A Path Forward In Addressing Our Behavioral Health Emergency


By: Erik Houser, Managing Director of External Affairs

Too many in our community are in need of better mental health and addiction care than our current behavioral health system provides. This is a county-wide challenge that impacts us all, especially the most vulnerable among us, which includes our neighbors experiencing homelessness. 

On April 25th, we have the opportunity to vote YES on King County’s Proposition 1, known as the Crisis Care Centers Levy, which will vastly improve and increase our system’s capacities to meet the needs of our neighbors in crisis. 

It’s clear that the time is now for bold and decisive action to ensure a thriving, safe, and healthy community for all. We Are In is excited to join a broad coalition of labor unions, health care providers, businesses, and community organizers in support of  Prop 1. The proposed behavioral health package will create five new regional crisis care centers, preserve and restore the loss of residential treatment beds, and grow our behavioral health workforce pipeline.

Right now, there aren’t enough treatment facilities to help our neighbors in need of mental and behavioral health as well as substance use service. Our region has no walk-in behavioral health urgent care facilities and only one limited-capacity behavioral health crisis facility. With only one crisis center throughout the entire region — which requires a referral to access — the most vulnerable in our communities have been lacking support for far too long.

Improving our behavioral health services is also an essential component of preventing and ending homelessness in our region. In King County, 31% of the population experiencing homelessness has a mental health disorder, but when services aren’t accessible, the cycle of homelessness is only perpetuated. We know that tackling the crisis of homelessness requires not only more affordable places to live, but also greater investment in the services that will keep individuals healthy and stable, and support them as they reintegrate into the community. Expanding access to behavioral health care in our region will help people exit homelessness AND prevent people from falling into homelessness in the first place.

Later this month, we all have the opportunity to stand up for our most vulnerable neighbors and push for an effective, accessible, and equitable behavioral health system — and our whole community stands to benefit. On April 25th, vote to invest in our community’s health and wellbeing. Vote YES on Prop 1

How can I vote in the April 2023 Special Election?

Ballot Drop Box (No stamp required.)

Ballot drop boxes are available 24/7 until 8 PM on Election Day, April 25. 

Learn more and find the closest ballot drop box near you HERE.  

By Mail (No stamp required.)

You may return your ballot through the U.S. Postal Service as well! 

Make sure your ballot is postmarked by Election Day, April 25. 

Need assistance registering to vote, updating your records or completing your ballot? Find a voting center near you HERE

How can I volunteer to support Proposition 1?

If you’re interested in phone- or text banking or even some door knocking, please fill out THIS FORM, and we will be in touch with you about how you can help!