September 2017

City of Seattle Reorients Homeless Services Toward Outcomes with Results-Driven Contracting

In 2015, the Mayor of Seattle, Ed Murray, declared a state of emergency. The city had spent years trying to address the challenge of homelessness – it had increased its budget, signed and renewed countless contracts with skilled and dedicated service providers, and invested in contracts that tackled the problem from many different angles.

Despite Seattle’s rising investments – $50 million in 2016 – its homeless population also continued increasing at around 13% per year from 2011 to 2016. The government’s investment and the efforts of its 60 enlisted service providers weren’t achieving the long-term results they sought.

So when Mayor Murray established the city’s Office of Policy and Innovation, reducing homelessness was one of its top priorities.

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