A message from bill hobson, executive director

On behalf of the entire staff of DESC, and the people we serve, thank you and the many supporters who responded to our call. We are honored and humbled by the rapid mobilization to halt the County's cuts to our HOST street outreach program.

The County Executive announced that he has made no decisions or proposals about how the State cuts endured by the County will be implemented. Leaders in the County are developing several different scenarios and weighing the impacts to various programs and services under those different scenarios. We are eagerly awaiting their announcement. We know the County's loss of $5.2M in State (non-Medicaid) funds is real. Mental health services in King County will be reduced as a result, and it's unlikely DESC will be spared from all cuts. But, I do believe that the response from community about the value of HOST has been heard, and it has significantly influenced the County's thinking about how to implement funding cuts.

While we await an announcement from the County, there is one thing we all should do. I urge you to vote this election. Programs like HOST, which not only help to save lives and end homelessness, but actually save us all money in the long run, would not be 'on the chopping block' if state and local governments' revenues and expenses weren't so out of whack with one another. There are several high-stakes initiatives on the ballot this election. Continued government funding for vital service such as DESC's may be significantly impacted by their outcome. If you haven't mailed in your ballot yet, I encourage you to do so by Election Day, next Tuesday, November 2. Please consider the information in this guide as you decide how to vote on several statewide and local measures.

In the 22 years as Director of DESC, I have been continually astounded by the depth of compassion possible from our community. 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.
- Bill

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