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Real Solutions for People Experiencing Homelessness

With compassion and accountability, Lacey led on the homelessness crisis impacting communities across our state. Compared to other nearby cities, our progress in providing real solutions for those experiencing homelessness is clear and evident. Much of our progress is attributed to our city's commonsense steps to handle homelessness with compassionate outreach efforts.

As your city councilmember, I pushed for creating Mobile Outreach and Rapid Response Teams. These teams comprise dedicated professionals – including health care and social services professionals –on the front lines of the homelessness crisis. Mobile Outreach and Rapid Response Teams ensure that people experiencing homelessness receive the help they need, including treatment for conditions often accompanying those experiencing homelessness, like mental health and substance abuse struggles. The teams also help ensure that people experiencing homelessness transition from unsanitary and dangerous camping sites to permanent supportive housing. 

The results are positive. More people experiencing homelessness have received help and entered supportive housing. And former encampments have been cleaned up and are not being reoccupied.

But the crisis is not over. We have more work to do. 

We must expand our efforts to get people the help they need while holding them accountable for their actions. Building on my work on the city council, I’ll continue pushing for solutions that address the root causes of homelessness. While not always the case, mental health, and substance abuse often accompany homelessness. 

Addressing homelessness effectively requires preventative measures. We must better address the mental health crisis by increasing the accessibility of treatment services in our community. We must also address the drug epidemic impacting our community at astonishing rates. That means training for law enforcement and emergency response teams. And it also means awareness campaigns highlighting the devastating effects of deadly drugs like fentanyl.

By collaborating with non-profit organizations, faith-based groups, and local businesses, we will use an evidence-based, community-centered approach to address homelessness compassionately.

Let me be clear: it is not compassionate to allow people experiencing homelessness to continue living in unsanitary conditions and suffer from mental health, or substance abuse struggles without treatment. 

Working together, we must comprehensively help those experiencing homelessness, move them into supportive housing, and make their lives – and our city – a better place for everyone to live.

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