This week, Peter Abbarno, attorney and Centralia City Councilmember, discussed the controversial King County “homeward bound” plan to bus homeless individuals in King County to communities outside the Puget Sound.
King County budgeting to bus homeless out of King County (or adjacent counties) is completely unacceptable; especially, considering the mismanagment of this issue by King County and City of Seattle.
It is not a compulsory program; however, many participants in the program in other states reported they felt pressured to participate. Furthermore, many desperate homeless, or suffering from mental illness or drug addicted, are at a huge knowledge disadvantage when contracting to waive their personal liberties of never returning or applying for services again in King County.
Homelessness is a complex issue with many causes that can’t be addressed in a vacuum! Homelessness in Seattle and King County can’t, won’t, and shouldn’t be addressed by bussing people to ill-equipped and under-funded communities outside of the Puget Sound. This does nothing to reduce poverty- it only move poverty to communities suffering from many of the same issues.
Communities outside of King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties must stand together and oppose this approach. Seattle has among the highest percentage of homelessness in the country and that is a result of THEIR failed policies. Their response to homelessness is not acceptable and could financially cripple many counties and municipalities! This does nothing to address drug addiction, mental illness, education/training, or other causes of poverty or homelessness.
The Guardian: Bussed Out at https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/ng-interactive/2017/dec/20/bussed-out-america-moves-homeless-people-country-study
NY Post: https://nypost.com/2019/10/26/nyc-homeless-initiative-sends-people-across-us-without-telling-receiving-cities/