Seattle and King County plan to debut a program this fall that aims to prevent youth and student homelessness by connecting at-risk youth and families to services before they fall over the edge.
The Geelong project, named after the Australian city that pioneered it, empowers schools to screen students for their likelihood to become homeless and plug them into appropriate social services in an attempt to keep them housed, according to the Seattle Times.
Researchers found a 40 percent reduction in the number of young people becoming homeless and a 20 percent reduction in school dropouts.
As many as 4,280 kids in Seattle Public Schools experience a form of homelessness — the definition of a homeless student is more broad than that for a homeless adult — and according to a release from All Home King County, it’s statistically likely that at least one student in every Washington classroom classifies as homeless.
Worth a nickel?
Mayor Jenny Durkan announced her strategy to fund Seattle’s new “Waterfront for All,” a massive overhaul of the existing infrastructure that will include 20 acres of public space and an elevated pathway connecting Pike Place Market to the water below.
If passed by the City Council, the legislation ensures that of the $711 million the project is estimated to cost, less than a third will come from city coffers.
According to the press release, the city will invest $248 million, and property owners will kick in another $160 million as part of a Local Improvement District. This proved controversial as people with expensive property will be assessed roughly $1,900 for a “typical” condo owner and more for commercial property owners, all over a 20-year period.
The state will contribute $193 million for the new Alaskan Way, and the rest of the cash comes from philanthropic sources.
It’s that time again.
On Jan. 25, at the truly unholy hour of 2 a.m., hundreds of volunteers and guides will hit the streets to count homeless folks surviving in King County, and they need warm bodies to make it happen.
The annual point-in-time count, called “Count Us In,” is a federally mandated activity that brings in critical data that allows city and county officials to gauge the effectiveness of the homelessness response. It also impacts the amount of federal funding the community receives to continue the fight against homelessness.
Volunteers are spread out throughout King County and paired with formerly homeless guides.
In 2018, the count turned up 12,112 homeless folks in the county with 6,320 sleeping outside.
Ashley Archibald is a Staff Reporter covering local government, policy and equity. Have a story idea? She can be can reached at ashleya (at) realchangenews (dot) org. Follow Ashley on Twitter @AshleyA_RC
Read the full Jan. 9 - 15 issue.
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