Re: “King County promised to end youth homelessness by June 2021. It didn’t” [June 6, Project Homeless]:
There are two major failures at play. First, there are far too many activists, organizations, committees, etc., working on this problem. It is too easy to duplicate efforts and compete for dollars and control, thereby losing focus of the overall goal. As described in the article, time is spent discussing “microaggressions” instead of homelessness. This is what leadership is supposed to deal with, which is sorely lacking in this situation.
Secondly, the very existence of these organizations depends on them failing in their mission. If homelessness were “solved,” we wouldn’t need multiple organizations doing what one competently run government department should be able to accomplish. The city doesn’t subcontract work in the fire department to multiple organizations. Why so with homelessness? We spent more than $100 million dollars last year on homelessness issues. What did we buy?
The voters need to take charge. The Compassion Seattle initiative, which would change the city charter to require by law specific, defined steps to provide housing, substance-use and mental-health treatment. Only then can we expect to reduce our tent counts. Waiting for our city council or the multitude of organizations dealing with this issue has not and will not be effective.
David Warth, Seattle