The King County Council voted Wednesday to provide $100,000 in funding for bus tickets and other ground transportation for people experiencing homelessness, according to a press release from Councilmember Reagan Dunn.
The money was approved as part of King County’s supplemental budget.
According to the release, the King County executive’s office will begin work on designing Dunn’s proposed Homeward Bound family reunification program, which would unify current family reunification services and provide outreach to homeless communities to raise awareness of the service.
“This funding allows us to offer stop-gap family reunification services while collecting data that will inform the design of a dedicated Homeward Bound program,” Dunn said. “Considering that San Diego spends $1.2 million on their Homeward Bound program, ours will ultimately require a larger investment — but for now, this is a good start.”
King County currently spends about $37,000 on similar reunification services, Dunn said.
“According to King County’s 2019 Count Us In data, there is substantial demand for a Homeward Bound program, with 9 percent of homeless persons indicating that family reunification services would enable them to obtain permanent housing,” according to the press release. “The same report found that nearly half of the county’s homeless residents had lived in King County for less than four years. Similar ‘Homeward Bound’ programs across the country have resulted in success stories, including in cities such as Portland, San Francisco, New York City, Berkley, New Orleans, West Palm Beach and Denver.”