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Seattle councilmember says he may have the formula to take on city’s homeless crisis

“This model is going to bring downtown Seattle back for business.”

Seattle City Councilmember Andrew Lewis and the coalition behind him believes he’s found the right formula to take on the city’s homeless crisis.

That formula is the JustCare program, a collaboration between the city and a coalition of business, service providers, and outreach teams that work together to get the unsheltered into housing while also keeping public spaces clear without the need to involve police.

“All of us coming together, instead of fighting and instead of bickering, were able to resolve this chronic situation on Third Avenue,” Lewis said.

Lewis points to the humane clearing of the problematic encampment along Third Avenue downtown and the 33 people there who voluntarily entered shelter as his evidence.

Lewis hopes to get city and county finding to expand the effort in the weeks ahead.

University of Washington researcher Doctor Kathryn Beckett says their data show it’s working.


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