Groups in King County partner in campaign to end homelessness

We Are In effort to find solutions

Advocates with local service providers, businesses, philanthropic organizations, academia and people who have personal experience with homelessness, partnered together to declare, We Are In, a campaign to raise awareness and generate momentum for smart, common sense solutions to ending homelessness in King County.

The Seattle-based group launched the campaign on Monday with the following media release:

All Home’s Count Us In survey of January 2019 reported over 11,000 people experiencing homelessness in King County. Nearly half of the population experiencing homelessness were unsheltered, living on the street, or in parks, tents, vehicles, or other places not meant for human habitation. According to the latest regional homelessness data from All Home, 12,318 households experiencing homelessness received services in the homeless response system as of Aug. 31.

The campaign and the efforts to revamp King County’s regional approach to homelessness are unique in prioritizing the voices of those who have experienced homelessness themselves. Their role reflects King County’s effort to uniquely and deeply involve people who know first-hand what it’s like to be homeless and what needs to change to get to more effective solutions.

“We urgently need real solutions to homelessness, informed by those who have lived it,” said Dr. LaMont Green of the Lived Experience Coalition. “Community must include all of us, and everyone has a role to play in making sure that our region is a place where we can all thrive.”

The We Are In campaign launched with over a dozen organizations signing on as partners and supporters, including service providers and philanthropic organizations committed to supporting a regional response.

“We need to remember that people experiencing homelessness are our neighbors, veterans, students, and friends, people escaping domestic violence, turned away from families, or living with disabilities,” said Gordon McHenry Jr., CEO of United Way of King County, one of the founding partners of We Are In. “In the Pacific Northwest – a place filled with brilliant, innovative problem-solvers and compassionate people who care about their neighbors – we have the ability and the drive to solve this problem. Today, service providers, businesses, philanthropists, academics, and voices from every corner of King County stand together to say: We Are In, and we are ready to act.”

“Along with the dedicated service providers and nonprofits that work to address homelessness every day, our friends and neighbors want to see the progress that is being made right now, and show their support for the progress that we know we can make together. Our region is innovative and creative in so many ways – that is the spirit of We Are In and we are proud to support it,” said David Bley, Director of the Pacific Northwest Initiative at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Homelessness in King County affects everyone but some communities are impacted more than others. African Americans make up 6% of King County’s general population but 32% of people experiencing homelessness. Ten percent of people experiencing homelessness identified as Native or of Indigenous descent, despite being less than 1% of the population.

“We all agree that housing is a human right, but the fact is, not all have been extended that right in our community,” said Colleen Echohawk, Executive Director of Chief Seattle Club. “By following the lead of those most impacted by this issue, we can champion solutions that respond to all needs and address persisting racial inequities in our communities.”

We Are In recognizes that homelessness is a regional issue that impacts every city and community across King County and requires all of us to work together on a solution. The campaign will engage the public in support of a collaborative, innovative, and coordinated approach to ending homelessness and center conversations around those disproportionately impacted, from people of color to young adults to veterans.

• The following list of organizations who have signed on to the We Are In campaign are:

United Way of King County

Chief Seattle Club

A Way Home Washington

Housing Development Consortium

Plymouth Housing

Statewide Poverty Action Network

Wellspring Family Services

LifeWire

Downtown Emergency Service Center

The Mockingbird Society

RISE Together

Capitol Hill Housing

Seattle University Project on Family Homelessness

Ballard Food Bank

YMCA of Greater Seattle

Building Changes

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Ballmer Group

Campion Advocacy Fund

Raikes Foundation

Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce

Vulcan

To learn more about We Are In, visit WeAreIn.org, where you can access the full list of our partners, a video featuring a few key voices, and more information on the issue and how to get involved.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@kentreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kentreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Northwest

Sound Transit seeks more federal funding to offset COVID-19 losses

Joins other transit agencies across nation to ask for relief package

Courtesy of governor.wa.gov
Inslee extends pause on counties advancing phases to July 28

A spike in cases could cause hospitalizations and deaths to rise soon.

Port of Seattle Commission to establish policing and civil rights task force

Group will lead a comprehensive assessment of Port of Seattle Police Department

The Red Lion Inn at 1 South Grady Way in Renton is being used as temporary site to relocate individuals experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic. Olivia Sullivan/staff photo.
Renton battles King County over temporary shelter at Red Lion Hotel

County officials believe emergency health order will supersede city’s move.

A train route that would shuttle people between Eastern and Western Washington could tie in with the proposed ultra-high-speed rail between B.C. and Portland. Photo courtesy RobertStafford/Pixabay.com
State receives King County to Spokane rail study

It would take about eight and a half hours to reach the Inland Empire from Puget Sound.

Bret Chiafalo. File photo
Supreme Court says state can punish WA faithless electors

Justices: Presidential electors, including Everett man, must keep pledge to back popular vote winner

Gov. Jay Inslee issued new guidance allowing the resumption of self-service buffets, salad bars, salsa bars, drink stations and other types of communal food sources in Phase 2. File photo
Buffets and salad bars back on the menu in King County

Gov. Jay Inslee has revised rules to allow self-serve food areas in Phase 2 of the state’s reopening.

State regulators keep Puget Sound Energy rates steady

Rate adjustments ease economic impact during COVID-19 pandemic

Brian Tilley (left) and Katie Dearman work the wash station Friday at Kate’s Greek American Deli in Everett. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Governor’s no-mask, no-service order begins across Washington

“Just do not ring up the sale,” Gov. Jay Inslee said about customers who do not don the proper masks.

Most Read