Working to combat homelessness in King County

Making homelessness in King County a rare event, and when it does occur, a brief and one-time experience, is the mission of the Committee to End Homelessness (CEH) King County, and its latest annual report details how it will achieve these goals.

King County now has the third largest stock of homeless housing in the country, behind only New York City and Los Angeles, and yet on a single night, January 14, 2014, more than 3,123 individuals were living outside and another 6,171 individuals were in shelters or transitional housing, per the One Night Count conducted by the Seattle/King County Coalition for the Homeless. CEH Annual Report

Comprising government, philanthropic organizations, faith-based groups, non-profits, and individual community advocates, and co-chaired by King County Executive Dow Constantine, the CEH outlined its strategies for making homelessness in King County rare, brief and a one-time experience in its 2013 annual report:

  • Rare: focus on strategies, such as diversion and reuniting homeless youth and young adults with caring adults, that help people on the edge of homelessness stabilize rather than enter the homelessness system.
  • Brief: rapidly re-house those who become homeless and prioritize those “stuck” in shelters the longest for permanent housing placement
  • One-time: launching pilot programs to connect persons experiencing homelessness with employers and private landlords to ensure persons exiting the system have the support they need to remain housed.

“Those who are homeless want to get back on their feet and contribute to society, but that’s difficult to do without safe, reliable housing,” King County Executive Dow Constantine, co-chair CEH Governing Board, says in the report. “To help them make that transition, we will work together as a region – government, business, faith-based organizations and advocates – to develop long-term solutions for men, women and children who are caught in a cycle of homelessness.”

Read the full report here.