ChangeWA will broaden coverage to solve the homeless crisis
February 1, 2024
In a year-end poll conducted by Project42, homelessness remained the top issue among Washington State residents (followed closely by crime and inflation).
Thus, after a decade of progressive policies, billions of tax dollars spent, and a massive increase in the homelessness bureaucracy, these poll results are yet another indicator that our state’s homeless situation is worse today than it was nearly a decade ago when King County Executive Dow Constantine and then Seattle Mayor Ed Murray infamously declared homelessness an “emergency” in the region.
Since then, the progressives’ “Housing First” policy has done an exceptional job in increasing the size and cost of government, but the facts prove that it has been an unmitigated disaster in helping people get off the streets. What are the facts?
- Homelessness in King County has grown 33% (from approximately 10,000 to over 13,000 people) since the emergency was declared.
- Record number of homeless individuals continue to die (415 in 2023, up from previous record in of 309) on the streets.
This is not compassion. This is cruelty.
We must do better. Literally lives are at stake.
We must broaden our approach away from the narrow-minded progressive policies which have resulted in so much misery. Too many people have died and too many continue to suffer. The public is frustrated by the lack of results.
It is time to implement commonsense solutions that work.
ChangeWA is committed to finding such solutions. It is now obvious that after a decade of failure, we must look outside of the progressives’ Seattle bubble to find this solution.
To move the issue forward, ChangeWA is making two exciting modifications in how we cover homelessness.
1) We will expand our focus (which had been primarily Seattle/King County) to explore how the homeless crisis is being fought in other Washington state communities. We will look at such things as:
- The stark difference between how the neighboring cities of Olympia and Lacey approach homelessness and why one of the cities has encampments on its side of I-5 while the other has pristine conditions next to the freeway.
- Why progressive extremists are fighting to allow encampments in the center of Burien next to City Hall
- Pierce County Executive Bruce Dammeier’s attempt to implement a “Community First” (as opposed to “Housing First”) housing program, and why the progressives oppose this plan to help homeless people become self-sufficient.
- Everett’s “No sit, no lie” policy which forbids encampments in a section of downtown because of their negative impact on small businesses.
- The City of Spokane’s new approach to homelessness now that career progressive politician Lisa Brown is the mayor.
- Bellingham difficulties removing large encampments that appear on absentee owners’ property and how the homeless crisis has fueled the drug overdose problem.
Upcoming ChangeWA’s articles will not only include our reporting, but we will also ask local voices to explain in their own words what is occurring in their communities.
2) ChangeWA will also seek solutions to the homeless crisis from communities outside of Washington which have achieved success. We will learn how these cities reduced their homeless population and we will examine the roadblocks for doing the same thing here in Washington state. We will look at such cities as Austin, TX, Atlanta, GA, Columbus, OH, and a few others which have reduced homelessness.
Commitment to finding workable solutions
Since ChangeWA’s inception we have been at the forefront of exploring the homelessness issue in Seattle and King County and why the progressive approach has failed. Most of our focus has been on the progressive’s new bureaucratic organization the King County Regional Homelessness Authority (KCRHA)
Last May ChangeWA posted an explosive report in which we revealed the startling fact that more homeless individuals have died (mostly from drug overdoses) in temporary housing than the authority helped to obtain permanent housing. Thus, the Grim Reaper had more success reducing the homeless numbers than KCRHA.
Not surprisingly, just a few days after the release of our report, KCRHA CEO Marc Dones resigned from his position, as his most ardent progressive supporters could no longer defend the authority’s abysmal track record.
Among ChangeWA’s many other reports was our late September article (“New report reveals lack of compassion by KCRHA”) on the excellent work conducted by the Discovery Institute, which found that private organizations were providing housing at nearly 10% the cost which KCRHA paid. It also found the very alarming fact that most of the 17 agencies which the KCRHA funds with public money, do not keep records of the number of people they have assisted. This lack of accountability for millions of taxpayer dollars is a recipe for corruption.
Homelessness has become the most pressing issue for all levels of government. The public is rightfully frustrated by the progressives’ expensive failure, and as the 2023 Seattle elections indicated, they are now demanding results from their elected officials.
ChangeWA looks forward to bringing attention to what is occurring around Washington State and spotlighting some of the successes from around the country. It is our objective to find solutions that have proven to be successful, and help political leaders step away from the failed progressive policies which have caused utter misery to thousands of people.
We hope you find value in ChangeWA’s new direction for we will need your assistance as our supporters will be vitally important in convincing elected officials to move forward with these commonsense solutions to reduce the misery that is repeatedly exhibited on our streets.