A King County supervisor in Seattle, Washington, is arguing for a novel way to ease the homeless crisis — sending them out of town with a one-way bus ticket.
Councilmember Reagan Dunn said that the program, which is called “Homeward Bound,” would reunite people struggling with homelessness with family members who could take care of them.
“If we are going to have a meaningful reduction of the number of homeless people on our streets, the elected officials need to do their job and make tough choices,” Dunn said, “and I’m asking them to make those tough choices today.”
Dunn is asking for $250,000 for the program after initially asking for a million dollars to fund the voluntary busing.
The program would provide a bus ticket and meal vouchers to any homeless person who could prove they were going to live with a family member. They would not be allowed to move to a county adjacent to King County.
Other council members, like Rod Dembowski, are concerned about the historical parallels of such policies.
“I think it is important that we consider the history of powerful people in society moving out undesirables,” said Dembowski.
Dunn makes it clear the program would verify that each participant was being treated humanely.
“We want to make sure that there is someone there that can care for them, that there is a roof over their head, that they’re stable, and they’re in a position to provide care,” he explained.
Seattle is among the cities hardest hit by the homeless crisis, which some critics say is the result of liberal law enforcement policies.