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Tents line a Downtown Seattle street. (GeekWire Photo / John Cook)

We’re half-way through 2018 and so far in Seattle, the year has been defined by a fierce debate over how to address the city’s growing homelessness crisis.

That debate reached a fever pitch when the City Council passed an annual tax of $250 per full-time employee on the Seattle’s top-grossing businesses. It sparked a tense conflict between City Hall and the business community with Amazon leading the opposition effort. Eventually, the city voted to repeal the tax less than a month after unanimously approving it in a dramatic capitulation.

The weeks following have left many in Seattle wondering, where do we go from here? What will be the new approach to curbing homelessness, which has been a state of emergency in Seattle since 2015?

We know those and other questions are on many readers minds. We want to answer them. That’s why GeekWire has partnered with The Evergrey to begin collecting questions from readers about homelessness in Seattle (details below). We’ll review your questions with The Evergrey and get to work answering some of them.

Check back for our first stories based on your questions July 19 as part of #SeaHomeless, a day when Seattle news organizations will work together to spotlight people living unsheltered and the root causes of homelessness. At that time, this project will get even bigger. Crosscut, Seattlepi.com, Real Change, and possibly additional news outlets will start collecting questions from their readers and reporting at least one story in response to a reader’s curiosity.

The goal of this project is to shed some light on readers’ genuine curiosities about one of Seattle’s most difficult challenges so that we can work together to find solutions.

To participate, simply submit your question about homelessness below by 12 p.m. Monday. GeekWire and The Evergrey will work together to narrow the submissions down and then give readers the opportunity to vote on which questions you most want to see us answer.

We’ll each publish a story based on your questions July 19 and expand the project to incorporate additional media partners.

Big thanks to The Evergrey, Crosscut, Seattlepi.com, and Real Change for working with us on this project; to Crosscut for coordinating #SeaHomeless day July 19, when several local media outlets will cover stories around homelessness in Seattle; to Hearken for letting us use their tool for this collaborative local project; and to all of you for thinking and caring about your city.

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