ACLU to City of Seattle: Stop "Chasing" Homeless People Out of Tent Encampments

Comments

1
So the ACLU is in favor of blight. Not in favor of the civl liberties of Seattle's taxpayers to keep Seattle livable and beautiful.

Actually, this is delicious fodder for a comeback to those pesky ACLU signature gatherers.
2
seizing and destroying some of that property is probably frequently in society's best interest, and scattering and abandoning property is common practice for the campers.
3
History repeats: a nation of Hoovervilles.
4
Homeless people under the age of 40, go back home and deal with the fact that you're a drug addict, get the help you need, and apologize to your parents.
5
Just let drug addicts and the mentally ill keep living in unsafe conditions on public land. Perhaps the ACLU can help the homeless sue Seattle when one gets tetanus or cholera from the living conditions.
6
So i'm confused, you keep posting articles about how bad the sweeps are with pictures of camps above the I-5 saying that people have died there. So can we agree that camps along the I-5 are unsafe and should be removed?
7
@1:

So, only taxpayers deserve civil liberties?

@5:

Don't worry, the good citizens of Seattle will simply foist these disease-vectors onto some other unsuspecting municipality, in the interest in maintaining property values or something.
8
Seeing 400 hovels on the side of the freeway is the hallmark of a progressive utopia - may the world see it for what it is.
9
Did they try luring them out with free Genesee?
10
@3: These encampments differ from Hoovervilles in the following ways:
- When Hoover was president, the country was in the great depression. Now, as described by the White House, we're in the greatest recovery since the great depression.
- When Hoover was president, Seattle had very few jobs. Now we have lots of jobs including non-tech jobs. The problem is housing.
- As documented in The Stranger, even if the shelters were not at capacity, a large percentage of the homeless would rather endure the cold and the rain. Many are too wasted to follow through on vouchers and other types of assistance directly handed to them.
- A large part of Seattle's swelling homeless have come here over recent years. Seattle has the reputation of being easy on the homeless and, now with global warming, the winters are more tolerable.
11
Yeah let's wait around for funding and solutions and let them just scatter trash around the side of the freeway.
12
@7 - Okay, replace 'taxpayers' with 'citizens'.
13
If somebody installed and maintained dumpsters at these encampments, might that diminish the volume of trash we see strewn around them?
14
There are some real jerks on these comments (shocking). I am a social worker who interacts with homeless people on a daily basis. Some of you sound like you have probably never so much as spoken a word to a homeless person so let me help you out. Homeless people don't LOVE being homeless, mentally ill, or addicted to drugs. To tell homeless people they need to go back to their families, as great as that would be, is no kind of solution as many of these families ARE NOT HAVING IT and I can tell you that because I regularly call them begging them to consider letting their kin stay with them for a few weeks. Homeless people aren't turning down shelters because they love the cold and the rain, they are turning them down because they are gross and dangerous, with literal raw sewage lying around, as well as bedbug and body lice issues. A lot of people trying to get sober fear going to shelters because it's like an open air drug market. Basically, you wouldn't send your worst enemy to them. No one is arguing that these camps are awesome, but taking away what little community/stability homeless people have and trashing their belongings and giving them shit in return is not acceptable response to this serious crisis. Also, for all you upstanding tax payers worried about the beauty and livability of our city, well, there but for the grace of god, jerks...I know plenty of homeless people who were once successful (and probably snobby uptight) people like you, until they got sick or some tragedy struck. So maybe try a little compassion. So fed up with this freaking city and this freaking NIMBY BS.
15
@7: its OTHER municipalities that are sending THEIR problems here. our homeless services and "mild" weather draw people from all over the PNW and beyond:

http://thinkprogress.org/health/2013/09/…
16
@13: you can't put a dumpster on the side of a hill under I-5.

@14: I'm sorry we're callous, but the situation is getting worse and worse, and it is difficult not to treat it abstractly. Seattle (and SF & Portland) is being asked to bear the brunt of a national crisis. there is no solution that involves "just put them in homes" as everyone seems to think happened in Utah (it didn't). there are no spare homes in Seattle, and shelters aren't acceptable anymore, according to your valid reasons.

if you think Seattle is bad, praytell: what city is good? ever walked through the Tenderloin?
17
@10:

Yeah, on such a beautiful day like today, who WOULDN'T want to spend it deeply inhaling the fresh air and liquid sunshine from the comfort and security of a beat-up, leaking tent along side a massively congested freeway? I mean, talk about your "banana belt" - it's like living in a freakin' Jimmy Buffet song all year round!

@12:

So, now the homeless aren't citizens? What hypothetical category do you want to posit only deserve civil liberties next time around?
18
@14, do you think not being allowed to be 60,000 sheets to the wind might have something to do with why shelters are so boring and lame?
19
@ 18...Uhh, who told you you can't be wasted at a shelter? Because that is totally untrue. I have met a LOT more people who won't go to shelters because they are trying to get SOBER than people who won't go because they want to get drunk/high. Generally shelters aren't UAing. As long as your behavior is not totally bonkers off the wall, you can be on drugs and many many people are. Also, guess what: drunk/high people need housing too. This is in society's best interest.

Also, non sequitur,I just want to say that shelter workers are BAD ASS and fighting on the front lines and working with nothing and I am so thankful for them.
20
Most of the shelters that are in Seattle are not good places to sleep because 1) there's no privacy; 2))they are noisy because of people snoring and talking and shouting; 3) they aren't completely dark; 4) they have nowhere to store belongings; 5) you have to line up, only to find there's no space left, and if you get in, you have to leave in the winter before dark); 6) they can't be kept very clean because people who don't have hygiene facilities tend to pick up bugs and bacteria.

If we devoted the money to improve and expand shelters, the above wouldn't be the case. But because we don't, anyone with a brain would probably choose a tent somewhere, where it's dark, quiet, and private, even though there's no bathroom or garbage can. And they do.
21
@19, it's a bed and shelter from the elements. That's it. As far as I know, you're not allowed to drink inside the shelter, however. Unlike in a tent, where you can drink until you're barking at the moon. Choices matter. Decisions matter. Decide: shelter and bed, or weathering the elements whilst enjoying booze/drugs. As an adult, you can choose.
22
What a joke....Seattle is one of the top spenders in the nation on homelessness and yet the results continue to fail....WHY? Because we have an environment of zero accountability. Throwing money at a problem with no oversight just wastes time and resources. Why are people not transitioning to the city run camps? It's simple, they do not qualify due to drug and alcohol issues. There is also an element that simply does not want to go. These sweep are a way to improve the homeless issue by clearing dangerous and illegal environments. If the ACLU is really serious about helping homeless, why not challenge the city to show outcome data from the all of their efforts...Hint, Hint, don't hold your breath....it doesn't exist. Instead we get feel good solutions like RV parks and Nickelsville with no accountability. This type of toxic environment fixes nothing and encourages transients to come to Freeattle!
23
@ 7 and 17 you are a true hero. You don't think Seattle draws in homeless? You think they stay away because of a little rain? Ever been to Anchorage? Its the same there just a smaller scale. People are drawn to Anchorage because of freebies and the weather is no deterrent. Yes the homeless are citizens (mostly) and with citizenship comes responsibility not just privilege. As a citizen its our responsibility not to defecate or jack off in public among other things. Please tell us the answer to this problem.
24
I am glad that most of the comments on this thread agree that the ACLU should go back to doing whatever they do and leave the Mayor alone on this one. The city is a mess and it needs to be cleaned up. The problem with the mayor and the city council is that they ignored the homeless and defended their lack of action for years until they had to call for the state of emergency.