Councilmember Sally Bagshaw (District 7, Pioneer Square to Magnolia), Chair of the Council’s Human Services and Public Health Committee, issued the following statement after Mayor Murray announced the “Pathways Home” plan to put $30 million in homeless services contracts out for bid:
“This RFP offers a critical step toward transforming Seattle’s homelessness services system. Putting our public investments out to bid will help measure success for those investments, something we have failed to do properly for years.
“Expanding housing options for people experiencing homelessness must be our highest priority. 93% of people living unsheltered have said they would accept affordable housing if it is available, which is the most important action we can take to address homelessness. I support this approach.
“When I began chairing the Human Services and Public Health Committee in 2015, we had no comprehensive strategy to address the crisis of homelessness in Seattle. Since then, the City has created Pathways Home to make systemic changes to our system, opened six managed encampments, completed a needs assessment of unsheltered people, and sited a Navigation Center. Releasing the request for proposal today is fundamental to the implementation of Pathways Home which will help more people find housing.
“I’m grateful to Director Catherine Lester of the Human Services Department and our community partners for their hard work. We’ll be digging into the details of this plan later today at my 2 p.m. Human Services and Public Health Committee. More to come.”