Want to Help Homeless People Prosper? Provide Lockers

Comments

1
wonderful idea.
2
Bagshaw and Harrell, you wrote:

"Imagine you have lost your job, your home, maybe your marriage or long term relationship. You now find yourself alone and homeless in Seattle. Imagine further that you have landed downtown and are trying to regain your footing."

If you have lost all of that, and have no social network of friends or family to fall back on, chances are you need bigger help with problems that keeps a person immobilized from maintaining stable relationships, jobs, and responsibilities. And I'll give you all a hint: a fucking locker doesn't cut it.

City Council, clueless as always on how the rest of us live.
3
@2 available money is finite and every little thing helps.

Wonderful idea.
4
@2, I don't know what you have against a common sense, low cost practical solution to helping people. It'll be hard enough to get it implemented in a timely manner without purity trolls like you.
5
@2 I agree that becoming chronically homeless just isn't that simple, but what the fuck is the harm in helping those that find themselves in that situation?

Best argument to me is to help fight the stigma attached to the well dressed and groomed guy who is lugging all his shit with him. Let him stow that shit and get his ass a job interview and start working.
6
3,4,5: politicians pandering to advocates does nothing to solve the problems. I may as well hand them a 20 dollar bill and say that I am solving the problem. Charity is charity, all good, but c'mon, lockers, seriously?

I bet no more then a dozen of those ever get used. Drug transactions are the best practical use for them. No one is going to live in the green belt and go all the way downtown to retrieve their shit. This is just typical feel good Seattle stuff, so that we don't have to fund any real programs, and we can let the Gates funded non profit poverty pimps get around to it in the next 30 years.

We have sports stadiums and big holes to drill after all. And dog parks. We need many more dog parks. And kickass playgrounds in the financial district. Give the poor fucking lockers.
7
You're the city council, fucking do it already.
8
I think some kind of no-questions-asked low-cost (like $.50 per hour) lockable no-frills living/sleeping units with basic central heating or space heaters would be nice too, at least as a low-cost winter shelter. It might be ugly, but simple concrete and cinder block units (300 square feet) could really help on the coldest nights. Obviously, it's not a solution for permanent or supportive housing, but I think a lot of folks, including non-homeless people would benefit from it.
9
@6: "I bet no more then a dozen of those ever get used."

Right. Because Seattle is totally different from all the other places that have lockers and where they get used all the time. Whatevs.

Great idea Councilmembers Bagshaw and Harrell. Make it so.
10
"Over the next 100 days, we will investigate what has worked in other cities. We will investigate costs and solutions. We will work with the Mayor and our other partners to set a goal of adding 100 lockers in our city this year."

In other words, you'll look at the best practices of some great progressive cities around globe, then Seattle-process and Seattle-compromise-at-all-costs those best practices into a flawed mess, and only meet half the need.

This sounds exactly like what happened to accessory dwelling units, public toilets, "Rapid" Ride dedicated lanes, and any other form of public transit planning. Among so many other examples.

I'm so sick of Sally Clark's way of doing business.
11
@2,

Sometimes it's possible not to have close friends and not be a mentally ill drug addict. Most of the friends and family members I'm close enough to to ask for help in dire circumstances live elsewhere in the country. I seriously doubt, especially given how standoffish people are in this city in general, that I'm an outlier.
12
Why don't we instead just do what that place in Utah did, and house people? I mean, if you want to end homelessness, let's JUST DO IT.
13
@10 Freudian slip, but it holds. Sally Clark, Sally Bagshaw. I'm sick of 7/9ths of the City Council.
15
@12 Exactly. And give them the medical services they need. Except for #11, he's totally fine.
14
@2,

By your logic, anyone who finds themselves homeless must necessarily be a mentally ill drug addict because what else explains the fact that they have no friends/family to help them get back on their feet? You sound like a Republican.
16
@6 This system works really well in (also rainy) Eugene and they *are* used, and more are built easily when more are needed. people use them for valuables, and treasured items, like pictures of their kids. the lockers are supervised enough that they're not used for drug transactions (there is an open air drug market in Eugene for that, anyway).

@2 supporting tiny opportunities for dignity won't hurt your social justice creds.
17
Conservatives would oppose this because it allows the poors and the homeless to get away without feeling shamed.
18
You can put your weed in it!

.....and your 48s.
19
Oh, like Lisbon's version, not even half a year old and at a cost of $1,000 a locker for people who are also living out of their van ?

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Making-a-…
In Arroios, a neighborhood of Lisbon, stands a set of 12 metal lockers. Surrounded by old trees and newly planted bushes, the lockers represent a pilot project designed by Portuguese architect Duarte Paiva as a way to safeguard the possessions of the homeless.

Among the beneficiaries is Jorge Toledo. He was the first to receive a key to a locker on Oct. 17, 2013,

The €11,635 ($15,800) locker project was funded by the Lisbon municipal government. Paiva would like to start similar locker projects all over Portugal and in other European cities – and even bring his idea to America.

In order to obtain and keep using a locker a homeless person has to obey several rules, which include maintaining regular contact with the ACA street team, and promising to help keep the area around the lockers clean and not use them to store illicit substances.

In Arroios, the lockers were placed close to a church and police station. It was on the stairs of St. George Church that Toledo used to sleep before being offered shelter in an old van. Sliding open a door of the van's cargo area, he proudly shows his mattress with its crumpled sheets.
20
@17 not all in Utah close to ending it by providing apartments for them. We should do that.
21
Sure as hell beats putting the homeless INTO FUCKING HOUSING!!!! Seriously, Seattle if freakishly wealthy and to know we have kids living without a roof over their heads is unacceptable. But yeah, let's give them a locker! Talk about taking a piss on a raging forest fire and then patting yourself on the back saying "I helped".

So, Sally and Bruce, if this is what you can come up with after YEARS of fucking around with HOUSING the homeless, do yourself and Seattle a favor and resign today. Let someone else see if they can get serious about homelessness in Seattle
22
Finally, a cheap, secure place to safely store my bricks of hash.
23
Good God people, it's helping someone, not solving homelessness. If they can store their junk, maybe, just maybe they can get a job to supply their own homes.

So many in this city are against new development, apodment type housing, etc. its no wonder we have the homeless problem we do. Give 'em a locker now.
24
@17: You obviously have such a knee-jerk metastasized view of conservatism that all you can do is hurl such pathetic retorts.
No, conservatives (and libertarians) applaud this idea because it is a practical use of government expenditures that spurs commerce by from the contributions of the former-homeless. Yes, there are incredibly ridiculous politicians in the Republican party - but you can't take those exceptions and apply it across-the-board to the idelogies.
25
Good idea.

Let's put lockers back in at bus and train stations as well. If there were mad bombers lurking around every corner, this tiny addition to the many, many, places they could hide a bomb would be the least of our worries. But there are not mad bombers lurking around every corner, and there are lots of people who could use a place to securely and temporarily stash their belongings.

Why is the phrase harm reduction quoted as if it is so-called but does not mean such?
26
What happens to their stuff if they fall out of contact?
27
@23: I like this idea, but the timeframe suggested is ludicrous. If we're going to do lockers, put them in now, and be done with it. If we're going to have 100 fucking days of investigation, let's actually look at something better!

Lockers, good, but just do it already. Housing the homeless, better, and the timeframe suggested above would make sense!
28
@24,
Sounds like I hit a nerve.

It is part of the bedrock of the conservative ideology that "what happens to a person is that person's choice." Therefore, when something bad happens to someone, conservatives blame that person for it.

Conservatives have long been in favor of spending money in order to shame and humiliate poor people.
29
@21 I wish we could immediately house all the homeless too. Yet, look how much dissention is generated right here on Slog by just mentioning lockers.

Think it'll be any easier to actually implement true solutions to homelessness? Scale up the opposition of fuckers like raindrop, Phoebe, and 'hmmm' by a thousandfold.

Lockers are a small and more easily achievable step that can then be pointed out as a success. Which will make it easier for the Council to then ignore all the fuckers that don't think anything should be done.
30
Hey, like most European cities that have lockers in major transportation hubs, it would be AMAZING to have lockers available at say, the Link light Rail stations or King Street Station or SeaTac or where ever really. For just general use for travelers or visitors for pay.
32
do y'all think Seattle has housing units just sitting around empty? do you think there are available funds laying around to pay rent on them?

there are years-long waiting lists at every non-profit or housing authority. you can't even get a subsidized place to live in PORT ANGELES.
33

Want to help people...get them a locker....at a Greyhound station so they can leave this overpriced urban toadstool and move to where they can afford homes like Cincinatti or Omaha.
34
I do extensive work with homeless adults and youth in Seattle and I constantly hear the complaint "I don't have a place to keep my important things." This is an excellent step in helping those who are homeless. Mind you, it's a step - not a solution, but the real solution to ending homelessness is a series of small, sensible steps such as this.

It would be a good idea to put them in several areas of the city where the homeless population is highest: Pioneer Square, the University Dist, Belltown, etc. instead of centralizing them in one location.

Now that the idea is out there - let's see if the Seattle City Council can actually MOVE and make this thing happen without a year of "feasibility studies", endless "comment periods" and classic Seattle bureaucratic foot dragging.

35
@10 - Hilarious, and I agree with you: "In other words, you'll look at the best practices of some great progressive cities around globe, then Seattle-process and Seattle-compromise-at-all-costs those best practices into a flawed mess, and only meet half the need."
36
11&15. Who said anything about drug addiction? That would be you, not I. Many homeless are vets...PTSD? Depression? Other debilitating illnesses that make basic functioning impossible, with an adult onset? People who are temporarily down on their luck don't get caught up on the streets downtown for the most part. This isn't 1932 with 25%-40% unemployment, zero investment, negative growth, and zero safety nets. But maybe it will come to that if our best and brightest give us lockers and tired rhetoric. Harrell and Bagshaw are in charge, and they need to act like it or GTFO.
37
@32 wasn't you density and apodments supposed to create loads of affordable housing using market mechanisms? It works so well in SF and NYC.
38
@36,

No, you just assumed that anyone who's homeless is there because they have no friends or family, putting the blame for their homelessness on them and precluding doing anything to help them get back on their feet or even afford them a little dignity. So you are a Republican. Thanks for clearing that up.
39
SHARE already has a storage locker program in place, but who wants to deal with them?
40
We have 3000 people on the street every night and we're talking about adding 100 lockers?

You've got to be f-ing kidding me.

I mean, its fine enough, as far as it goes. Which is basically nowhere.
41
@28: There is no such bedrock. Again, you are confusing current modern political behavior and popular stereotypes with ideology.

@29: No, you're letting the perfect be the enemy of the good, and the spinning it to fit your rabid agenda.
42
"• Like Berkeley, negotiate with a private storage company to make lockers available at fair prices. Locker users must be in regular contact with a case manager and have a plan to get off the street."

Have a plan to get off the street? Jesus f*cking C on a tricycle, Sally and Bruce, how are they supposed to get that plan? There isn't enough housing. There aren't enough jobs. There aren't enough mental health resources. There aren't enough shelters. THOSE are the things that are needed for a plan.

Yes, you go ahead and study this for 100 days. We'll not be holding our breath for those lockers to show up.
43
@38: Republicans can become homeless too, just sayin'.
44
@40, here in "liberal" Seattle, that isn't liberal to be honest with you, we celebrate ideas that aim bizarrely low in what they hope to accomplish and then find those goals gutted in the end. That's why we are three decades behind in light rail and have thrown the towel in on getting the homeless real housing.

Expect the 100 lockers to be cut down to 25 and then watch Seattle pat itself on it's back.
45
For those who've suggested that such lockers should be offered to the general public: you've got cars. You've got houses. You've got closets to keep your clothes in, and if you need to go to a job interview, the appropriate clothes are in that closet, ready to be worn.

Homeless people don't have closets. If they apply for a job, they've got to carry their stuff necessary to live in a backpack on their backs, to that hoped-for place of employment, making a really great impression to employers they don't necessary want to know about their homelessness.

Lockers would help. You housed people don't need that City-sponsored help.

46
@38: and you are arguing that homeless have zero agency. Pretty dehumanizing if you ask me. But for the sake of your argument, let's say this is true; how does fucking lockers do anything?

Explaining the likely circumstances of Bagshaw's and Harrell's depiction of what it takes to need a locker in downtown Seattle is not the same as "putting the blame for their homelessness on them and precluding doing anything to help them get back on their feet or even afford them a little dignity."

Rather, I am suggesting that anyone that hard on their luck was likely put their by circumstances they could not control, but also were unable to manage, and the likelihood that people can't manage as a result of having no significant ties to family, social networks, and health care--including and especially mental health care, is pretty goddamned high. And I am suggesting that the government actually fucking do something about the problem in a dignified manner--a well funded public social welfare program in one of the richest cities in the world. How Republican of me. Or rather, how idiotic of you. Since it doesn't fit your personal narrative then the preponderance of experience out there is also untrue.

I suppose Bagshaw et al will be stashing surprise vocational/college degrees, instantly redeemable rent vouchers, repo/foreclosure legal assistance, and an unlimited Costco card. But it is more likely that these lockers will be empty, just like Bagshaw's and Harrell's platitudes.
47
This doesn't need more study. Use your common sense.

You know what could have used a little more study? Digging the largest tunnel in history.
48
@46: Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Do you have any idea how hard it would be to implement your (laudable) suggestions?

This is doable. It's achievable. It will probably help some folks. Solving poverty is beyond the pay grade of the Seattle City Council. It might be above God's pay grade.
49
@48. So is a $20 dollar bill. But for a politician to use this as some kind of proof that they are addressing the real problem? Geeze. I bet there are a lot of churches that would let people stash their interview clothes for nothing, not even the cost of bus fare to downtown. And they would not demand that every poverty NGO suck their cocks for it.

But in typical Seattle form, we can never really address injustice, but only talk about it. We can create man made problems but we can undo them. So we say "let'em live in lockers" and call it progress. I call bullshit, esp on Harrell/Bagshaw. We can have a "laudable suggestion" so we should be happy that we are being pissed on while Downtown tells us it's a warm rain.
50
You've spent a lot of time on this thread for such a busy activist.
51
S.H.A.R.E has been quietly providing the homeless community with a storage locker for years. The 2 hours of work per month that S.H.A.R.E. requires of each person who has a locker is well received within the homeless community here in Seattle. Providing lockers for the homeless is a good idea! So is the Seattle Housing And Resource Effort....."S.H.A.R.E" is a self managed shelter system here in Seattle. They operate 2 tent cities,15 indoor shelters,3 work for housing programs and a storage locker facility. S.H.A.R.E provides approximately 500 homeless men and women a safe place to sleep each night. The city council should provide more funding for S.H.A.R.E and other self managed programs such as this.
52
So, I see you all, like many major cities, have some bike lockers floating around. $50 for a whole year or a nickel an hour. How generous of you. But some lockers for the homeless to securely store their stuff...WAY OUT OF LINE. We only subsidize suburban bikers, TYVM.
53
@43 Republicans can become homeless too, sure.

But then, their own party tells them they've become part of the 47% they won't bother about.
54
@2, 36...

This isn't 1932 with 25%-40% unemployment, zero investment, negative growth, and zero safety nets.

Dipshit, can you even do simple arithmetic? The unemployment rate since 1999 has been 20% and over, no matter what your crooked gov't spews out.

And, FYI, douchetard, the biggest criminals are involved with spewing out job data and economic data, simply take a look at the background of the emeritus douchetard of the NBER, Martin Feldstein, who was a director at the historically criminally penalized outfits of HCA (largest out-of-court criminal settlement for Medicare/Medicaid fraud), Eli Lilly (historic criminal penalty paid for fraudulent marketing of drug which caused deaths) and AIG/Financial Products, involved in the largest insurance swindles in human history, which had to be bailed out by taxpayer TARP bailout funds!

America is now in the official fourth jobless recovery, where far, far more jobs were lost than have been created, and the increase in jobs offshoring, and creating new jobs offshore instead of in America, continues unabated.

"Zero investment" douchey? Marketwatch just pointed out the obvious, that Corporate America hasn't amortized shit in this country for many years now, instead offshoring investment, along with jobs and technology, which is one reason American infrastructure in all areas sucks!

"Negative growth"? Negative, they've simply made numerous changes to how they chart the GDP over the past some years, and that growth is all directly attributed to the $1 trillion pumped out from the Fed to the banksters the past year.

Now see if you can wrap your pinhead around this, douchetard: 74,000 new jobs were created in December/2013, and every single one was a temporary seasonal part-time job, of which the vast majority disappeared after Christmas shoppingwas finished with!
55
I'm considered financially poor and I was in a situation once, so I went to the former and last Mayor, The City Council and their string of departments that pass you along to another department so you end up back where you started, and the former and present City Attorney for help. All I got was retaliation, threats, and lied about. I love their motto also of Openness, Transparency, and the big one, Accountability.