On the road: Encampment resolution and clean energy manufacturing in King County

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On Wednesday, Gov. Inslee traveled to King County, where he highlighted the need for additional funding for the state’s Encampment Resolution Program. Inslee toured the of a former homeless encampment near I-5 in north Seattle, where he met with crewmembers contracted by WSDOT to clear the site of debris and outreach workers who worked with individual encampment residents to transition to safer shelter options and services. The crew has already cleared the site of more than 200 tons of debris and is now working to mitigate the site with fencing, in order to prevent the establishment of another encampment.

The governor urged legislators to appropriate necessary funding to keep the encampment resolution program going. He emphasized the necessity of securing additional emergency housing across the state in order to confront the state’s homelessness crisis.  “We look for all potential options,” said Inslee. “Buy a hotel that's empty, put in a tiny home village, look at multiple sites that can be consolidated. I think we should be open to all of these different versions because people have different needs as well.”

Inslee’s encampment resolution program has made substantial progress in its first 18 months, connecting more than 1,000 people to safer housing and services, and resolving more than 30 encampments along the I-5 corridor.


During the tour, the governor also met Itsy, a puppy that had been living at the encampment. Itsy has since been adopted by a staff member from CoLead, one of the nonprofit outreach groups contracted with the state to help homeless people connect with safe shelter options and substance use disorder treatment.


While he was in the King County, the governor also made remarks at the ribbon cutting for a new clean energy manufacturing facility in the SoDo neighborhood of Seattle. The factory, owned by First Mode, will manufacture components for the company’s hydrogen and hybrid-electric drivetrains for use in giant mining trucks and locomotives. Their innovative technology has the potential to help entire industries move from fossil fuels to clean energy.

First Mode is one of many clean energy companies that have chosen to make Washington their base of manufacturing and operations in recent years, making the state a world leader in this burgeoning industry.  As the governor highlighted in his remarks at the ribbon cutting, part of the reason businesses like First Mode are coming to Washington is the Climate Commitment Act. The state’s cap on pollution is making additional resources and services available to both businesses and consumers, creating green jobs and accelerating the state’s transition to clean energy.


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