We need results before you get more money for Seattle’s homeless
On Monday morning, a homeless man was killed in his tent when a driver, allegedly under the influence, ran his car into a greenbelt along I-5 in the University District.
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said this, among other things, at the site of the crash on Monday:
“Our goal has been to identify how we can move people to safer places. Given the size and scope that this crisis and the extent that it’s growing — it’s growing quicker than our resources. So the plan, of course, has been that we would expect help from the state and federal government. That is not coming. So what I’m proposing is we need to have a discussion in this city about whether we want to raise even yet more revenue to provide safer places for these people. That’s the only option we have before us.”
If you ask for more money, the implication is that you have something that’s working and you need more money to finish the job. If that was the story line, then I would sign off on that. But just last week, for the first time in the 11-year plan to end homelessness, you said maybe we should give out money based on results. That just happened about five days ago.
We just passed a $290-million housing levy where homeless assistance was on the marquee. And what about the emergency declaration nine months ago (we didn’t have a meeting for nine months)? There was another $50 million to $65 million earmarked for homelessness. And you just now hire a director of homelessness — it takes eight months — and then you say maybe we should get some results.
I’m sorry Mr. Mayor, unless you can provide some efficiency in your numbers, then you get no more money. How about you get a plan first, scale it up, and then maybe we can talk.
To use the event of a man killed tragically and then to trot out Seattle Fire Chief Harold Scoggins and Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole for the photo op? Come on, man.
What are we doing out here?