Curley’s radical idea to help Seattle homeless crisis

Jan 19, 2017, 12:25 PM | Updated: 12:41 pm
Democracy Vouchers, voucher, Democracy Voucher...
Seattle's Democracy Vouchers cost taxpayers at least 50 percent of their face value. (MyNorthwest)

The City of Seattle spends about $50 million on homelessness for the roughly 3,000 people living on the streets. The current plan isn’t working, so I’ve got an idea. What if we tried borrowing the Democracy vouchers concept?

Here is how it would go: We take that $50 million dedicated for the homeless and divide that out for the population of Seattle. We then send every voter vouchers for his or her share. Then, people can go online to a GoFundMe page. Each of the homeless people can create their own page. We can then each donate more directly to these homeless people to support them and their life. This could be for housing, money, maybe some job training.

Related: Seattle mayor sends emergency order for 3 homeless camps

This way, rather than the money going through a bunch of different processes in the city’s bureaucracy, you go right to the people.

This idea of bypassing the middle-man with a more direct process was actually brought up in the UK in the 1990s. Basically, the idea was to adopt a poor person. If you adopt them, then you care about them more on a personal basis.

Or, of course, we can continue with the way we are going, which is garbage, feces, and tents along the highways. We’re talking about helping people, yes?

Well, here is how my co-host Tom Tangney responded to my proposal.


John Curley and Shari Elliker on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM
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Curley’s radical idea to help Seattle homeless crisis