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homeless

The King County Council decided to put a proposed property tax increase before voters this November. The levy renews funding for veterans and now also, seniors.

Police and city staff arrived in the morning of Friday, March 11, 2016 to force out the remaining 16 residents atat the former Nickelsville camp on South Dearborn Street.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Whoever is elected as the next mayor of Seattle will inherit a growing homelessness crisis.

Perhaps the most visible markers of this crisis are the tents that line the freeways and nestle in the city’s green spaces.

Debbie Perrine finds a corner table and sets down her tray of food. It’s lunchtime at the Longview Salvation Army food pantry.

When she’s not here, she’s usually quilting or reading a book at the library. Sometimes she has a doctor’s appointment downtown.

But when the sun starts to go down, she packs everything up and heads toward the river. Like many homeless men and women in rural or suburban parts of the Pacific Northwest, she has few options for getting indoors — and in her case, the list of available shelters is shrinking.

The new 24 hour homeless shelter accommodates people with pets, partners, belongings and addiction issues
KUOW Photo/Kate Walters

On a frigid day last year, I walked into Seattle’s largest homeless camp. As my breath turned to fog, I wondered why anyone would choose to live in a tent under the freeway. Why not go to a shelter?


Linda Johnson, 33, a single mother of three, holds her 4-month-old daughter, Zimera, while sitting in her car that she often times sleeps in, on Thursday, June 29, 2017, in Bremerton.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Linda Johnson, 33, has three children and a four-door sedan with diapers stashed in the back.


Tacoma, Washington at night
Flickr Photo/mSeattle (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/57wbSD

Bill Radke speaks with Tacoma Deputy Mayor Robert Thoms about why he sponsored legislation to ban tents and camping from all public land in the city of Tacoma. 

Homeless RV
Flickr Photo/A. Kwanten (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/Bv6MSo

Robert Loomis had a good job and had just signed a mortgage on a new home then he started having chest pains. This is his story.

The entrance to a homeless shelter on Third Avenue in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/John Ryan

For the first time in more than a decade, the City of Seattle will bid a large chunk of its homelessness services contracts.

This marks a shift in the city’s approach to homelessness services. The system in Seattle, involving hundreds of programs and providers, has been called disjointed and inefficient in the past.


A view of Seattle's future: Income tax and apartment construction?
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

A new poll shows the majority of Seattle residents would support a tax on the wealthy. That's one revelation in an exclusive KUOW/KING Survey USA poll.  

El Balcon, Bremerton. The city ousted the tiny restaurant during the recession but invited it back after its owners and their five children became homeless.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

When Mario Amaya first set foot in Bremerton in 2009, he fell in love.


Photographer and journalist Katie Hayes Luke reported throughout the year on an innovative school for homeless children in Oklahoma City, Okla. We're not using the first names of students and family members to protect their privacy.

On the last day of school, the fifth grade students at Positive Tomorrows perform last-minute rehearsals for the inaugural "Classy Awards."

Tacoma's new outdoor shelter is similar to this fabric tent. It will hold private tents, showers and other services for more than 65 residents.
City of Tacoma

Showers, bathrooms, personal storage, outreach and community services will all be available to some 65 residents of a new outdoor shelter in Tacoma that opens in a couple of weeks.


Two locations are being considered for the homeless men's shelter. One of them is the Eastgate Public Health Center (top right).
Google Maps

Bellevue officials narrowed down where to place a homeless men’s shelter at a meeting Monday night. There were three potential locations: the Eastgate Public Health Center, a site in the Wilburton neighborhood, and an operations maintenance facility (OMF East) owned by Sound Transit.

Two locations are being considered for the homeless men's shelter. One of them is the Eastgate Public Health Center (top right).
Google Maps

Bellevue officials could vote Monday night on whether to open a homeless shelter in the Eastgate neighborhood, despite concerns from residents.


A homeless encampment in what the city calls the I-5 East Duwamish Greenbelt. It's unofficially known as The Jungle. But officials say they are preparing to move the people who live here.
City of Seattle Photo

The numbers from this year's homeless count tell a sad but familiar story.

The number of people living on the streets in Seattle and King County has grown yet again over the past year.

On a single night in January, when the count took place, 11,643 people were homeless. Of that number, 5,485 of them were unsheltered, sleeping in tents, vehicles, parks and on the streets.

Bill Radke talks with Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland about the City of Tacoma's plans to address homelessness.

Rebecca Massey at the KUOW studios.
KUOW Photo/Matt Martin

Rebecca Massey drove up from Oklahoma expecting to get a job, find a place and save up some money. She said she didn’t intend on being homeless.

“I know there’s some perception that people come to Seattle seeking all the resources that they give to homeless people. I didn’t come here anticipating receiving any of those services.”

Cross this log bridge to reach an island in Auburn where some homeless people live.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

There's an island in the middle of the White River in Auburn.

To get there, you cross a log bridge and follow two separate trails. That’s when you see them: Semi-permanent shelters people have built. One looks like a big family tent but made of logs and sticks all woven together — whatever people could find.


A year and a half ago, nearly 11,000 people in King County were living in homelessness. Zackary Tutwiler could have been one of them. But when that tally was taken, he had just gotten his own apartment.

Bill Radke talks with Bellevue City Council member Kevin Wallace about homelessness in Bellevue.

The homeless encampment known as the Jungle was he scene of a Jan. 26, 2016 shooting that killed two and wounded three.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

Microsoft co-founder and billionaire Paul Allen is giving Seattle $30 million to house homeless families.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced the partnership Wednesday, saying that the city will add another $5 million to the project.

Homeless families outside a shelter in downtown Seattle
KUOW Photo/John Ryan

Thousands of young people in Washington state go to sleep each night without a stable home.

Now communities in King, Pierce and Spokane counties are taking on a 100-day challenge to reduce youth homelessness.

They are racing to get hundreds of youths off the streets by the end of July.

Bill Radke talks with David Bowling and Derek Wentorf about homelessness in East King County. David Bowling is executive director of Congregations for the Homeless. Derek Wentorf is director of Homeless Youth Services at Friends of Youth.

Bill Radke talks to Leslie Briner who leads training on sexual abuse and human trafficking. She says young people who end up on the streets often turn to sex to survive.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has been accused of raping a teen boy in the mid-1980s, according to a lawsuit filed on Thursday.


Seattle has one of the highest sales tax rates in the country. And now Mayor Ed Murray is poised to ask for just a bit more to address the city’s homeless crisis.


Crowds of homeless people often gather on the sidewalks of downtown Seattle near social-service providers.
KUOW Photo/John Ryan

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray is walking away from his proposal for a property tax increase that would generate $275 million over five years for homeless services.

Instead, he’s now joining King County officials in proposing a county-wide sales tax increase of 0.1 percent.

KUOW PHOTO/BOND HUBERMAN

The fate of President Trump's health care plan comes down to the wire.

We get into the pros and cons of Seattle's proposed soda tax and homeless levy.

How generous might Washington state get when it comes to paid leave?

And some people are pretty surprised to find out that their car tabs are way more expensive this time around.

4 things to know about Mayor Ed Murray's homeless levy

Mar 22, 2017
Kara Bernstine, who is homeless, said she knows the Jungle homeless encampment isn't perfectly safe, but it felt safer than other places in the city. Click on this photo to see more images of the Jungle.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

This summer, Seattle voters will likely be tasked with a big decision. Should the city should double what it spends combating homelessness?

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