On Wednesday, Paul G. Allen and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced a partnership to address the region’s homelessness crisis through an innovative, permanent supportive housing and onsite services community that will serve as a resource hub for Seattle-area families with children who are experiencing homelessness. Under the partnership, Mr. Allen will provide $30 million in capital toward the development, with the City of Seattle committing $5 million in capital and additional funds to support operation and maintenance of the center.
“Paul Allen understands the homelessness crisis requires everyone in our community, particularly our business leaders, to help,” said Mayor Murray. “This partnership with the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation will build permanent supportive housing for vulnerable homeless families with children and help the City leverage our affordable housing funds 6-to-1. This commitment is an example of the incredible difference our philanthropic and business leaders can make in our community, as I called on others to do during my State of the City speech this year. Thank you to Paul Allen, his family, and the foundation for making this incredibly generous investment to address this crisis.”
"We should all be alarmed by the growing crisis of homelessness in our community, especially its impact on families,” said Bill Hilf, CEO of Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan Inc. “Addressing this crisis requires the commitment and creativity of business, government, and the human services community. We approached the City of Seattle some months ago to get this project going because we wanted to make a significant impact toward disrupting the cycle of homelessness, and to give homeless families an opportunity to thrive.”
Mercy Housing Northwest, one of the nation’s largest non-profit developers of affordable housing operating 48 properties in Washington state, will develop, own, and operate the multi-family complex. It is anticipated that other nonprofit providers will partner to provide services for children and families in the community.
“This remarkable partnership between Paul Allen and the City of Seattle will make lasting opportunities for families most in need,” said Bill Rumpf, President of Mercy Housing Northwest. “We are grateful for the opportunity to create affordable apartments and a family service center where parents and children can get out of homelessness, regain resilience and dignity, and pursue economic mobility.”
There are currently 1,684 families awaiting housing in King County and more than 3,498 homeless students enrolled in Seattle Public Schools who experienced homelessness during the 2015-2016 school year. According to the Homeless Needs Assessment, 43 percent of homeless adults experienced homelessness before the age of 25. Through a mix of housing and onsite services, this project aims to assist families experiencing homelessness, helping them transition to stable housing and break the cycle of homelessness. This development aligns with the guidelines identified in Mayor Murray’s Pathways Home plan and aims to address needs often cited by homelessness service provides, advocates, and people experiencing homelessness.
Additional details about the design, location, and the target opening date for the community will be released in the coming months.