66 homeless people have died on the streets of Seattle and the surrounding area this year. Mayor Ed Murray has had enough.
On Monday, Murray and King County Executive Down Constantine declared states of emergency in Seattle and the surrounding county.
The officials announced over $5 million of immediate spending on additional shelter capacity, outreach and homelessness prevention efforts. Seattle currently has 1600 shelter beds and will add another 100 under the plan.
“Emergency declarations are associated with natural disasters, but the persistent and growing phenomenon of homelessness – here and nationwide – is a human-made crisis just as devastating to thousands as a flood or fire,” Constantine said.
This is a human crisis seldom seen in the history of our city—indeed in the history of our nation. pic.twitter.com/MKr2aRkC8Q
— Ed Murray (@MayorEdMurray) November 2, 2015
Constantine and Murray said the crisis could be traced back to budget cuts on affordable housing and mental health by state and federal government. Both called for new investments at the state and federal level to assist local governments.