Everyone in King County deserves a safe place to call home. But more than 5 years after declaring homelessness an emergency, our county leadership has only allowed the crisis to get worse. Study after study has told us what it will take to resolve this crisis, and it’s not complicated. What we need is leadership unwilling to compromise on ensuring basic human dignity for all our neighbors.
My determination to solve this crisis comes from my gratitude for the assistance my family received when I was growing up. My parents came to this country as refugees from the Vietnam War, and we relied on public housing for much of my childhood. That support allowed us to make a home in the community of White Center, and inspired me to enter public service to protect the programs kids like me and my siblings needed to thrive. Everyone deserves the same opportunity to succeed in King County.
That drive towards public service first started when I got involved with Wellspring Family Services, an incredible community organization providing services to families experiencing homelessness and working to divert people from losing their homes in the first place. They, and other community aid organizations like them, are changing people’s lives with the help they provide, but they simply don’t have the resources to meet the needs of our community.
As King County Executive, I’ll do more than make sure no one has to sleep on the street and ensure every family can afford to live here regardless of how much money they make. Here’s how we’ll make that happen:
1. Work in coordination with our Regional Homelessness Authority along with community based organizations to dramatically scale up the direct aid to people experiencing homelessness while we work on ending this crisis.
2. Collaborate with cities throughout our county to invest in building thousands of new affordable housing units so that every family in King County can afford a home.
3. Work with our Regional Homelessness Authority to build enough permanent supportive housing with wrap around services to provide people struggling with chronic homelessness the services they need to thrive.
4. Work to provide alternative pathways to homeownership and housing stability for families in communities of color who have been excluded from traditional means to build intergenerational wealth for decades, particularly for communities in unincorporated King County like the one where I was raised.