City Officials Admit Homeless Encampment Sweeps Fail to Get Most People Into Shelter

Comments

1
we need "flophouses", as they used to be called. framed walls with chicken wire ceilings (OK, "metal mesh") to allow sprinklers to reach the floor in a fire. visual, but not acoustic, privacy.

the city (or a services provider like Share/WHEEL) could lease any vacant warehouses in SODO and convert them into small SROs post haste via emergency re-zoning. rent mobile restroom (and bathing, if such things exist) facilities. probably have to build communal kitchen facilities.

I can't think of better way to get more folks into shelter faster. maybe 6 months to get something like that up and running at the min.
2
@1

That's not housing, that's warehousing.

These are people, not bales of scrap metal. If you want to put them in refugee camps fenced with barbed wire, be honest about it.
3
@2: Well, perched above the freeway is intolerable, correct?
4
@3 Most are not perched above the freeway.
5
@4: I didn't imply that most were. But a great many are in dangerous, unhealthy, areas throughout the city - which is also intolerable.
6
"If taking people's property and putting it in storage where they have to jump through loops to get it back" is the city's best way of connecting people to services, González said, "we're doing something wrong."

I want thrilled about Gonzalez, but so far so good w/ calling that bullshit.
7
*wasn't
8
@1, flophouses were not what you describe; they were rooms in actual brick-and-mortar buildings, mostly in Pioneer Square before it was gentrified. They had regular ceilings and doors which you could lock.

As far as getting something up and running in 6 months' time, there were at least 66 homeless people who died in 2015. We can't afford to wait 6 months for more shelter. If that shelter right now consists only of tents that people pitch in the park, the City should stop its "cleanup" operations immediately.
9
I don't get the picture and caption in context to this article, the I-5 corridor is the exact place that should be constantly swept to the high risk of danger sleeping there poses to people who sleep there...So shouldn't we be pro I-5 corridor sweeps?
10
What Seattle is doing is saying"send us your homeless,your drunks and druggies,we will take care of them.Let"s create some FEMA camps on state land in eastern Washington on public land'
11
@8 the 14 tiny houses built on Cap Hill for homeless people cost $2000 each and took a few weeks - most delay is city bureaucracy which Council and Mayor could expedite.

Or we could talk about it for another six months and let more die.
12
@11, the problem is where to put the tiny houses (which I think are great, and are currently on property owned by LIHI, Low Income Housing Institute, a non-profit housing organization which has given a lot of help to organized encampments). We had almost 2,900 unsheltered people found this past January in Seattle. The new encampments and safe vehicle lots and more shelter provided by the City and the County will take care of about 500 of those people. God knows how many we'll find in about a week on the next Count. We need land, and there just isn't much under the control of the City or the County.
13
@2: no, that is actually one of the ways that the very poor were housed in pre-urban renewal America. the open ceilings are the way that you avoid putting in a 2nd layer of sprinklers, which aren't cheap, and take time to permit, install, and test. there's doesn't have to be any fencing, but if you leave your stuff there, maybe you'd like some protection from your neighbors.

@8: i'll dig out my copy of "new homeless and old: community and the skid row hotel" to see what the proper term for that type was. there were several descending levels of low-income housing. all I'm saying is that 6 months is a barely realistic time frame to create a large new shelter in an existing warehouse that could handle the street campers. you can't wave a magic wand and create new housing.

unless you can get FEMA trailers. do we want FEMA trailers?

14
Sobriety = a requirement? No thanks.
15
There are many reasons why people become or stay homeless, and although preexisting drug use isn't the top way people become homeless, it's still a really big issue, not to mention the huge number of people who turn to drugs after becoming homeless. There definitely needs to be separate housing for those who are newly sober and struggling to stay that way, and those who are still using, with little interest in stopping, and need to be off the streets for public safety reasons. Likewise, homeless people who do go through rehab need to be able to trust that they won't be discharged to the streets, where they were using. A lot more people who truly want to get clean would take that step, even if they've been to rehab several times, if they didn't think they'd be discharged back into their current situation.