Tag Archives: King County Regional Homelessness Authority

Durkan Budget Would Gut JumpStart Spending Plan, Increase Funding for Encampment Response

by Erica C. Barnett

(This article originally appeared on PubliCola and has been reprinted with permission.)


Mayor Jenny Durkan released the final budget of her term yesterday, Sept. 27, outlining the proposal at a very high level in a six-minute speech from North Seattle College. In the coming weeks, the proposal will be debated, analyzed, and rewritten by the Seattle City Council (the addition of 35 net new police officers is an obvious target for their red pens), and PubliCola will be covering every aspect of those upcoming discussions. For now, though, here are a few initial notes on the plan, which reflects better-than-expected revenues and incorporates a lot of ongoing federal funding for COVID-19 relief.

Continue reading Durkan Budget Would Gut JumpStart Spending Plan, Increase Funding for Encampment Response

With Future of Tiny Houses Up in the Air, Advocates Push for Action This Year

by Erica C. Barnett

(This article originally appeared on PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.)


Advocates and city councilmembers are putting pressure on Mayor Jenny Durkan and the City’s Human Services Department (HSD) to move forward with three new tiny house villages — groups of small shed-like shelters for people experiencing homelessness — this year, before the King County Regional Homelessness Authority (KCRHA) takes over the City’s homelessness-related contracts in 2022.

The short-term (and at this point, probably quixotic) goal is to convince Durkan and HSD’s short-staffed homelessness division to commit to moving forward with all three villages before the City’s homelessness contracts move to the KCRHA at the end of the year. The long-term goal, which may be equally quixotic, is to demonstrate strong community support for tiny house villages in the face of strong opposition at the new authority, whose leader, Marc Dones, has no allegiance to what has become conventional wisdom at the City.

Earlier this year, the Seattle City Council adopted (and the mayor signed) legislation accepting $2 million in state COVID-19 relief funding to stand up three new tiny house villages and setting aside an additional $400,000 to operate the villages once they open — the Seattle Rescue Plan. Since then, HSD has declined to issue a request for proposals to build the villages, arguing that the council doesn’t have a long-term plan to operate the villages after this year. The longer HSD waits, the more likely it is that the job of deciding whether to stand up additional tiny house villages will fall to the regional authority.

Continue reading With Future of Tiny Houses Up in the Air, Advocates Push for Action This Year

Harrell Says He’ll Implement Key Provisions of ‘Compassion Seattle’ Measure, Clear Encampments

by Erica C. Barnett

(This article originally appeared on PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.)


At a press conference a few hundred yards from an encampment in Woodland Park on the morning of Thursday, Sept. 2, mayoral candidate Bruce Harrell said that if elected, he would implement the key elements of Charter Amendment 29 — the “Compassion Seattle” ballot measure. A King County Superior Court judge tossed the initiative last week, agreeing with opponents that things like budgets and land-use policy are outside the scope of local ballot measures, but the campaign appealed to the Washington State Court of Appeals, whose ruling could come tomorrow.

Harrell’s “Homelessness Action Plan” would require the City to spend 12% of its general fund on homelessness, build 2,000 new emergency housing (shelter) beds within one year, create individualized “service plans” for every person experiencing homelessness, and, as Harrell put it, “ensure that our city parks, playgrounds, sports fields, public spaces, sidewalks, and streets remain open and clear of encampments.” These proposals are all identical to provisions of Charter Amendment 29, which Harrell supported.

At Thursday’s event, which was billed as a press conference but resembled a campaign rally, Harrell fielded questions primarily from a large group of supporters rather than the assembled press. “If and when you become mayor, how soon can we as Green Lake citizens expect to see these encampments gone?” one supporter asked. “I will say January or February, because I work with a sense of urgency,” Harrell responded.

Another asked how he’d respond to critics who say that his plan would mean sweeping encampments without providing services. “Look at my record,” Harrell responded. “There are no dog whistles. I don’t have a dog whistle. And I say, how dare people say that, when my wife and I’ve been doing this for 20, 30 years.”

Continue reading Harrell Says He’ll Implement Key Provisions of ‘Compassion Seattle’ Measure, Clear Encampments

Then and Now: Seattle’s Plan for Homelessness From 2010 to 2020

by Luke Brennan


Over the last decade, Seattle and King County have taken various measures to support people living without permanent housing. In 2015, King County was investing $36 million a year to assist people living unhoused and at risk of becoming unhoused. 

Despite these efforts, homelessness has been on the rise since 2010, with increasing rent prices as the likely culprit. 

Continue reading Then and Now: Seattle’s Plan for Homelessness From 2010 to 2020

The Morning Update Show — 6/30/21

The Morning Update Show — hosted by Trae Holiday and The Big O (Omari Salisbury) — is the only weekday news and information livestream that delivers culturally relevant content to the Pacific Northwest’s urban audience. Omari and Trae analyze the day’s local and national headlines as well as melanin magic in our community. Watch live every weekday at 11 a.m. on any of the following channels, hosted by Converge Media: YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, Periscope, and whereweconverge.com.

We also post the Morning Update Show here on the Emerald each day after it airs, so you can catch up any time of day while you peruse our latest posts.

Morning Update Show — Wednesday, June 30

LIVE — Besa Gordon | King County Limits Evictions and Fees | Can Marc Dones Find Homeless Solutions in King County? | Seattle’s Democracy Project | Seattle Housing Market Is Red Hot | #BlackGirlMagic

Continue reading The Morning Update Show — 6/30/21

Marc Dones Believes King County Can Fix Its Homelessness Crisis

by Ashley Archibald


That Marc Dones believes the County can fix its homelessness crisis is probably good news coming from the first CEO of the King County Regional Homelessness Authority (KCRHA) — the organization that replaced All Home King County as the coordinating entity for homelessness response after a lengthy planning process.

This optimism comes against the backdrop of a humanitarian crisis on the streets of Seattle and King County, one that has become worse and more visible over the past two decades as various initiatives tried and failed to end it.

Continue reading Marc Dones Believes King County Can Fix Its Homelessness Crisis

County Purchases First Hotel to Provide Shelter to Those Without It

by Paul Faruq Kiefer

(This article previously appeared on PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.)


In his State of the County Address Tuesday, May 11, King County Executive Dow Constantine announced that the County would purchase the Inn at Queen Anne, which has been serving as a temporary shelter operated by Catholic Community Services (CCS) since April of last year.

The 80-room hotel, which CCS will continue to operate, will cost the county $16.5 million; the money will come from the new “health through housing” sales tax that the County Council passed — with some notable abstentions from suburban cities — late last year. The County plans to purchase “several more properties in several more cities … in the coming weeks,” Constantine said in his address.

Continue reading County Purchases First Hotel to Provide Shelter to Those Without It

Auburn Votes to Criminalize Camping on Public Property

by Ashley Archibald

(This article originally appeared at KNKX and has been reprinted under an agreement.)


The Auburn City Council voted Monday, April 19, to criminalize camping on public property, a change with consequences that will largely fall on people experiencing homelessness.

Those cited under the new law face a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.

The measure departs from an ordinance passed in September 2020 that made the offense a civil infraction that could come with a fine of $250. In a report, city staff wrote that six months of experience and the impending launch of the Auburn Community Court made this the right time to revisit the city’s approach.

Continue reading Auburn Votes to Criminalize Camping on Public Property

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.

Continue reading King County Regional Homelessness Authority Finally Has a Leader

Homelessness Authority Weighs in on Battle Over Future of Renton Shelter (and Shelters in Renton)

by Erica C. Barnett

(This article originally appeared on PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.)


The King County Regional Homelessness Authority (RHA) held a previously unscheduled meeting of its implementation board last night to discuss how to respond to a City of Renton proposal that would shut down a shelter run by the Downtown Emergency Service Center (DESC) at the Red Lion hotel in Renton. The legislation would also ban most, if not all, homeless shelters from the city.

Continue reading Homelessness Authority Weighs in on Battle Over Future of Renton Shelter (and Shelters in Renton)