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Blue State Spends $143 Million on 1,000 Homeless. Now They Want More.

An initiative to remove homeless camps from roadways needs more money to continue next year, according to Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, after burning through $143 million in a little over a year.

“You can’t do this with zero dollars,” Inslee, a Democrat, told KOMO News. “We’ll need the legislature in January to step up to increase funding so we can continue the progress we’re making.”

Inslee’s statewide Rights-of-Way Safety Initiative began in June 2022 with the goal of removing homeless camps from state property near roads and offering housing to the people living in the camps.

On Friday, Inslee toured a tiny home village in Olympia funded by the initiative that will soon provide shelter to 50 people who previously lived in an encampment along I-5, KOMO reported. The governor said during the tour that the safety initiative is out of money and, come January, camps will remain on state lands if the legislature does not allocate more funds.

“We’re very proud of the work state agencies have done in our right of way initiative working alongside local officials and service providers,” a spokesperson for the governor told Fox News in an email. “We will take as much funding as we can get to continue this work.”

Washington has spent more than $143 million on sweeping camps, funding housing and other costs from the initiative so far, according to Washington State Department of Commerce data.

About 1,300 people were swept from roadside camps as of July 31, with roughly 430 of those rejecting help getting into temporary or permanent shelter. That means it took $165,000 per person to clear the camps and house 870 people.

The department says 126 people have successfully exited the program into permanent housing like a rented apartment or are living with a family member.

The Commerce Department did not respond to Fox News’ questions about the data, but told independent journalist Brandi Kruse funding “includes capital allocations, which should be amortized over at least 30 years when looking at costs.”

Washington has the fourth-largest homeless population in the country (25,211), exceeded only by California, New York and Florida, according to 2022 Housing and Urban Development estimates. About half of Washington’s homeless are believed to be unsheltered and many are stuck in a pattern of chronic homelessness.

The governor’s office said the safety initiative has helped keep neighborhoods safe and get nearly 1,000 people “access to housing and services they need to escape the cycle of homelessness.”

“This represents a fraction of the problem though, and much more state investment is needed to continue this work that benefits our communities in so many ways,” a spokesperson wrote.

  • JB says:

    You made your bed, now sleep in it. We, the people, owe you nothing for stupidity. You say it is inhumane to see families homeless. It was inhumane to let them be allowed to come in illegally with promises of a better life. You state leaders take care of them. Give them shelter in your homes.

  • Bret says:

    Okay. Let me see. 143 million divided by 1000 equals 143,000. $143,000us is an okay wage for 2 years each. I believe that is higher than the average. So I’m assuming the problem is fixed. Nice move democrats

  • Sicsam says:

    INSLEEZE and FERGUSON both are a couple of corrupt bastards in the State of Washington. Neither shouldbe in politics!

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