According to King5 News, as well as other outlets, the King County Council approved $100,000 in funding Wednesday for a program that would bus the homeless outside the county.
King County budgeting to bus homeless out of King County (or adjacent counties) is completely unacceptable; especially, considering the mismanagement of this issue by King County and City of Seattle.
Homelessness and poverty are complex issues 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.
King County and Seattle do not ensure strong and adequate family support systems are in place, long-term housing has been secured, or that appropriate services are available. Furthermore, the individuals “contracts” his or her right to ever return to King County. Contracting away the constitutional right and personal liberty to travel freely is against public policy and should not be found enforceable.
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 impact many counties and municipalities! This does nothing to address drug addiction, mental illness, education/training, or other causes of poverty or homelessness.
King County and Seattle are much better equipped to address their community’s needs. Placing the financial and emotional burden on our community and the community of others is not acceptable. The services provided can be found at kingcounty.gov/depts/health/locations/homeless-health.aspx.