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King County Executive
Dow Constantine


Regional Homelessness Authority Governing Committee Members named, first meeting convenes remotely May 21

Summary

King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan today announced the membership of the inaugural Governing Committee of the King County Regional Homelessness Authority and the date for the first meeting. Due to the continuing Public Health order calling for social distancing and suspension of all gatherings, the meeting scheduled for May 21, 2020 will be held remotely.

Story

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A key step forward in the implementation of the King County Regional Homelessness Authority (KCRHA) approved by the King County Council and the Seattle City Council late last year will take place on May 21, 2020 as the members of the new KCRHA Governing Committee meet for the first time.

Originally crafted by Executive Constantine and Mayor Durkan and amended by the members of the two councils and their committees, including the Regional Policy Committee, the KCRHA will oversee countywide policy, funding, and services for people experiencing homelessness. The first order of business is the creation of the Governing Committee, comprised of three members representing King County, three representing the City of Seattle, three representing the Sound Cities Association, and three representing leaders with lived experience of homelessness. The Governing Committee approves all KCRHA plans and budgets.

“The new homelessness authority brings together regional leaders, community partners, and people with lived experience as never before, so that we can achieve greater efficiencies and better outcomes,” said Executive Constantine. “The COVID-19 emergency brings greater urgency to our collaboration and underscores the need for a response system that is just and fair for all, and provides every person experiencing homelessness the opportunity to reclaim their futures.”

“Some of the most critical issues we are facing are not contained within City borders and require robust resources and coordination across City lines to properly address. I look forward to working with leaders from across the county and especially those with lived experience who will guide our collective work in addressing homelessness regionally. Although it is a complex challenge, we know how important it is to bring our most vulnerable inside, to provide proper trauma-informed care and to use evidence-based practices that will help individuals begin on the path toward permanent housing,” said Mayor Jenny Durkan. “The creation of the Regional Homelessness Authority is a momentous step forward in ensuring those experiencing homelessness are connected to the services and help they need. As we begin this next step, it’s critical to our long-term success that we provide services in every community that allows people to maintain connections in the communities they are from.”

The King County Continuum of Care Board, mandated by the federal government as a requirement for receiving U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funding, was responsible for convening the process of selecting the members of the Governing Committee who will represent people with lived experience of homelessness. People with lived experience of homelessness were actively involved in the design of the KCRHA and will play a significant role in its governance structure.

The members of the Governing Committee are:

  • Johnathan Hemphill, Representing leaders with lived experience
  • Kirk McClain, Representing leaders with lived experience
  • Zaneta Reid, Representing leaders with lived experience
  • Executive Dow Constantine, King County
  • Councilmember Reagan Dunn, Representing the King County Council
  • Councilmember Joe McDermott, Representing the King County Council
  • Mayor Jenny Durkan, City of Seattle
  • Councilmember Lorena Gonzalez, Representing the Seattle City Council
  • Councilmember Andrew Lewis, Representing the Seattle City Council
  • Mayor Nancy Backus, City of Auburn, Representing Sound Cities Association
  • Mayor Angela Birney, City of Redmond, Representing Sound Cities Association
  • Councilmember Ed Prince, City of Renton, Representing Sound Cities Association

The KCRHA will focus on unifying and coordinating the homeless response system for all of King County. This will include outreach, diversion, shelter, much of the region’s prevention efforts, and services for rapid re-housing, transitional housing and permanent supportive housing.

Next Steps

In the coming weeks, the Governing Board will be responsible for confirming the members of the KCRHA Implementation Board and partnering with the Implementation Board to recruit and select the Chief Executive Officer, a key management position for the KCRHA. The Implementation Board will consist of 13 members representing people with lived experience and experts from affordable housing, physical and behavioral health, criminal justice, fiscal oversight, research or evaluation, equity, business, homelessness services, labor unions/workforce, youth services, and child welfare.

The agenda for the first meeting and information on joining the meeting via Zoom are available online.


Relevant links


Quotes

The new homelessness authority brings together regional leaders, community partners, and people with lived experience as never before, so that we can achieve greater efficiencies and better outcomes. The COVID-19 emergency brings greater urgency to our collaboration and underscores the need for a response system that is just and fair for all, and provides every person experiencing homelessness the opportunity to reclaim their futures.

Dow Constantine, King County Executive

Some of the most critical issues we are facing are not contained within City borders and require robust resources and coordination across City lines to properly address. I look forward to working with leaders from across the county and especially those with lived experience who will guide our collective work in addressing homelessness regionally. Although it is a complex challenge, we know how important it is to bring our most vulnerable inside, to provide proper trauma-informed care and to use evidence-based practices that will help individuals begin on the path toward permanent housing. The creation of the Regional Homelessness Authority is a momentous step forward in ensuring those experiencing homelessness are connected to the services and help they need. As we begin this next step, it’s critical to our long-term success that we provide services in every community that allows people to maintain connections in the communities they are from.

Jenny Durkan, Mayor of Seattle

For more information, contact:

Alex Fryer, Executive Office, 206-477-7966
Kamaria Hightower, Mayor's Office, 206-256-6193


King County Executive
Dow Constantine
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