Seattle Times has a good question: What’s the point of the Regional Homlessness Authority?
May 22, 2023
The Seattle Times has a good question – what’s the point of the Regional Homlessness Authority? Columnist Danny Westneat asked “Should we keep this agency at all?”
Given their track record of spending millions up on millions of taxpayer dollars with no results, we’ve been wondering the same thing. Especially as they’re now asking for billions, most of which have come from Seattle. Westneat noticed this as well, saying “Something’s just off about the whole enterprise. The biggest flaw is that it’s supposed to be regional, encompassing the county’s 39 cities. But so far very few cities other than Seattle have ponied up any money for it.”
KCRHA’s leadership has been wanting, but Marc Dones has now resigned as CEO of the forganization after two years at the helm. While the KCRHA said they were “grateful” for Dones’ “visionary work” in a statement, others are left hoping that new leadership will bring real solutions to the problems King County faces.
Local reporter Jonathan Choe has been sharing Dones’ many failures, including failure to pay service providers, unwillingness to speak to the press, and a history of unsuccessful “solutions” like homeless hotels. The truth is that more homeless people die than find permanent housing, even though KCRHA has spent millions – and proposes to spend billions – of taxpayer dollars. In fact, it’s hard to find much of anything that could be considered a “success” during Dones’ tenure.
Westneat is also questioning if a change in leadership can fix KCRHA. “The Regional Homelessness Authority needs a new leader, but it also is crying out for a major reset, from its culture down to its goals. It’s worth talking about whether it should just be disbanded.”
“Because when you’re paying $95 million, as Seattle is, yet still doing workarounds, how long before you ask: Is this worth it? Could we be helping more homeless people without the extra bureaucracy?”