Even before Marc Dones abruptly resigned on Tuesday as CEO of the King County Regional Homelessness Authority (@KingCoRHA), the agency was under heavy scrutiny for it’s performance or lack thereof. Questions were being raised about spending and salaries, especially after Dones asked for $12 billion dollars to fund housing in the region.
As Helen Howell becomes interim CEO, the KCRHA Governing Committee and other boards have a lot of soul searching to do. Do they stay the course and stick to the framework left by Dones, or is it time for a total gut rehab? Clearly, the “HOUSING FIRST” strategy is not working.
The public is asking for more transparency and accountability, like actual measures of success and failure. In his exit letter, Dones touts what he claims are accomplishments: “In two years, we have gone from an agency of one person to an agency of over 100, clearly outlined a core focus on unsheltered homelessness, resolved 14 major encampments, deployed the most successful emergency housing voucher strategy in the country, and created pathways inside for over 200 people living unsheltered in the downtown core. We completely rethought the point in time count, created better data strategies, and finally landed on a comprehensive and stable estimate of the number of people who experience homelessness in the county each year. And most importantly we brought thousands of people inside, boosting the numbers of exits to housing to over what they had been in the previous two years before the Authority began operations.”
Under Dones’ watch, the KCRHA has spent millions of dollars to address homelessness, with a lot of it going to overhead like salaries. According to KCRHA’s 2022 count, there are still 53,000 homeless people in the region. Are these results worth the financial cost? Just drive through #Seattle, #Bellevue, #Auburn, #Renton, #Burien, #Kent, #Shoreline, #Tukwila right now to see for yourself.
I’m still working through a lot of PDR’s and data dumps. Fascinating stuff happening behind the scenes with this agency. Some serious palace intrigue. In case you apply for a job at KCRHA, here is what you can expect to be paid. For starters, here is a breakdown of the most recent salaries. #Seattle#KingCounty
*Apparently, some employee names are blacked out for personal safety reasons.
Rest of the List
Dones was stacking paper! These salaries put the pay in journalism to shame. No wonder so many reporters are exiting the business.
Lots of Interesting Titles
I still do not know what all these jobs entail and how it’s related to addressing the homeless crisis.
And that’s all I got for now
Clearly there are now multiple job openings.
This is Dones with his opening monologue at the KCRHA Implementation Board Meeting on May 10. No indication he would actually resign. He’s been under tremendous pressure and scrutiny after a series of major missteps and performance failures.
Was Dones Pressured to Quit?
Crisis Management Wasn’t Enough
Earlier this month, KCRHA dropped this promo video featuring embattled CEO Marc Dones who rarely takes questions from the media. It launched as his agency was being accused of incompetence and mismanagement. #Seattle
Backing Questionable Providers
KCRHA is still being scrutinized for it’s relationship with The Lived Experience Coalition. Back in February, nearly 40 homeless men/women were kicked out of a hotel for alleged violations under the LEC’s watch. #Seattle
Again in Feb, lawmakers picking apart CEO Marc Dones and his “wrong” interpretation of @GovInslee ‘s Right of Way Initiative. Dones’ insistence on “permanent housing” delayed King County encampment sweeps. #Seattle @kcexec @MayorofSeattle
In March, parents at John Stanford Int. School and neighbors protested after @WSDOT and KCRHA (@kingcoRHA) failed to remove the Ship Canal Bridge encampment, the scene of multiple shootings, fires, and deaths. #Seattle