JustCare is a program organized by the Public Defender Association with collaboration by the Chief Seattle Club, Asian Counseling and Referral Service, and REACH. With seed funding from King County, JustCare is making a difference in a couple of Seattle neighborhoods and for the homeless who live there.
Launched in October 2020 as a pilot program, JustCare has focused its work on Pioneer Square and the International District. In the subsequent seven months, JustCare has moved over 200 people off the streets and into hotel rooms, where they have access to meals and services. Before JustCare, those neighborhoods had a homeless population of about 500 people. Amazingly, only a handful of people have turned down JustCare’s offer of housing and services.
The Retail Industry Coalition of Seattle and Washington Retail are intrigued by the work – and success – of JustCare, which hopes to expand its work to all of downtown. JustCare needs additional funding for that expansion.
On June 14, Councilmember Andrew Lewis, a strong supporter of JustCare, secured $12 million of additional funding to house the homeless. King County also approved an additional $7 million for homeless housing.