Not Cool: Solid Ground has a great track record with the people we serve, supporting them in reaching their goals for stable housing, managing nutrition, and making a better life. But what about the folks we turn away?
In 2009, our Family Shelter program served 108 families (399 individuals) and turned away 5,839 requests for shelter. 804 requests were denied in July 2009 alone!
In 2009, our Broadview Emergency Shelter & Transitional Housing program turned away 5,658 requests for shelter from women and their kids, the majority of whom are fleeing from domestic violence.
Our Sand Point Family Housing does not track turnaways, but the other turnaway numbers could be combined to make this general statement:
In 2009, Solid Ground Housing programs were forced to turn away more than 10,000 requests for shelter.
We are careful to phrase this as “requests for shelter” were turned away, because we do not have the ability to verify if the requests are unduplicated. So, while it would not be accurate to say that 10,000 households were turned away, it would certainly be fair to say that however you analyze the number, it reflects WAY TOO MANY people for whom there is no room at the inn.
Solid Ground is just one provider of emergency shelter and transitional housing in our community. You can bet the various programs at the Y, CCS, DESC and everyone else is turning folks away at similar rates.
Clearly our community needs to find a way to do more to respond to the entrenched epidemic that is homelessness.
This is outrageous! What ever happened to the states 10yr plan? What are the state Reps and the Gov saying about this, shame, that is in our own back yard! And not just in KC.
I know alot of folks are hurting right now and this is a trend that will expand as time goes forward.
Mike Buchman says
Mona: You are right, it IS outrageous! There is progress being made toward the 10-Year plan (which is Seattle-King County, not the state, each local community is supposed to have their own, on orders from the feds in HUD). But the plan really focuses on building permanent housing, almost to the exclusion of shorter term emergency and transitional resources. So, for instance, Solid Ground is about to break ground on building 106 units of permanent housing at what used to be the Sand Point Naval Station next to Magnuson Park. That housing it critically needed by families, vets and individuals. But for all the folks who will be ready to move into that housing when we open it up, many more require more immediate, and intermediate, stops along the way before they are ready for permanent housing. Remember, the 10-year Plan was launched when the housing bubble was still rising, the economy was firing on all cylinders and far fewer people were standing at the edge of mortgage default, eviction due to their landlord’s default, etc. In some ways it was a good plan for a time done gone.