Editor’s note: See Crosscut.com’s series on Seattle’s homeless crisis here.
It has been nearly a year since Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and King County Executive Dow Constantine declared a “state of emergency” over homelessness. Murray and Constantine promised more expenditures and more services to address the problem.
Since then, the homeless population has continued to increase with the last one-night count finding some 3,000 people sleeping on Seattle streets — a five percent increase from the previous count. A deadly shooting incident in a homeless encampment called “The Jungle” in January highlighted the urgency of the problem, shocking city officials and residents. The Murray Administration has been strongly criticized for its handling of the sweeps of homeless campers.
Now comes two long-awaited and pricey homeless reports that call on the city to make changes to how it deals with the homeless, how it spends money on services, its approach to housing and how that money is distributed to local programs. The reports says there are too many programs and they are inefficient in dealing with the city’s homeless crisis.
Kroman sat down to talk about the reports, the potential impact and what they mean in the ongoing struggle to deal with Seattle’s growing homeless population.
The son of Mexican immigrants, Enrique Cerna was born and raised in the Yakima Valley. Enrique joined KCTS 9 in January, 1995. He has anchored current affairs programs, moderated statewide political debates, produced and reported stories for national PBS programs in addition to local documentaries on social and juvenile justice, the environment and Latinos in Washington State.
Enrique has earned nine Northwest Emmy Awards and numerous other honors. In June, 2013, he was inducted into the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Northwest Chapter’s Silver Circle for his work as a television professional.More stories by Enrique Cerna
David Kroman is the city reporter for Crosscut.com. A Bainbridge Island native, David has also worked as a teacher, winery cellar hand, shellfish farmer and program director of a small non-profit. His Twitter is @KromanDavid and his email is firstname.lastname@example.org.More stories by David Kroman