Far-Left Governor Wastes $143M on Homeless Problem


A view of a homeless encampment on Skid Row on Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021 in Los Angeles, CA.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)


Washington Governor Jay Inslee (D) has requested further funding for his initiative to clear homeless encampments from roadways and provide housing solutions. The program has already spent over $143 million, but Inslee says that it requires additional support to continue its progress next year. “You can’t do this with zero dollars,” said Inslee, addressing the necessity for increased funding.

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The Rights-of-Way Safety Initiative was launched in June 2022 with the objective of removing homeless camps from state-owned lands near roads and offering housing opportunities to the camp residents. However, the governor expressed concern that, without further funding, these camps would remain on state lands from January onward.

Despite the significant expenditure of over $143 million, the program managed to clear and provide housing for only approximately 1,300 people from roadside camps as of July 31. Around 430 individuals rejected assistance for temporary or permanent shelter, which equates to a cost of $165,000 per person to clear the camps and house 870 people.

According to data from the Washington State Department of Commerce, 126 people have successfully transitioned from the program into permanent housing. However, the department emphasized that the funding “includes capital allocations, which should be amortized over at least 30 years when looking at costs.”

Washington is grappling with the fourth-largest homeless population in the United States, with around half believed to be unsheltered and many stuck in a pattern of chronic homelessness. Although the safety initiative has facilitated nearly 1,000 people’s access to housing and necessary services, it only represents a fraction of the overall issue.


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