Every day, more than a hundred community-based organizations like Solid Ground work to make sure that every one of our neighbors in King County has what they need to survive and thrive. It’s critical, life-changing work, but we’re only able to do it because voters have chosen again and again to invest in the wellbeing of our communities while confronting our shared challenges head on.
This year, Seattle voters have three critical opportunities to renew and reinforce that commitment.
We got started this past April, when King County voters took a major step forward in addressing our behavioral health crisis by approving the new Crisis Care Centers Levy, which will pay for five new behavioral health facilities and halt the erosion of behavioral health services in King County. This fall, Seattle voters also will have an opportunity to renew the critically important Seattle Housing Levy, which will create thousands of affordable housing units and prevent thousands more families from becoming homeless
And in the coming weeks, King County voters will be asked to renew the Veterans, Seniors & Human Services Levy (VSHSL), a critical source of funding that provides more than $60 million every year for more than 300 programs, including several at Solid Ground. Since it was last renewed in 2017, this levy has directly impacted the lives of 185,000 people, many of them veterans and seniors.
This renewal, which appears as Proposition 1 on the August 1 ballot, will keep the levy at the current rate – $1 per $10,000 in assessed value – and generate $564 million over the next six years. These critical dollars will ensure that our community safety net stays strong in the coming years while also expanding and adapting it to meet our region’s housing and behavioral health crises.
This is an investment that yields real results. In just the last six years, funding from the VSHSL helped:
- Reduce homelessness among veterans in King County by 40%.
- Build hundreds of new affordable housing units.
- Fund 39 senior centers across the region and bring inclusive, culturally responsive services to King County’s aging residents.
- Launch a new 24-hour hotline for survivors of domestic violence.
At Solid Ground alone, we’ve used money from this voter-supported levy to keep people facing eviction from losing their homes, get families who recently became homeless back into stable housing, educate renters about their rights under state and local laws, and provide legal help for people who’ve had their state benefits denied or cut, among other things. In 2022 alone, the VSHSL allowed Solid Ground Housing Stability to help keep 275 people in King County from falling into homelessness by providing them with emergency rental and financial assistance.
Thousands of our neighbors are counting on us to ensure that they continue to have access to housing, health care, and other critical services funded through the VSHSL. Now is not the time to step away from this critical investment in our communities.
Please keep an eye out for your ballot in the mail (or register to vote if you haven’t already), and make sure to return it by August 1!