This week [The Durkan Digest dated December 20, 2019], we ushered in the start of a new, historic era for our entire region.
After years of talk, we are finally making good on creating one unified system that has the governance, authority, and resources to address our region’s homelessness crisis.
This is a monumental achievement: We have designed a truly regional response that was made stronger, thanks to the invaluable input from all stakeholders throughout the region.
We know that this crisis doesn’t stop at the City’s borders. Its impacts are seen throughout every community in our region. It’s critical to our long-term success that we provide services in every community so that we can allow people to remain in the communities they’ve known.
We also know we must do more to tackle the disproportionate impacts of homelessness. According to this year’s One Night Count
the majority of our neighbors experiencing homelessness are people of color. This tells a heartbreaking story of our failure to make significant investments in the health and stability of communities most impacted by institutional racism. But with our guiding principles, we are centering, and accountable to, our historically underserved and marginalized communities.
This new authority won’t solve the homelessness crisis overnight, and it won’t prevent everyone from falling into homelessness in the first place.
But it’s a historic moment to advance region-wide practices that we know are working, and that we know are helping our neighbors in crisis move inside. I believe the creation of this Authority will help do more to prevent homelessness, to serve people experiencing homelessness, and to center race and social justice in everything we do.
Now, we are embarking on a new journey, as a region and as a community, to address this crisis with the compassion needed to drive change.
As always, please continue to write me at Jenny.Durkan@seattle.gov, reach out via Twitter and Facebook, and stay up-to-date on the work we’re doing for the people of Seattle on my blog
And finally, Happy Holidays from all of us in the Mayor’s Office. We hope you have the opportunity to spend time with your loved ones.
Jenny A. Durkan
City of Seattle
Courtesy of the Office of the Seattle Mayor