Seattle Homeless Crisis Draws White House Cash

(The Center Square) – The White House is partnering with the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness to launch a new initiative that plans to help Seattle and five other areas in the U.S. with homelessness.

All In: The Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness, will set the goal of reducing homelessness in the country by 25% by 2025.

The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, with its 19 federal member agencies, will partner with state and local governments to address homelessness in Seattle, Chicago, Los Angeles, Phoenix Metro and the entire State of California.

According to the 2022 Point-in-Time Count, the Seattle and King County area have 13,348 homeless people. That is the third largest homeless population behind New York City and Los Angeles, which are over 60,000.

The White House will embed a federal official in each community to accelerate locally-driven strategies to reduce homelessness, as well all deploy federal teams to identify opportunities for regulatory relief and navigate federal funding streams in support of actions to reduce homelessness.

“This is an opportunity to leverage the expertise of our federal partners and opportunities for federal funding,” Interim CEO of the King County Regional Homelessness Authority Helen Howell said to The Center Square in an email. “We appreciate the support of the White House and [U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness] in championing a place-based, person-centered, and housing first approach to bringing more people inside.”

The White House stated in a press release that the All In: The Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness Initiative builds off of President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act. For instance, the Treasury Department’s State and Local Recovery Fund dedicated more than $2.5 billion for homelessness projects  in the six All Inside sites. 

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development also released a package of grants earlier this year that totaled $486 million to help 62 communities address homelessness. Washington state received $8.4 million from the package.

“With our partners at King County and the [King County Regional Homelessness Authority], we have a new opportunity to leverage support from the federal government and make a difference reducing homelessness and bringing people inside,” Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell said in a statement.