Homes for the homeless
King County Executive Dow Constantine unveiled the 2021-2022 budget proposal that includes $400 million to create housing for chronically homeless individuals, funded by a new sales tax.
The new money is expected to create housing for 2,000 chronically homeless individuals, or less than half of the estimated 4,500 who currently reside within King County. However, the funding hinges on a 0.1 percent sales tax increase and the actual purchase of units would be facilitated by the passage of a bill at the state level allowing local governments to purchase “distressed motels, hotels, nursing homes and other facilities.”
“Our neighbors, friends and family members in housing distress cannot wait,” Constantine said. “This is the right thing to do, and we need to do it now.”
The plan received online praise from the Third Door Coalition, a group of experts, government officials, business leaders and nonprofits that aims specifically to address the needs of chronically homeless individuals who often need more support than other people experiencing homelessness.
That’s because people considered “chronically homeless” have been homeless for an extended period of time and have mental or physical health problems.
Say her name
Protests once again rocked cities across the United States after a grand jury made no indictments against the police who shot and killed Breonna Taylor as she lay sleeping in her home.
One former officer, Brett Hankison, was charged with three counts of “wanton endangerment” for blindly shooting into Taylor’s apartment complex with no clear line of sight, according to Kentucky’s Attorney General. Hankison had already been fired from the Louisville Metro Police Department.
Hankison’s bullets did not strike Taylor, according to The New York Times. Two other officers — Jonathan Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove — fired the bullets that ultimately killed Taylor. Neither officer faces charges.
However, Hankison’s bullets did pierce the apartment complex’s walls and enter the home where a family of three were sleeping. It was that, and not Taylor’s death, that brought the charges down on him.
“They failed you, they failed me,” wrote Juniyah Palmer, Taylor’s sister, on Twitter. “Breonna I am so sorry… I don’t know what to do.”
The announcement reignited protests that have been taking place for more than 100 days in cities across the country, including Seattle. On Sept. 23, the day that the decision came down, a group of mourners marched to the Federal Courthouse in downtown Seattle to hold a vigil in Taylor’s honor. A separate protest began at the same time in Cal Anderson Park, the focal point of civil unrest in the city since the death of George Floyd in May.
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 more in the Sept. 30 - Oct. 6, 2020 issue.