King County's much-needed Homeless Outreach, Stabilization and Transition program (HOST) was slated to lose 86% of its funding, but thanks to concerned supporters' calls and signatures, nearly all of that funding was saved.
The stakes were high. HOST, a program of the Downtown Emergency Service Center, provides essential outreach and engagement services to some of the most vulnerable people in King County. Hundreds depend on the service.
"This petition helped to save lives," said Change.org member Penny Carothers. "No less important is the reduction in the vulnerability and chaos that would have descended on the lives of those who already suffer so disproportionately. As the child of one who is much better off because of this tool, I can’t thank you enough for making this resource available and so easy to use."
To all the people who spoke out for the HOST program, DESC executive director Bill Hobson writes on their website, "I cannot tell you how proud I am to call this region my home. Thank you for the large role you have played in giving hope to the people we serve everyday that things can get better."
King County will cut $814,862 from DESC's HOST Outreach & Engagement Program (86% of total funding) on December 1, 2010. This funding cut will devastate the program, causing the immediate suspension of outreach and engagement services to hundreds of vulnerable men and women
Time is short. The King County Department of Community and Human Services (DCHS) plans to finalize these cuts THIS WEEK. Your immediate action is needed!! Tell King County Executive Dow Constantine and Department of Community and Human Services Director Jackie MacLean to restore HOST's funding.
*Sign the petition to send a letter today!*
Homeless Outreach, Stabilization and Transition serves men and women with long histories of homelessness and numerous psychiatric hospitalizations, living on the streets of Seattle with untreated schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and other serious mental illnesses and often co-existing chemical dependency.
Left unengaged, these individuals cycle back and forth from hospital, to jail, to the street. These are the most visible, vulnerable and costly individuals in Seattle. They are frequently exploited on the streets by other people. One-third are defined as high utilizers of jail or hospitals, or referred directly by the criminal justice system to HOST.