Mayor Murray hires director of homelessness

Mayor Ed Murray announced on Tuesday that George Scarola will serve as the City’s first ever cabinet-level director of homelessness.

Scarola will be responsible for leading the City’s homelessness efforts across departments, providing oversight and evaluation of outcomes, strategic guidance, and leading community engagement.

“Homelessness is a national epidemic, leaving cities like Seattle stepping in to fill the large gaps left behind by state and federal agencies,” said Mayor Murray,

According to the City’s press release, Scarola is an experienced public affairs and community relations manager having led advocacy organizations in Seattle and Olympia for over 25 years.

From 1992 to 1998 Scarola led the Sand Point Community Housing Project as Executive Director, which converted housing at the Sand Point Naval Air Station into homes for unsheltered youth, adults, and families.

After years of failed school ballot measures, Scarola helped turn the tide for public support for Seattle schools by managing the first success school bonding measure in the spring of 1995, followed by subsequent successful campaigns to fund Seattle schools and affordable housing for adults, seniors, and families.

“George is deeply committed to helping Seattle’s most vulnerable residents. We’re looking forward to George taking on this role and leading the City’s efforts in bringing together service providers, community leaders, and homeless advocates to collaboratively address the complex challenge homelessness presents to us all,” says Paul Lambros, Executive Director of Plymouth Housing Group.

Scarola will be paid an annual salary of $137,500 and started in his position on Wednesday, August 24.


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