LOCAL NEWS

Meet George Scarola, Seattle’s first homeless czar

Aug 23, 2016, 6:01 PM
bike racks, one table, camp in seattle, homeless study, homeless crisis...
(AP)
(AP)

It has long been speculated that Seattle will eventually get a homeless czar to handle the mounting issue in the region. Now, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has hired for such a position — the city’s first director of homelessness, George Scarola.

“Because of the growing scope of work around homelessness, Seattle needs a proven manager to ensure we are achieving our desired outcomes,” Murray said. “I have known George for many years, working alongside him in Seattle and Olympia, and know him as a unifying leader that excels at creating successful results through community engagement.”

Seattle’s plan for moving people out of the Jungle homeless encampment

The position is slated as “cabinet-level.” Scarola will be paid $137,500 a year by the City of Seattle. He starts on Aug. 24.

In November 2015, Mayor Murray announced a state of emergency over the issue of homelessness in town. Since then, a cluster of city responses have addressed encampments in the area. The city even hired a homeless specialist to analyze the city’s approach — that expert basically said “less talk, more action.” But with George Scarola stepping in as the homeless czar, it is hoped that a more coordinated effort will take place. The idea is to have one person manage the efforts across multiple departments.

According to the mayor’s office:

Scarola will be responsible for leading the city’s homelessness efforts across departments, providing oversight and evaluation of outcomes, strategic guidance, and leading community engagement.

To make it official, Murray signed an executive order Tuesday establishing the position. The order states that the director of homelessness will report to the mayor’s director of operations, and will essentially engage in a “systematic reform of the city’s response to homelessness.” The goal of the director is to improve the “overall quality, responsiveness, and success at serving people experiencing homelessness and the greater community.

George Scarola

Scarola has a history of working among educational and Democratic circles in Washington. Sacarola worked as the legislative director for the League of Education Voters. A 2012 article in Seattle Met referred to George Scarola as a lobbyist for the league. The mayor’s office notes that he was integral to motivating Seattle voters to approve educational bonds in the ’90s.

He was previously was top aide to Democratic State Representative Frank Chopp in 2000. Then he helped the Washington House Democratic Campaign in 2002 to obtain a majority in the house.

In the 1990s, Scarola was executive director of the Sand Point Community Housing Project that turned buildings on the Sand Point Naval Air Station into shelters for youth, adults and families.

 

Local News

Seattle fundraising...
Nick Bowman

Seattle mayoral race fundraising hits highest total in nearly two decades of available data

With just a few weeks to go until ballots are due, Seattle's two mayoral candidates have reached record fundraising heights.
12 hours ago
Seattle council debate...
MyNorthwest Staff

Seattle council candidates get chance to question each other in Wednesday debate

Candidates for Seattle's Position 9 City Council seat squared off in a debate hosted by Rainier Avenue Radio and Converge Media on Wednesday.
12 hours ago
Seattle vaccine mandate, firefighters...
Nick Bowman

Seattle firefighter union reports 5 members facing termination over vaccine mandate

A statement from the Seattle Fire Fighters Union Local 27 indicates that five of its members are facing termination as a result of the vaccine mandate.
12 hours ago
Snohomish mosque...
KIRO 7 News Staff

Police investigating hateful act at Snohomish County mosque

A 50-year-old man has been arrested and another person is still at large after Mountlake Terrace Police said they made their way into a mosque and threw away religious artifacts.
12 hours ago
unemployment benefits...
Nicole Jennings

People quitting over vax mandate may qualify for unemployment benefits

Do people quitting their jobs over the vaccine mandate qualify for unemployment benefits? That all depends on a certain set of circumstances.
1 day ago
covid memorial...
MyNorthwest Staff

King County councilmember proposes memorial for lives lost to COVID

King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn is proposing the creation of a public art memorial to honor those who lost their lives to COVID-19. 
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Medicare open enrollment for 2022 starts Oct. 15 and SHIBA can help!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]
...

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
...
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
...
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
...
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.
...
Comcast

Small, Minority-Owned Businesses in King County and Pierce County Can Now Apply For $10,000 Relief Grants Through Comcast RISE

Businesses in King County and Pierce County can apply beginning on October 1, 2021, at www.ComcastRISE.com for a chance to receive a $10,000 relief grant.
Meet George Scarola, Seattle’s first homeless czar