King County Regional Homelessness Authority Finally Has a Leader

(This article was originally published on the Capitol Hill Seattle Blog and has been reprinted under an agreement.)


The body charged with the hopes of creating a truly regional response to the Seattle-area homelessness crisis finally has a leader. On Feb. 4, the King County Regional Homelessness Authority announced Regina Cannon as its first Chief Executive Officer.

Regina Cannon has more than 18 years of experience leading anti-poverty initiatives addressing homelessness, supportive housing, criminal justice reform, community capacity building, and youth leadership development. She currently serves as the Chief Equity and Impact Officer at the Massachusetts-based Center for Social Innovation, also known as C4 Innovations, where she leads C4 Innovations’ internal and external equity and impact initiatives and directs the SPARC: Supporting Partnerships for Anti-Racist Communities initiative.

Regina previously served as Southeast Director for the Corporation for Supportive Housing where she worked to create and provide sustainable, permanent housing solutions to those experiencing homelessness. She has managed mental health and drug court programs as well as restorative board programs for young adults engaged with the criminal justice system. She was also an Assistant Professor at Bennett College. She received Masters’ degrees in Counseling and Developmental Psychopathology from Florida State University.

Capitol Hill Seattle reported on the 2019 formation of the authority including officials from Seattle, King County, and nearby cities, community groups and homelessness representatives.

The new authority was hoped to better organize the various county and city services addressing homelessness in the area. Seattle footed the majority of the budget for the effort as the body remained “dormant for a year, mired in infighting,” the Seattle Times reports.

The new authority was hoped to better organize the various county and city services addressing homelessness in the area. Seattle footed the majority of the budget for the effort as the body remained “dormant for a year, mired in infighting,” the Seattle Times reports.

As the organization is shaped, King County and Seattle staff whose work falls under the new authority were slated to be moved to be with the new group. How that shakes out in the pandemic era is yet to be seen.

Cannon must still accept the $200,000-a-year job offer.


Featured image: Memorial to those who died without shelter, 2016. Photo by Alex Garland.

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