As someone who has worked on affordable-housing issues in the private and public sectors for 20 years, I sincerely appreciate the “Project Homeless” series. Articles that delve into lessons learned from national experts and officials from other cities as well as digging deeply into existing studies free us from Seattle’s echo chamber. They show that what’s missing in Seattle is not a new idea or community compassion but rather accountability coupled with the fiscal discipline to invest only in strategies already reducing homelessness.
We already have a proven playlist to reduce homelessness: Barbara Poppe’s 2016 report “The Path Forward.” Mayor Jenny Durkan should own it and enforce it with the same intensity in which she pursued police reform.
As Pearl Jam decides how to spend the more than $11 million its fans raised to reduce homelessness, they can learn from the failings of our city leaders: Instead of letting organizations pull your heart strings in different directions, invest only in what’s proven to work.
Alex Pedersen, Seattle