Seattle mayor calls for big changes to homeless services system

SEATTLE -- In the aftermath of the homeless encampment shooting in Seattle, Mayor Ed Murray is pleading for millions more to help combat the spiraling crisis.

But, at the same time, he admits that the city’s homeless services system is broken, and that a big overhaul is needed.

“Our current system is fragmented,” Murray said during an interview with Q13 News.  “We fund programs, but we don’t fund outcomes.”

The mayor acknowledged that not enough is known about the $50 million the city does spend annually on the homeless issue.

“We actually don’t collect data to know which programs are moving people out of homelessness and which programs are not moving people out of homelessness,” he said.

Murray, who is vowing to change the system, said the fix is not going to be easy, especially given the political clout of some of the groups running programs.

“It’s very hard sometimes for to take those votes,” Murray said, “because how do you vote no against X agency that’s helping families?”