected official in King County, where Seattle is located, wants to dedicate $1 million for one-way bus tickets to relocate homeless people who say they want to reconnect with family outside the region. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

SEATTLE (AP) — As the Seattle area tries to tackle its homelessness crisis, an official wants to expand a strategy of buying long-distance bus tickets for people living on the streets.

The concept of sending homeless people out of town to where they say they’re from or may have support has been in place for decades in parts of the U.S.

The city of Seattle and community organizations already offer free bus tickets as part of their broader approach to helping homeless people.

King County council member Reagan Dunn wants to go a step further by spending $1 million to create a stand-alone bus ticket program that will emphasize “family reunification.”

Critics say Dunn’s idea won’t realistically address chronic homelessness.

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