What people are saying

“At the Seattle Parks Foundation, we believe in the fundamental premise of Charter Amendment 29 – no one should have to live outdoors in public spaces.  Our city’s homelessness crisis is complex and requires bold, collaborative, dignified and humane solutions.   The Compassion Seattle initiative will compel our city leaders to focus on effective solutions and ensure all our citizens have access to parks and open spaces.”
Rebecca Bear, President and CEO, Seattle Parks Foundation

“Voters should sign petitions to get the Compassion Seattle charter amendment on the November ballot, then vote for it. This important legislation would finally compel leaders to create new shelters and services for people experiencing chronic homelessness with the urgency that is needed. Its promise of significantly increasing shelter, behavioral-health and addiction treatment can help thousands of people struggling through long-term homelessness in Seattle rebuild their lives.”
The Seattle Times

“The amendment essentially bypasses the City Council and, for the first time, adds specific benchmarks and responsibilities to Seattle’s sometimes confusing, competing and decentralized array of homeless services and programs.”
– GeekWire

“We’ve seen recently that almost everyone living on our streets is willing to relocate to a hotel room or other lodging that feels secure and leads to permanent housing, not back to the street a week or so later. We’ve also seen that many people have major barriers and need a lot of support, at least initially. This framework offers the promise of actually prioritizing the people who have been left out for so long and making a plan that will reach and sustain them with assistance they welcome.”
Lisa Daugaard, director at Public Defender Association

“We know the need for emergency housing in our region is vast, so the idea of opening 2,000 housing units in conjunction with behavioral health services is something we have long supported. However, we know from previous experience that without the resources, people will remain on the streets. We must remember there are people behind the statistics. These are individuals, sometimes families, neighbors and coworkers, or even our children’s classmates. We must do everything we can to support them.”
– Gordon McHenry, Jr., president & CEO of United Way King County

“We’re heartened whenever we see the need for more housing amplified. But the rich promise offered by safe, healthy, and affordable housing can only be fully realized when housing is addressed as a part of a comprehensive strategy that recognizes, respects, and responds to all challenges to a person’s well-being and stability. These interrelated challenges require not only urgency and clarity, but the kind of forceful cross-sector resolve this action so powerfully embodies.”
– Marty Kooistra, executive director at Housing Development Consortium of Seattle-King County

“I believe this is a first step in true collaboration between the business and provider communities. Chronic unsheltered homelessness is too big of an issue for any one sector to go it alone. This charter provides a road map for business, service providers, government, and philanthropy to address this crisis together. It ensures ALL members of our community are treated with dignity and care and have access to basic needs, like housing and services.”
– Paul Lambros, CEO at Plymouth Housing

“The root causes of homelessness are complex and many stem from deep systemic, social inequalities. The solutions must be collaborative, comprehensive and empathetic to better support our unsheltered neighbors. This amendment provides a pathway for our community partners to come together and bring about real change.”
Angela Dunleavy, CEO at FareStart

“The experience of homelessness is extremely hard on people, and disproportionately affects people of color and people with disabilities.  What works to change that is a caring and compassionate approach combined with the resources needed for people to have a safe place to stay and receive services tailored to their individual needs. I am glad to have this vision clearly stated and endorsed by such a wide range of people.”
Daniel Malone, executive director at Downtown Emergency Services Center

“Homelessness is not a political statement. It’s a humankind crisis. This amendment isn’t perfect, but it is an important first step in working collaboratively, as a community to develop effective solutions to help our most vulnerable citizens.”
Gina Hall, executive director, Uplift Northwest

“It’s good to see agreement emerge that it’s going to take all of us working together to build homes for all, and it’s gratifying to see so many diverse leaders commit to that effort.”
– Steve Woolworth, CEO at Evergreen Treatment Services

“DSA has been at the table with key stakeholders to help shape this much-needed action to address the crisis of chronic homelessness. This is the type of approach our members have long advocated for to ensure we can bring more people inside and provide the services they need.”
– Downtown Seattle Association President & CEO Jon Scholes

“We can and should be doing more for our people experiencing homelessness. We need a committed, concerted effort that prioritizes mental health and drug addiction support. By shifting existing funds and resources to address critical human services, we can prioritize helping our city’s most vulnerable people with the most basic needs and ensure public health and safety for our community.”
– Erin Goodman, executive director of SODO Business Improvement Area

“Housing insecurity, mental health and substance abuse are all continual issues that affect both Denny Park and the community that we serve. We, as a community who have experienced the physical and human toll of Seattle government’s inaction, wholeheartedly support Compassion Seattle’s Charter amendment calling on the city to ‘take these specific, measurable actions to end Seattle’s homelessness crisis.’”
The Friends of Denny Park, Seattle’s Oldest City Park

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