Zero Homeless Family PledgeSeattle Case Study Presentation REPORTS should be as long as necessary, but no longer. Grading will be based on content, grammar

Zero Homeless Family PledgeSeattle Case Study Presentation REPORTS should be as long as necessary, but no longer. Grading will be based on content, grammar, and style (i.e., professional appearance/neatness counts). Typically, the report should contain at least 15 double-spaced pages of “real substance.” “Real substance” means your own work/thinking; it does not include regurgitation of case background or tables, graphs, or appendices, or extensive use of quotes/analyses from other sources. However, your report should include all necessary, well-designed, professional quality tables, graphs, and appendices that are needed to successfully support your arguments and convey information to your audience. The reports also should contain a professional quality Executive Summary (because it repeats the key points and recommendations made in the report, the Executive Summary does not count as “real substance”). Appropriate headers and/or footers and page numbering are part of any professional quality report. Follow closely the report format provided in the screenshow on OneDrive.

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Today is June 2, 1998, and you are the advisor to Alan Painter, Director of the Community Services Division of the Department of Housing and Human Services; Alan has worked on the design and implementation of services and programs to assist homeless people for over a decade. You are just leaving the press conference in which the Mayor announced his “ZERO HOMELESS FAMILY PLEDGE.” (Neither you nor Alan were aware of the content of the press conference before you heard it “live”!)

You and Painter understand the political power of counting and publicly emphasizing the size of the homeless population in Seattle. Even so, the practice makes both of you uncomfortable. Schell’s pledge raises the stakes and the scrutiny of the homeless street count. You wonder what effect the pledge will have on the supply and demand for shelter space. Even if additional shelter space is developed, you fear that some of the target population still might choose the streets. Furthermore, factors beyond the City’s control have a significant impact on the number of homeless people.

According to the best estimates, of the 1,300 homeless people living on the streets without shelter on a given night, over 700 are homeless families with children or single women in Seattle, the categories described in Schell’s pledge. You wonder what it will take to bring that number down to zero. You also wonder who will be counting and how they will do so.

In this case your Report should propose (to Alan Painter) a detailed (and well justified) “action plan,” that Alan will make to the Mayor, in which you/he will set forth your proposal for fulfilling the Mayor’s pledge. Make sure you address how you will resolve the several competing tensions in the case.

Obviously your Report also will need a timeline and project budget. (You may assume present technology and technology costs. For anything else, assume 1998.) The projected budget must be “realistic” within the parameters set forth in the case – don’t “assume” that any sudden gigantic windfalls will come your way, or that the Mayor will throw open the purse strings to support his pledge (which is not to say you can’t weasel some additional funds out of him).

This is your chance to shine – and to improve the situation for Seattle’s homeless in the near term, and, perhaps, the longer term as well.


A few hints I passed along to folks in prior semesters regarding the “Homeless in Seattle” case. When ambiguous, you = you walking in Alan’s shoes.

Make sure you are careful in constructing the problem statement.
How much money do you have to spend?
Not much. But exactly how much depends on Seattle’s fiscal year.
You can re-prioritize some proportion of Alan’s budget (and Alan’s effort), but not all of it. And much of what Alan/you are presently doing in your shop already is addressing the problem. But, see bullet above, do you have a full year’s budget to re-prioritize, or is a portion of it already spent.
Can you only spend “your” money?
Your recommendation is to the Mayor. Thus, you can suggest he spend some of the money under his control. While he has more money, many of the same constraints above apply. Can he lay off all the police and firefighters to address his Homeless Pledge?
What about the grant?
Who was the grant awarded to?
What about the multi-year bond money?
What was the specific purpose of the bond?
Can the bond money help you without putting you behind bars? (You don’t want to go to jail do you?)
I didn’t say there was no money from these sources, but make sure you can justify what you want to use.
As Alan Painter, you care about the “long term” solution to the homeless issue. But that is not the problem right now.
You would, however, like to do minimal harm to current efforts at long term solutions.
I said you didn’t have much money, but perhaps you have “resources”?
Perhaps the Mayor has resources?
Who are your friends in this battle? Your enemies?
How willing will the King County Exec and Council be to help Seattle’s Mayor?
Think about what you know about the homeless from your knowledge and experience. Think about what you know about City/County/State politics from your experience Zero Homeless Family Pledge Strategic Action Plan
Goal: To ensure there are no homeless families with children or homeless single women on the streets
of Seattle in the next six months (Christmas 1998).
Objective 1: Increase the number of shelter beds and temporary housing options for homeless
families and homeless single women in King County.
Strategy 1.1: Inventory available shelter beds, and transitional housing, and conduct a
needs assessment to reallocate beds and housing options for the targeted population.
Strategy 1.2: Identify unused land that can be used for the construction of corporate
sponsored Tiny Houses and/or Tiny Villages for homeless families.
Strategy 1.3: Create a voucher program for single women to rent rooms within a shared
Strategy 1.4: Offer financial assistance to local churches and organizations that take in
homeless families.
Strategy 1.5: Rent hostel beds for emergency placements.
Objective 2: Increase supportive services available throughout King County through partnerships
and increased funding.
Strategy 2.1: Partner with the other 34 cities within King’s County to coordinate
homeless services and increase accessibility.
Strategy 2.2: Provide training at the school level to recognize the signs of homelessness
within the student population.
Strategy 2.3: Deploy mobile health clinics to areas with a higher concentration of
homeless people.
Strategy 2.4: Add additional school bus routes and provide transportation from
homeless shelters for school age children.
Strategy 2.5: Create supervised daily programming for children that are not yet of school
age, at local libraries.
Strategy 2.6: Seek the Governor’s assistance in centralizing homeless services within
King County to ensure uniformity and an improved, streamlined, application process.
Strategy 2.7: Identify current inefficiencies in current process and roadblocks to
receiving services.
Strategy 2.8: Launch public relations campaign about available resources.
Objective 3: Identify and pursue additional funding sources
Strategy 3.1: Contact businesses, foundations, and private donors for sponsorship
Strategy 3.2: Request a 10% increase in the budget for the Seattle Department of
Housing and Human Services to support new initiatives.
Table of Contents
Executive Summary……………………………………………………………………………….i
Table of Contents…………………………………………………………………………………iii
Problem Identification…………………………………………………………………………….2
Definition of Homelessness and Causes…………………………………………………………..3
Factors that lead to Homelessness
Area where intervention can help
Barriers that prevent homeless for finding help
Number one factor that causes homelessness is inability to pay rent (Job loss, Injury, Theft,
Identifying the Target Group……………………………………………………………..……….4
Project Requirements……………………………………………………………………..……….5
Setting up a shared database for Homeless Services………………………………………………..6
Project/System Specifications and Budget……………………………………………………..…8
Cost Benefit Analysis………………………………………………………………………….….9
5,500 Homeless people total
1,300 on the Streets (700 represents the Homeless Families with Children or Single females)
4,200 Temporary Housing Shelters/Transitional Homes)
63% Single Males
17% Single Females
20% Families and Youth
The shortage of suitable permanent housing for people experiencing homelessness. Shortage of
affordable housing options-there are fewer and fewer units available to house people. The Causes
of Homelessness are complex there is no solution to the problem because there are so many
different causes that lead to homelessness.
There is more shelter space in Seattle for Single males than any other group leaving single
women and families with children to be turned away.
The Mckinney Homeless Act of (1987)
Signed into Law July 22,1987 by President Ronald Reagan provides Federal money for
Homeless shelter Programs. Was the first and remains the only federal legislative response to
homelessness. 1998 Seattle received the 8th largest in the nation ($)?
T he
El e c t r on i c
Ha llw a y ®
Case Teaching Resources
Box 353060 · University of Washington · Seattle WA
98195- 3060
On June 2nd, 1998, Mayor Paul Schell spoke to the press about the needs of homeless
families, women and children. He asked for the City Council’s support in providing
“immediate emergency assistance to homeless families and single women, a critical step
in providing lasting housing solutions for these families and individuals.” He noted that
“the problem continues to grow and we absolutely must find better ways to help people
find and keep housing.” He closed his remarks with a firm pledge that there will be no
homeless families with children or homeless single women on the streets of Seattle by
Christmas 1998. His pledge made headlines in both Seattle papers the next day.
Alan Painter, Director of the Community Services Division of the Department of
Housing and Human Services, listened attentively to the new Mayor’s remarks. Painter
has dedicated his professional career to serving the needs of homeless people. He was
proud and excited to hear Schell’s passion and commitment to addressing homelessness
in Seattle. At the same time, he viewed the pledge with some trepidation. Counting the
number of homeless people on the street at any given time is notoriously tricky,
influenced by many factors. Further, he wondered how this pledge would dovetail with
City priorities and plans for dealing with homelessness. These plans emphasize services
to homeless people rather than just providing beds and they stress the need for other
jurisdictions to share in funding homeless services. The next six months promised to keep
Alan Painter very busy.
Homeless People in Seattle
Homelessness in King County: A Background Report, was published in February 1998 by
the Seattle-King County Homelessness Advisory Group. The report begins with a profile
of King County demographics and housing, and then describes the numbers and
characteristics of the homeless population. Subsequent sections describe existing
homelessness programs and their funding. Most of the data presented here comes from
this report.
According to the Seattle-King County consolidated plan, there are at least 5,500 people
who are homeless in King County on any given night. Of these, over 1,300 are on the
streets, while almost 4,200 have temporary housing in shelters or transitional units.
Thousands of people seeking shelter are turned away each year, primarily due to lack of
This case was written by Eileen Norton, J.D. and former Seattle City Council Member Thomas Weeks, Ph.D.The case is
intended solely as a vehicle for classroom discussion, and is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective
handling of the situation described.
The Electronic Hallway is administered by the University of Washington’s Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs. This
material may not be altered or copied without written permission from The Electronic Hallway. For permission, email, or phone (206) 616-8777. Electronic Hallway members are granted copy permission for
educational purposes per Member’s Agreement (
Copyright 2006 The Electronic Hallway
Mayor Schell’s Zero Homeless Family Pledge
space. In 1993, Operation Nightwatch assisted 16,615 people seeking shelter in Seattle.
By 1997, the total climbed to 45,529.
The majority of homeless people range from 22 to 44 years old. Sixty-three percent
(63%) of those receiving shelter are single males, 17% single females, with the remaining
20% spread among families and youth. Fifty-nine percent (59%) of people sheltered in
King County in 1997, and 46% of youth sheltered in 1996 were people of color.
Of the approximately 1,300 people sleeping on the streets (not in shelters) on any given
night in King County, 300 are families, 360 are youth and teen parents and 700 are single
adults. Over 700 of these 1,300 homeless people are the “homeless families with children
or homeless single women” Schell promised to get off the street in his June 2nd speech;
the remainder are single men, or live in the county outside Seattle.
The shelter capacity in Seattle is higher for single males than for other groups. In 1997,
54% of homeless family units turned away from emergency shelter were single females,
and 35% were families with children. Two-thirds of homeless families are single women
with children. One quarter of all shelter clients is children. Over 2,000 youth living
outside a family structure are estimated to be homeless in Seattle during a year.
Over 90% of the shelters in King County are located in Seattle, but the homeless people
in Seattle shelters come from a broad geographic area (Figure One). Homeless youth
apparently travel farther to reach the streets of Seattle.
Figure One
Previous Residence of King County Homeless
Last permanent residence of homeless
person being served in King County
King County, outside Seattle
Outside King County
All homeless people
(1997 survey)
Homeless youth
(1996 survey)
The three major factors contributing to homelessness in King County are inadequate
income, the high cost of housing, and personal or family problems, such as domestic
violence, drug and alcohol abuse or mental illness. Surveys of homeless people show
rates of drug and alcohol addiction at about 65%. Research indicates that approximately
50% of homeless adults have a mental illness. Prominent reasons for homelessness
among youth include emotional conflict in homes, drug or alcohol problems, physical
abuse by a parent, and depression.
Seattle’s response to homelessness, 1980-1997
Under the leadership of Mayor Charles Royer (1978-1989), Seattle developed a national
reputation for its comprehensive approach to homelessness. Seattle citizens approved two
Mayor Schell’s Zero Homeless Family Pledge
significant property tax increases to support low income housing during the 1980s,
raising $50 million in 1981 and another $50 million in 1986. Seattle received the
National Alliance to End Homelessness Public Sector Achievement Award in 1990. The
awardees noted Seattle’s creative and coordinated approach as well as its financial
commitment to fight the problem. Numerous individual housing and homeless projects in
Seattle have received awards as well.
Mayor Norm Rice (1990-1997) continued this commitment to fight homelessness.
Although King County voters rejected a countywide property tax increase to support low
income housing in 1992, Seattle voters renewed their commitment to low income housing
by passing a third levy in 1995. Reflecting the City’s thoughtful approach and willingness
to dedicate local funding to address the problem, Seattle receives one of the largest
McKinney awards each year (federal money to support programs for homeless people).
In 1998 Seattle received the eighth largest award in the nation.
Each year in King County, many millions of dollars are devoted to addressing
homelessness. Major funders include the federal, state, city and county governments as
well as United Way, public housing authorities and private foundations. The annual
funding to operate and support homeless shelters in King County from all sources
exceeds $6 million. In addition, $8 million is allocated each year to operate transitional
housing units. Figure Two presents the distribution of the 4,073 units of housing for
homeless people in King County by type and location. Ninety-one percent (91%) of all
units are in Seattle, although Seattle represents less than one-third of King County’s total
Figure Two
Housing Capacity for Homeless People in King County
Type of Shelter/Housing
Emergency shelter and vouchers
Transitional housing
Permanent housing targeted for
homeless people
Total number of units for
homeless people
Total Number in
King County
% of County
total in Seattle
In 1998, the City of Seattle spent approximately $7.8 million on services for homeless
people, nearly twice as much as it did in 1989. This includes over $4 million for
emergency shelter and transitional housing, $1.3 million for emergency food services and
$1.4 million for housing-related social services. In addition, since 1987 the City has
helped fund the development of more than 4,000 units of permanent low-income
housing. The 1995 housing levy approved by the voters is expected to create 1,360
additional units of affordable housing.
Mayor Schell’s Zero Homeless Family Pledge
Over the years, City of Seattle staff have developed a comprehensive approach to the
problem of homelessness, going far beyond the provision of shelter beds. In December
1995, the King County Community Homelessness Advisory Committee articulated the
preferred strategies for approaching homelessness, including:
The community needs to build a more regional, client- focused, coordinated
network of homeless services.
The strategies call for maintaining but not increasing the existing shelter
capacity at this time, even though the shelters regularly turn away people due
to lack of space. This will allow additional resources to flow to other needed
services and housing.
It is vital that the community place attention on those housing and services
that help people regain long-term stability and address the underlying
causes of homelessness, such as transitional housing and related services,
employment services, and assistance in making a successful transition into
permanent housing.
[B]e more proactive in preventing homelessness…
[E]mphasize approaches that follow clients as they progress throug hout the
continuum of care , including assistance to people once they enter permanent
[D]irect resources toward sub-groups of the homeless who are underserved
relative to others, including children in homeless families, single men, and
both youth and adults who are leaving institutional settings.
Mayor Paul Schell
Paul Schell is an attorney who first entered the public eye in Seattle in the 1970s as
Director of the Department of Community Development under Seattle Mayor Wes
Uhlman. When Uhlman did not seek a third term, Schell ran for Mayor in 1977, losing in
the general election to television commentator Charles Royer. After his defeat, Schell
dropped out of public life and worked as a developer. Many of his successful
developments were small, high-end hotels scattered across the Pacific Northwest. In the
mid-1980s, Schell was elected to the part-time Port Commission. As a Commissioner, he
spearheaded the redevelopment of the Seattle waterfront, adding a new headquarters for
the Port, a trade center, office buildings and residential units. Although his primary
occupation was real estate development, Schell also served as interim Dean of the
University of Washington School of Architecture for two years in the early 1990s.
In 1997 Norm Rice did not seek a third term as Mayor and Schell decided to run, twenty
years after his mayoral defeat. Schell attracted support from Republicans and Democrats
alike. The press liked the concept of a developer with a heart and a soul. Portrayed as a
no-nonsense visionary, Schell swept to victory by wide margins in both the primary and
general elections. After the cautious reign of Norm Rice, there was enthusiasm for
Schell’s willingness to take risks. In his first months in office, Schell demonstrated a
penchant for publicly testing partially developed ideas.
Mayor Schell’s Zero Homeless Family Pledge
A high priority during Schell’s mayoral campaign was his commitment to housing. The
economic boom in greater Seattle in the 1990s drove up housing prices at double-digit
annual rates. Many middle-class Seattleites were priced out of the market. Schell
promised to convene a housing summit immediately after his inauguration to develop
strategies to address the unmet demand for affordable housing. While he talked about
housing affordability often during the campaign, homelessness was rarely mentioned.
Alan Painter
Alan Painter grew up in Southeast Seattle with a passion for politics, hydroplane racing
and baseball games at Sick’s Stadium. After Franklin High School, Alan went on to
graduate from Yale University in 1976. While his love of hydros and baseball remain, the
demise of the Seattle Pilots and the death of several leading hydro racers during the
1960s soured Painter on careers in both fields. He focused his professional energies
instead on supporting liberal Democratic causes, especially the provision of housing and
services to homeless people. In the 1980s, he served as District Manager for Seattle
Democratic Congressman Mike Lowry, one of the most liberal members of Congress.
During his Lowry years, Painter assisted in building coalitions, including the Washington
State Coalition for Homeless and the Fair Budget Action Campaign. Lowry was one of
the primary authors of the 1987 McKinney Act, which continues to be the most
significant federal legislation aimed at homelessness prevention.
In 1990 Painter began working on homeless issues for the City of Seattle in the Office of
Management and Budget as the City’s Homeless Coordinator. He later shifted to the
Department of Housing and Human Services, where he is now the Director of the
Community Services Division. He has worked on the design and implementation of
services and programs to assist homeless people for over a decade.
Alan Painter is not flashy or a headline grabber. He thinks and plans long-term, and has
the patience to build coalitions. Very detail-oriented, Painter keeps score of every
baseball game he attends, and then saves the scorecard. He places great emphasis on
coordinated, integrated, comprehensive policy development. The consummate
bureaucrat, Painter is probably not enough of a risk-taker to have been a particularly
effective hydroplane pilot. Steady and effective, Painter consistently delivers on his
In The Seattle Times dated December 13, 1990, staff reporter Barbara Serrano wrote an
article commending Painter: “Bureaucrat lauded for Tent City solution: Mild- mannered
style works for homeless coordinator.” She describes him as follows:
Honest. Straightforward. Sensitive. Politically gutsy. All are among the
most common ways people describe Painter.
Scott Morrow, as staff member for SHARE – the group that built Tent
City- lauds Painter as “a good bureaucrat” who knows how to make government
work effectively.
Mayor Schell’s Zero Homeless Family Pledge
It was the homeless coordinator’s mild-mannered style, Morrow said, that helped
defuse tensions between determined men and women at Tent City and the
buttoned-down types in City Hall.
“He never promised anything he couldn’t deliver,” Morrow said…
To no surprise of those who know him, Painter bristles at public attention.
During an interview in his house earlier this week, he gave credit to everyone else
for addressing hom…
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