Re: “Something just shifted in Seattle’s stuck homelessness debate” [April 3, Local News]:

It’s evident in my neighborhood of Lake City that the pandemic has exacerbated Seattle’s ongoing homelessness epidemic. That’s why I was excited to learn about the Compassion Seattle initiative, which would amend the Seattle City Charter to provide long-term solutions for those who are experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity.

Many individuals living on the street have untreated mental health issues or suffered physical, sexual or psychological trauma before they experienced homelessness. We can no longer turn a blind eye to the pain and suffering of our fellow Seattleites experiencing homelessness.

Nevertheless, I believe this is what the Seattle City Council did when it recently defunded the Navigation Teams, which offered direct support for homeless populations. The City Council’s lack of urgency as the rate of homelessness has exponentially grown is detrimental to Seattle residents’ health and well-being.

We need a bold plan to address the root causes of homelessness and helps this community transition into permanent supportive housing. I believe we now have this opportunity with the Compassion Seattle initiative.

The ballot-measure campaign will start gathering signatures later this month. Join me in making Seattle a more humane and just city by supporting this effort.

Ryan Murphy, Seattle