We know that more than 53,000 people experienced homelessness in King County in 2022.
This number is much larger than previously understood—and our system does not currently have the resources to meet this need. Without a significant change to our community response modeling indicates that the number of people experiencing homelessness will only grow.
We must invest in infrastructure such as permanent housing and emergency housing or shelter, in our frontline staff, and in efforts to prevent homelessness. This will take our whole community, working together, and we have a lot of work to do.
A Path Forward: Our 5-Year Plan to Dramatically Reduce Unsheltered Homelessness
In order to bring more people inside each year, we must make changes to the system, optimize existing resources, and invest new resources where they can have the greatest impact.
With the unanimous approval of both our Implementation Board and our Governing Committee, KCRHA is moving forward with a 5-Year Plan. The plan is a result of deep research into evidence-based practices, thoughtful analysis, and many months of community engagement—from service providers, government partners, business and community leaders, and KCRHA staff—and we are grateful for the input, feedback and support.
A Three Part Approach
Our community’s 5-Year Plan outlines a three part approach, bringing solutions to systems challenges we’ve faced at three levels:
- SERVICE PROVIDERS: Improve outcomes at individual service providers (the nonprofits that provide services like outreach and shelter), by ensuring every provider has the staff, tools, and support to implement best practices.
- NETWORK OF HOMELESSNESS SERVICES: Coordinate our network of service providers through shared data and accountability, ensuring that services are available across King County and that the needs of disproportionately impacted populations are met.
- SYSTEM-TO-SYSTEM CONNECTIONS: Collaborate across systems—such as healthcare, housing, public safety, employment, education, and more—to prevent homelessness.
The activities listed in the full 5-Year Plan provide a roadmap and set of action steps to achieve progress on each of these three levels, unifying and coordinating the homeless response system so that it is more transparent, accountable, and effective.
It Takes All of Us Working Together
We are making progress. But we have a long way to go.
We can only be successful if our whole community—government, businesses, philanthropy, service providers, nonprofits, and people like you—comes together around a shared vision and plan to dramatically reduce unsheltered homelessness.