Seattle Mayor Ed Murray issued the following statement regarding last night’s passing of Bill Hobson, former longtime Executive Director of the Downtown Emergency Service Center:
“This morning, Seattle mourns the loss of one of its most compassionate civic leaders. For over three decades at DESC, Bill Hobson worked to house and help our community’s most vulnerable and, too often, our most neglected.
“Bill has been a towering figure, locally and nationally, among homeless advocates. I worked with him over the years when I was in Olympia as he advocated for more funding for housing and services to assist the homeless and those struggling with addiction or mental illness.
“Bill did more than just provide a voice for the voiceless. He was a larger than life personality who fought tirelessly to make this city a better and more compassionate place. He was an innovator who brought people together to pursue new approaches that helped make Seattle a pioneer in how we house the chronically homeless, starting with 1811 Eastlake and our nationally recognized “Housing First” strategies. Most of all, Bill was a leader, one who pushed all of us to challenge stereotypes and move past our prejudices.
“My thoughts and prayers are with Bill’s family, friends and the entire DESC community.”