Anthony Tyrone Jones, in the background, is shown in his sleeping area, on Tuesday, September 19, 2017, at the Navigation Center on 12th Ave. S., in Seattle.
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Anthony Tyrone Jones, in the background, is shown in his sleeping area, on Tuesday, September 19, 2017, at the Navigation Center on 12th Ave. S., in Seattle.
Credit: KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Councilmember's plan for homelessness includes one-way ticket out of King County

A one-way bus ticket so that homeless people can be reunited with their families: That’s one idea from King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn, who says Seattle has become a dead end street for homeless people.

Dunn has rolled out a series of legislation. One program, called Homeward Bound, would offer homeless people a bus ticket so they can be reunited with family, relatives or friends.

He pointed out that in the One Night Count, an annual census of King County’s homeless population, 9 percent said reunification would help them get better care and even permanent housing.

“We need to hear the homeless people loud and clear by providing them an opportunity to get with their family — wherever they are across the country — free of charge," Dunn said.

The same survey shows that 5 percent of those counted are from out of state.

Dunn said busing alone is not going to solve homelessness.

“This is one strategy in many that needs to be employed if we’re going to take a serious run on our homeless population,” he said.

That effort would be paired with other programs, including outreach teams that help connect people with mental health and social services.

He said similar programs in San Francisco, Berkeley and New York have worked.