Compass Rose
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Oct 13, 2016 Compass Rose commented on Amid Sweeps Backlash, Council Members Release Competing Plans for Addressing Homeless Encampments.
@13, What it does is establish requirements for removal so onerous that it will make it almost impossible to clear out the illegal encampments that will proliferate around the city, just as they did in Portland - which abandoned its disastrous camping policy after a few months.

Under the Seattle proposal, illegal encampments could only be removed if there's "accessible and adequate" housing available. Since there currently isn't enough long-term housing available, it effectively establishes a legal right for people to camp on public property indefinitely. This helps no one, and will have an enormously detrimental impact on green spaces around the city. Have you actually seen any of these encampments up close? They are filled with garbage, needles, human waste, stolen property and criminal activity. This ordinance will pave the way for mini-Jungles all over the city. Anyone who thinks otherwise is delusional.

Again, I would ask proponents of this ill-conceived idea, how will this better connect homeless people with services than the current system? How will it address the growing public health and safety hazards caused by illegal encampments? How will it help move people off the streets and connect them with treatment and mental health services?
Oct 13, 2016 Compass Rose commented on Amid Sweeps Backlash, Council Members Release Competing Plans for Addressing Homeless Encampments.
It doesn't matter whether the ordinance would or wouldn't allow unfettered camping in city parks. It would allow camping in SOME areas of city parks, and that is unacceptable. Allowing people with addiction and mental health issues to camp out in parks does absolutely nothing to help them get into housing or access treatment, and poses a host of problems for the city in addressing trash, human waste and criminal behaviors.

The city already can't keep up with the trash created by unsanctioned encampments; how will it possibly deal with the many encampments that will inevitably spring up if this ordinance is passed? Take a look under the Ballard Bridge or the West Emerson Overpass for examples of what will happen. How will the city address illegal and criminal activity in these ad hoc encampments? More importantly, how will it provide outreach to campers scattered across the city when it hasn't been able to do that with the number of existing encampments?

This proposal is flawed in many ways, and needs to be thrown out. The council should go back to the drawing table and come up with a plan that gets people off the streets, provides suitable shelter for a range of needs and circumstances, protects public health and safety and bans camping on public property.

Almost 19,000 people have signed the petition opposing this proposal. Citizens do not want this.…
Apr 18, 2016 Compass Rose commented on A Neighborhood Group Was Mapping Where Homeless People Live—Until I Asked Them About It.
@25, if SPD's advice to Ballard residents is to arm themselves, that speaks to how bad the situation has gotten.

I live in central Ballard, and over the past year, within a six-block radius of my home, we've had: several unsanctioned encampments occupied by heroin and meth addicts, rampant property crime (how do you think those folks feed their habits, Heidi?), a dead woman who OD'd and was stuffed in a shopping cart near the Ballard bridge by two upstanding gentleman living in an RV nearby (who have since been charged), ODs in bathrooms at least two establishments; a meth addict who punched a woman in the face, an unregistered sex offender living at the Ballard locks in a tent, tweaked-out campers who came out of the woods and chased a friend of ours while he was walking along the Burke-Gilman one evening, frequent open drug dealing and drug use at Ballard Commons park, addicts crapping on the streets, piles of trash and needles scattered around.

All of this is within a six-block radius of where I live. I don't know what kind of bubble you live in, Heidi, or whether you think the current situation is just fine, but most people don't, particularly those of use living in areas that are being hard hit by these issues.
Apr 16, 2016 Compass Rose commented on A Neighborhood Group Was Mapping Where Homeless People Live—Until I Asked Them About It.
@11, as a proud self-declared YIMBY, what exactly is it that you're advocating for? What do you want in your backyard? Heroin and meth? Needles and human waste on the ground? Homeless encampments? Trash, property crime, graffiti?

No, I didn't think so.
Mar 31, 2016 Compass Rose commented on City Calls Nonprofit's Closure of 15 Homeless Shelters an Unnecessary "Advocacy Move".
Heidi Groover, you might be interested in the letter that Catherine Lester, the HSD director, sent to SHARE yesterday. According to Lester, the city wasn't notified by SHARE until yesterday that it was (allegedly) having financial problems. SHARE failed to notify the city about this while planning to close down 15 shelters? Something smells very fishy.

The letter reads as follows:

March 30, 2016
Michele Marchand SHARE Organizer

Dear Michele,

Thank you for your recent correspondence about the SHARE/WHEEL’s financial situation and your decision to close shelters funded by the City of Seattle.

The City of Seattle’s Human Services Department (HSD) invests $610,932 in shelter support to SHARE/WHEEL. This investment funds 90,555 bed-nights per year (serving roughly 249 people every night). HSD had not received any communication from SHARE/WHEEL until today requesting additional funding nor indicating an inability to continue to provide City services at the level agreed to in your 2016 contracts. It is the City’s expectation that SHARE/WHEEL shelters funded by the City remain open 365 nights a year, and that individuals experiencing homelessness have access to those beds. It is also the City’s expectation that participation in advocacy and protests are not a requirement for people to access shelter. At this time, the City does not have any additional funding for SHARE/WHEEL shelter operations or the funds to pay any of SHARE/WHEEL’s debts. Additionally, the City will not reimburse you for nights you choose to close City-funded shelters.

SHARE/WHEEL’s funding is part of HSD’s 2016 investment of more than $50 million to assist single adults, youth, families, domestic violence survivors, seniors and veterans currently experiencing or at risk of homelessness. These dollars provide more than 1,800 emergency shelter beds each night that serve 14,000 unduplicated individuals a year; pay for food and meals services; support day centers that provide showers, laundry, and a safe place to rest; and fund programs that can help people find jobs and permanent housing. Housing is expensive in Seattle, but our successful rapid rehousing programs pay for move-in costs, utilities and rent. HSD also funds proactive programs that help people stay in their homes and avoid eviction.

Our region’s current needs outweigh shelter capacity, leaving too many seniors, families and individuals sleeping on the street and in vehicles. The 2016 One Night Count conducted on January 29th found that 4,505 individuals (including 29 children) were living outside of shelters in King County, a 19% increase from 2015 (after a 21% increase from 2014). The majority of these individuals were counted in the City of Seattle.

This led Mayor Murray to take action by declaring a “State of Emergency” and allocating new resources to address the homelessness crisis. The additional dollars will provide resources in three major areas—addressing critical policy issues, creating additional shelter capacity, and funding innovative and proactive strategies.

The City is currently analyzing all homeless investments and expanding data collection to ensure resources are targeted at the most effective strategies and agencies. Seattle is also launching a new effort to reduce administrative burden on agencies by allowing non-profit partners to provide a range of services under portfolio contracts. This progressive engagement model combines a portfolio of services aimed at making homelessness rare, brief, and one-time, including diversion, shelter, rapid rehousing, housing search and employment navigation. Administrative efficiencies will be created through a single contract for combined services.

To quote your organization’s messaging, “Without shelter, people die.” Therefore, we cannot officially condone any attempt to take away a roof overhead and an indoor space from people experiencing homelessness. The City of Seattle is making every effort to create safe indoor spaces for people experiencing homelessness. This threat of closure goes against these efforts and cannot be supported. Closure of these shelters conveys a lack of partnership in the effort to end homelessness in this region.

I hope your organization will reconsider your actions this week, and work with your funders on resolution while keeping your programs operational.

Sincerely, Catherine Lester
Mar 31, 2016 Compass Rose commented on City Calls Nonprofit's Closure of 15 Homeless Shelters an Unnecessary "Advocacy Move".
How do we do this in a way that's sustainable, asks Tim Harris (who can't seem to do a single interview without at least one F bomb)?

Easy. Immediately stop funding SHARE, and divert that funding to another organization that can run shelters and is also focused on moving people into permanent housing, versus one whose mission is to run commune-style, "self-governing" communities. Public funding should NOT be supporting that.

It's time that funding is tied to outcomes. Any other approach is indefensible and ineffective. We've found that out the hard way in Seattle.
Feb 28, 2016 Compass Rose commented on Mayor Ed Murray Says Some Nextdoor Users Have Been "Working Themselves Into a Paranoid Hysteria".
It's bizarre (beyond being politically clueless and tone-deaf) that the mayor would accuse residents concerned about crime of being hysterical, given that just a week earlier, in his state of the city address he said that "many people" have told him that they no longer bother reporting property crimes because they think police won't respond. He also acknowledged that Seattle has one of the highest rates of property crimes in the country.

So for him to then turn around, in response to a blogger's own hysteria about being kicked off NextDoor (which was completely justified, since she was violating the site's rules) and say that Seattleites are hysterical is ridiculous. The reality is that property crime is out of control in some neighborhoods, including Ballard.

And it's not hard to figure out why. Seattle is in the midst of a heroin and meth epidemic. Drug addiction = property crime. Junkies have to feed the monster somehow, and the most messed up among them sure as hell aren't going off to work every day, earning a paycheck to fund their steady supply of black tar. They're doing that by stealing - breaking into cars and homes, ripping off stores and helping themselves to pretty much anything that isn't nailed down, from bikes to packages to mail. (One north Ballard resident looked out her window a while back to see a car driving off with her shed on its roof).

So anyone who thinks property crime isn't up, regardless of what the city's stats might say, either doesn't understand how addiction works or has their head firmly lodged up their ass.
Jan 7, 2016 Compass Rose commented on Last Night in Magnolia, Mike O'Brien Got Shouted at for Suggesting It's Wrong to Punish People for Being Homeless.
@61, I'm also a former journalist who has covered hundreds of public meetings in the past couple of decades. Your assessment is spot on. The Stranger has become FOX for the left.
Jan 7, 2016 Compass Rose commented on Last Night in Magnolia, Mike O'Brien Got Shouted at for Suggesting It's Wrong to Punish People for Being Homeless.
@57, we live in a city. There are bags all over and garbage cans in many places.

I suppose it's necessary to throw trash and needles on the ground too.
Jan 7, 2016 Compass Rose commented on Last Night in Magnolia, Mike O'Brien Got Shouted at for Suggesting It's Wrong to Punish People for Being Homeless.
@50, there's no excuse for shitting on the street unless someone is mentally challenged or otherwise incapacitated. It's not hard to find a bag to crap in and deposit in the garbage. Nor is it acceptable to toss garbage on the streets. When I'm out on Puget Sound, I don't toss my trash into the water; I collect it and deposit it in a receptacle.

We need to stop enabling uncivil, unsanitary behavior and hold people accountable for their actions.