In a city with growing wealth and rising wages, it is a failure of our systems that we have so many people living unsheltered and without stable homes. A plan to address homelessness must be multi-faceted and evidence-based, recognizing the diverse needs of people in our city facing homelessness. We believe in solutions that provide housing first, protect the dignity and property rights of all people, and, when possible, prevent people from entering homelessness to begin with.
Stop criminalizing homelessness.
- Passing legislation to prevent seizing of property and the inhumane, costly policy of sweeps
- Expand Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) program into U-District and across city
- Increase the types of offenses that can be diverted into LEAD
Build Permanent Supportive Housing
- Provide wraparound services including case workers, occupational therapists, and peer support groups
- Better monitor and track population of people experiencing chronic homelessness to facilitate transition into permanent supportive housing
- Build the approximately 10,000 units needed to house expected population of chronically homeless people with co-occurring behavioral or physical health challenges
Public Health Solutions for Public Health Problems
- Employ case-workers not navigators to support transition out of homelessness
- Fund and open full service chemical dependency clinics that include medically-assisted treatment programs, overdose prevention sites, and needle exchanges
- Remove barriers to housing for people with behavioral health problems including substance use disorder by requiring “housing first”
- Provide culturally competent caseworkers and substance use treatment for communities of color and indigenous communities disproportionately impacted by homelessness
Rental Assistance Programs for Prevention and Diversion
- Provide legal and financial support to people about to lose their homes
- Provide rent subsidies or downpayment support to divert people from homelessness
- Add caseworkers to support teens and young adults facing homelessness and connect them with potential non-shelter options
Dignity for Temporary Shelter
As we build housing and expand programs to prevent homelessness, we have to also ensure that people experiencing homelessness have dignified options for temporary shelter.
- We must provide adequate garbage services and restroom access to encampments until we have sufficient permanent housing
- Expand tiny house village and housing first apartment models which provide 24 hour access and allow families to stay together
- Legalize lot use and provide restrooms for those sleeping in cars
- Ensure safe shelter options for LGBTQIA+ people experiencing homelessness