Reporter Vernal Coleman joins podcast hosts Daniel Beekman and Jim Brunner to talk about Project Homeless, the Seattle Times’ new, in-depth journalism initiative exploring a civic crisis.

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In Seattle and King County, homelessness was declared an official emergency two years ago. Millions of additional dollars have been poured into shelters and services. Yet the crisis seems to be getting worse.

On Episode 59 of The Overcast, the Seattle Times’ weekly politics and government podcast, hosts Jim Brunner and Daniel Beekman hear from reporter Vernal Coleman on Project Homeless, our new initiative that goes deep on the causes of, and possible solutions to, the Seattle area’s homelessness crisis.

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Coleman explains his recent reporting on a bottleneck in local homeless shelters that keeps thousands on the streets. The crew also discusses what we know about whether Seattle is spending tax money wisely on the crisis.

And we look at how the next mayor — whether it’s Jenny Durkan or Cary Moon — will approach hot-button issues like sweeps of homeless encampments and a proposed new tax on high-grossing businesses to put more money into shelters.

In addition to Coleman, the Project Homeless team includes editor Jonathan Martin, reporter Vianna Davila, and producer/engagement editor Scott Greenstone. They’ll be spending the coming year on a deep dive into the issue. You can follow their work at this page and on Twitter.

Subscribe to The Overcast on iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher or via RSS. If you listen on iTunes, please leave us a review there.

Listen to past episodes of The Overcast here, and check out other Seattle Times podcasts here.

Send us your feedback and your ideas for future topics. Leave a comment on this post, tweet at us (@Jim_Brunner and @DBeekman), email seattletimesovercast@gmail.com or leave a voicemail at 206-464-8778.

As part of an ongoing partnership, this episode was recorded at the Seattle studios of public radio’s 88.5 FM KNKX.