On the Mayor's Mind: Homelessness

Friday, February 5, 2016

Shoreline Mayor Chris Roberts
By Shoreline Mayor Chris Roberts

Earlier this week, the Seattle Times ran an editorial calling for more regional partnership on addressing the issues of homelessness. As a resident of Shoreline, I know that we cannot solve this or other issues alone.

Last December, the Council adopted a resolution expressing support for the King County emergency proclamation in response to the growing crisis in the level of homelessness in the region.

In that effort, we directed our city staff to review policies and procedures to address homelessness. Included in those efforts would be a review of city codes to ensure that we do not criminalize the status of being without a permanent home.

The One Night Count, conducted on January 29th, identified 135 individuals in North King County without shelter  This represents a 280% increase since 2015. In addition, the Shoreline School District identifies over 300 students without permanent housing.

Across the state and region, cities are taking steps to address this issue. I was proud to work  with the Association of Washington Cities to make human services, homelessness and affordable housing one of the priorities in the association’s legislative agenda. Within King County, the Sound Cities Association has also made addressing homelessness a priority.

Making homelessness rare and one-time is a challenge for every jurisdiction and I am confident Shoreline will do its part.

The City expressed support for legislation that would allow a property tax credit for landlords preserving affordable housing when we met our legislators.

The City is partnering with the Ronald United Methodist Church, Compass Housing Alliance, and Hopelink to build 60 units of very affordable housing, including housing for veterans and their families near in our Town Center . It is expected that these units will be completed in 2017.

Also, the Council directed an increase in funding for Hopelink’s rental and utility assistance programs. This budget amendment should help Shoreline families remain in their houses.

We know there is still more to do, and I greatly appreciate the efforts of every Shoreline resident who works to provide individuals that happen to be homeless shelter, food, supplies, or comfort.


josh February 7, 2016 at 10:22 AM  

Mayor Roberts, I really appreciate your work to find permanent shelter for the homeless in Shoreline. I know others do too. I moved from Ballard and as I keep up with the news there and the rest of Seattle, and see people making inhumane comments about how worthless homeless people are, how we should ship them all of of town, how they're dirty and an eyesore and ruining the neighborhood... it's really nice to see someone in a leadership position like you working to make sure the homeless people here are treated respectfully and in a way that actually helps them improve their lives.

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