Despite Increased Police Presence, Neighborhood Group Complains the City Still Isn't Doing Enough About RV Campers

Comments

2
@1:

Give them all homes - therefore, no longer homeless.

Problem - SOLVED!
3
Or, did you mean - shuffle them off to some other municipality and let THEM deal with it?

Because yeah, that ALWAYS works...
4
@1 if you provide accommodations, then those people will be housed, and you will have made those homeless "go away". unlike the places that are plain making them go away. to seattle.

bad form to become visibly upset - government officials are just supposed to take it and take it.
6
in all seriousness, i can understand the resentment you'd feel if the RV campers were near your house. like anywhere in America, nothing is free in seattle, and the city stands ready to enforce every law (parking) and bill every service (trash). in the meantime, you've got a mortgage due every month, or a rent check that only goes up. add in accusations of theft and drug dealing, and you've got a recipe for community anger.

frankly, the city seems overwhelmed and confused. it's clearly the scale of crisis that needs a disaster-relief approach: huge UN-style tent camps for the immediate needs, and a property tax levy to fund a giant transitional housing push for the long-term.

I don't know where the land will come from, however. there's not much left.
7
@6 seattle center for homeless camp!
8
These people refuse to recognize the hummanity of those living in rv just as Heidi refuses to recognize the criminality of those living in rvs.
9
Im going make a statement that's going piss probably off but please think about it.

While some at these meetings may be extreme and anti-homeless, the group of upset home owners in magnolia/ballard/queen anne has actually helped the homeless by having these meetings.

Think about it, was opening safe lots for rvs being talked about before the first meeting? where the police arresting the criminals who lived in rv and preyed on the neighborhood including homeless people? Was thhe stranger writing about the homeless problem in these neighborhoods?

10
*piss people probably off,

Ugh can't type
11
Two things I keep wondering about:
How come there are 15% or whatever more homeless people in Seattle than a year ago?. Did they move here from elsewhere for some reason, or just lose their housing locally?
Where did all these RV's come from? Did the homeless find some source of junker, bare-running RV's to buy, or did they lose their homes and fall back to the old, seldom-used RV's they had in their backyards?
12
I've noticed an uptick in RVs in my usual stomping grounds around Capitol Hill/First Hill/Eastlake, but a decrease in sketchy dudes standing on corners, hypodermic needles lying on the sidewalk, and people camping outside burning stuff that isn't meant to be burned in places where burning isn't safe.

From where I sit the RVs seem to be an improvement.
13
Did they point out that it's already illegal to park a vehicle over 80 inches wide overnight in non-industrial areas ?

http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/pa…
Additionally, the Seattle Municipal Code (SMC) prohibits vehicles over 80 inches in width (such as RVs, tractor trailers, and larger trucks) from parking on most city streets (any street except those adjacent to Manufacturing or Industrial zoning) between the hours of midnight and 6:00 a.m. (SMC 11.72.070).
14
I went to last night's meeting because I didn't think some of the extremist views expressed in the media reflected the views of most of us living in Magnolia, including the dozens of Magnolians assisting at the Interbay tent encampment. For example, I personally don't believe there is some vast RV crime syndicate.

It was really clear that Cindy Pierce and Harley Lever's agenda is to attack the mayor and there isn't anything the City can do to satisfy them. I call them the Ron and Don camp. But there were a number of people genuinely trying to figure out the issues and a number of people there to confront some of the extremist views. I thought Scott Lindsey and the Deputy Chief did a good job of addressing steps to provide waste disposal and provide the Safe Areas for RV's. They said that 70 percent of the 27 RV's in the Interbay area are now at the Safe Areas.

Harley Lever must have felt the meeting was too constructive so he launched into a vitriolic never-ending attack on the mayor as the meeting was winding down. Good for Scott Lindsey for challenging him.
15
Here's David Schmader advocating for that 80" oversized vehicle limit to be used against H2 Hummers (would it be OK with SLOG if someone were living in the Hummer)?

http://slog.thestranger.com/2008/04/bust…
16
Has anyone here ever spoken -- at some length such as an hour or so -- with any homeless person?
Any sense of what's going on with them?
17
JDav, thanks for showing up there and for reporting back.
18
@9, the idea of "safe lots" has been talked about with the City by many different groups for at least 3 years. It is not a new idea; what's new is the constant increase in people having to live in their cars/RVs.
19
The world doesn't work for so many people, and for so many different reasons. Still, it's reasonable that we, the functional, demand that *those people* be contained somewhere they can hopefully be helped - or at least their shit, trash, crime and other assorted problems can be contained.

I know several folks living on a boat, in a shack, or on a couch. I could easily have been one of them. The sad, simple fact is if you want to be treated as fully human, you have to participate as a member of society.

21
@18 weird cause the mayors been in power for over two years niw and this is the first time he's done anything for safe lots for rvs.
22
@21, no, it isn't weird, because there've been meetings about safe lots when the previous mayor was in office. There were mayors before Murray, you know.

23
@11: Read "The Biggest Myth about homelessness in Seattle" by the Seattle Times.

24
@20: That's one of the myths, see my link in @23:
Before becoming homeless, 85 percent of those experiencing homelessness lived in King County.
25
@22 ok so previous mayors talked about it and did nothing, don't see how that was a good thing. It wasn't until people in magnolia/qa/ballard got upset something happened. Before that it was typical liberal seattle bs, either ignoring the problem or talking and not doing anything about it.
26
Im on the brink of being one of those "people" everyone despises, due to landlord selling the home Ive rented for 11 years, recent unemployment, a teen and two dogs Ive had for years. Whos going to rent to me with a teen, two dogs and on unemployment? No one, I just found out.
So. There you go. It seems that most homeless people are just having a run of bad luck and its difficult to get out of. No fixed address. No phone. No way of keeping clean. Gas money and money for car repair for work is slim to none. And if anyone has stayed in a shelter, its rather dangerous. As weird as it is, its almost safer in a RV with your kid and pets.
27
Google "Salt lake and homelessness" ... They seem to be doing a better job.
28
@1 you solve homelessness by giving them homes. I am speaking from experience.

I saved a homeless family (mom and 3 kids) from living in Woodland Park, begging on the streets. We raised money on Facebook to get them into a hotel for a month while we traversed the INSANELY COMPLICATED "system" to get them help. After a few months in a hotel, Nickelsville and the YWCA they got into transitional housing. I'd venture a guess no one on this thread has had to do this before.

Now they have JOBS, the kids are in SCHOOL and they got a housing voucher and are moving into their first REAL APARTMENT on Tuesday.

I'm helping them furnish and move in. I've used the Buy Nothing Phinney Ridge/Green Lake Facebook group to get items donated and they have almost everything they need. The family is over the moon to be off the streets. The outpouring of love has been surprising and overwhelming.

HOUSING FIRST.
29
@16 yes all the time. I speak to homeless and treat them like PEOPLE. Walking to yoga in Fremont, waiting on the off ramp on Denny, you make it. Just Say Hello. Check out facebook.com/homelessinseattle for beautiful stories and images of our homeless neighbors, they are real people who deserve the same opportunities as everyone else.
30
@19 I agree that homelessness can happen to ANYONE - especially with the insane increases YOY for cost of living in Seattle - ANY of us are a paycheck away from being on the brink.

That being said I think this is one of the most flawed arguments against homeless: "...The sad, simple fact is if you want to be treated as fully human, you have to participate as a member of society." Do you know how hard it is to "participate" if you have no home? No place to shower? Haven't eaten in days? Haven't had close personal human contact in weeks, months? HOUSING FIRST. Then you can start becoming a productive member of society. Not the other way around. Housing is a basic need of humans. Food, shelter, clothing.
31
@30 can you post a link so we can donate? great story and thanks for your work!

33
@2 and @28 are correct. Just Do It
35
@34. Clearly the answer is to get these folks in a home so they can start making $100 to $2,000 each week.
36
I am thankful for the Neighborhood Safety Alliance group for setting up these meetings and complaining to the city about what's happening. If it weren't for them, Mayor Murray would still have taken no action because he somehow thinks what the neighborhood says is just from "perceptions" and not reality. Without this group the Mayor would still be refusing to listen and acknowledge that there is a problem.

And as far as Seattle creating all the housing for the homeless - that is not a solution. That would only increase our homeless problem a thousand fold. We have to get the surrounding cities to help with this issue. Seattle should not have to pay for and house all the homeless by itself.
37
Step One: Tell the enraged, entitled #Magnolians to STFU.

Step Two: Bring on HOUSING FIRST.

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/0…

The Mayor wrings his hands at the prospect of spending even more $$$ solving Seattle's homelessness crisis. He says to do that he'd have to slash the budgets of other vital human services. That would of course be immoral.

There is, however, two solutions.

(1) Impose a millionaires tax. Yes, I know this would likely impact some of those angry Magnolians. Oh well.

(2) Delay other projects, temporarily cut back on other programs and reallocate funds to crash out Housing First. Offer staff members who work on these projects and programs the opportunity to be reassigned for a year or two to work on Housing First. Many would likely leap at the opportunity for cross-training in other skill sets, e.g., development of deeply affordable housing, connecting with NGOs that area really making a difference in this arena, e.g., LIHI, lobbying other government agencies at the state and federal level to get off their fucking asses and divert funds to solving Washington's and America's affordable housing problem.

These assignments could also convey respect and prestige that would come from serving the public in a life-saving capacity. Think of this as a public health effort, like stopping Ebola or Zika Virus. Because that's what poverty is: a killer disease that will only spread if we don't treat it.
38
@37......Regardless of how you feel the entitled Magnolians have every right to speak nor are they specifically obliged to accommodate the homeless. As for cutting back on other programs to set up housing first, which programs do you suggest. Right now basic education is way behind in funding to the point of being under a court order; teachers are in need of a large raise, over and above what they received from last years strike. Transportation needs a lot of money for buses, light rail, bike lanes, etc. People want to have the U of W lower tuition, some want to eliminate it entirely. Basic health care for people. Job training for youth. It goes on and on. Tax the millionaires? You might get some but the money will make a fast migration elsewhere. Where will the money come from and for what you do get who gets first dibs?
39
@38, as I said before, there are plenty of opportunities to reform Seattle's and the State of Washington's tax systems, which unfairly burden the working poor and the middle class. Our state has THE most regressive state tax system in the United States.

http://www.itep.org/whopays/full_report.… 10 Most Regressive State & Local Tax Systems

By failing to charge developers impact fees for loss of affordable housing other impacts of growth on public infrastructure and services, the City of Seattle has left hundreds of $millions on the table over the 25 years since impact fees were authorized by the Growth Management Act, which was passed by the legislature in 1990. Seattle is therefore a major cause of homeless people stacking up on our streets.

Even after HALA fully kicks 10 to 12 years from now, only 5% to 7% of the dwelling units it adds will be affordable to people making 0-30% of the area median income, a pathetically small number given that up to 30% of Seattle's working residents make less than 30% AMI (duh).

Back in 2010 the New York Times posted this:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/…

Using this interactive tool I eliminated the U.S. budget deficit in less than one minute by selecting a set of program cuts, mostly in our bloated military budget and environmentally damaging ag subsidies). If someone would care to post a similar tool that allows a revenue neutral solution (including tax increases that equitably tax the rich) for our massive homelessness problem, I would be glad to comb through Seattle's budget and find programs that could stand being delayed, deferred or cancelled until we have dealt with this emergency.
40
@39 is right. Our tax system is messed up. Our priorities should be on fixing our educational system and funding social programs that can help people in worker training and affordable housing. Instead we are wasting billions on bloated military budgets- when we desperately need our tax money back home- here in the states- helping to make our communities better. And spot on about those ag subsidies- they are ridiculous, hurting our environment- and again can be used to help house mothers and children on streets- families that are struggling. Rents in Seattle are also ridiculous- why aren't landlords and investors being held accountable? Why are the housing laws benefiting them instead of the people who make those places their homes...only to be kicked out by classist rent increases?

Glad that these community discussions are taking place though. I'm sure that one of these days- something will click in people and go- hey if we all work together and our government works for us- then all of this shit can get fixed today!
0
You know who those rv bums are? They're the guys from fight club. They cook your food, drive your ambulances, fix your cars, and guard you while you sleep.

The EMT who's living at the station on the down low is something I've seen countless times.

More and more, we are starting to get the idea that the only real path to change is a credible threat of violence. And the victims will be people like this rich whitehead.

http://www.harleyseye.com
0
@29
Thx.
41
37 We do all you suggested and Seattle becomes a Mecca for others.The problem never ends.
43
@16: I've known three people who ended up homeless. In all three cases it was substance abuse that fed a cycle of spending too much money on drugs/booze, losing the ability to hold a job, and then burning through all their family and friends who'd lend them money, give them a couch to crash on, pay for treatment, bail them out of jail, etc.

My recollection is that studies have found that about a third of the homeless have chronic substance abuse problems, a third have chronic mental health issues, and a third have "authority issues" that serve to bounce them out of jobs and shared living situations. There is no way to "fix" the problem without the rest of us spending a lot of money, via taxes, on "giving" these folks things they need--a place to live, medical treatment, job training, clothes, etc. If we get hung up on the "people getting stuff for free", then the inevitable long term result is giving them all those things...in jail, because eventually people hit bottom and fall afoul of the law. It's much more expensive to provide all those things in a correctional facility.
44
Mister Salvage and i are in RV number three taking all cummers and i can say for the both of us, even with a mouth full of rizz mmpht gtrzzng flppgt ! which translates to ' if we get kicked from ballard, next rendezvous will be west seattle '
45
Most of the rvs aren't what you think. A few people own most of them and rent them out. So they are owned by slumlords that contribute nothing to the tax base. At least when slumlords own rundown appartments they pay property taxes.
46
did Lever say ' heroin ? ' an opiate. hmmmm. now i know i am realllly making a stretch for those who want everyone in the world to live Their Way ., but try to keep up. An RV is a recreational vehicle and the Pac Northwest is a great place to bring the fam cuz it's so nate-cheery here. Anyway, still reading. ok. ok. You don't know what a family is doing in their RV just like the family doesn't know what you are doing in your home. Much easier to hide what you might or might not be doing ( the police always call it suspicious activity but we won't split hairs). When you drive your $40,000 car two and from the local grocery store's farm-a-see and then park in your driveway whilst Glaring at an RV that is currently legally parked...you're not picking up multiple legal doctor-precribed prescriptions of Oxxy are you? You pull in the driveway so neatly...but if we All want to start staring and wondering what folks are doing behind their locked doors, be it house Or RV...aren't oxies schedule2 narcotics? i know they were prescribed but are their any minors in the home around these pill bottles? I'm not saying you are a irresponsible parent hiding behind a locked door doing things that might get you time in the clink..just saying that since you are soooo suspicious about a legally parked RV, now I'm getting suspicious about your legally built home and what you 'may' be doing in there. Was that domestic violence i just heard walking legally on the sidewalk by your front door? I'm sooooo suspicious now! See what you started! better get out my iphone and report this 'suspicious' sounding activity. Let's All be suspicious Ballard! All of us! What Fun!
47
@43 .... you just described all of the people living in 'homes' as well. Much easier to hide a drug addiction or violent activity inside a home, in the basement, say, then right out in front of gawd and the tree squirrels in a very very limited privacy RV. You really are enormously mis-informed. Jeffrey Dalmer ate people behind a locked door of a home, Not an RV. Endless stories about young folks being kidnapped and held as slaves in a 'Home', not an 'RV'. Do you read the news ever much @43? Most drug abuse (not anti-drug here) is done in the privacy and comfort of a 'home' which includes apartmenters and couch-surfers......Not RV's. Sorry but you are 100% incorrect @43. so sorry.
48
I do believe the cited statistic that says 85% of the people living on the street in Seattle were living in King County before they lost their homes.

Does anyone know what percentage were living in Seattle before they lost their homes?
49
@47....The druggies in their homes will soon end up like you. I am sure you had a decent home at one time along with a job. Did everything come crashing down all at once?
50
@49....Dearest Bertha....and what is a "druggie"? i tried looking it up online at the Merriam Webster Dictionary website but it's just not listed as an english word? If you want, i can try and submit it for you and we can wait and see if the general public wants to use 'druggie'. Do you mean to say 'Doggie?' i do hate that darned spell-checker too...sometimes it changes our intended words for us with slang like 'druggie'...in either case i am so glad that you are safe in your private dwelling you call a 'home' doing gawd knows what. Because in my world Bertha, it's just none of my business. You silly 'druggie' you :-)
51
I'm not disgusted with homeless people coming to Seattle thinking they're entitled to services; I'm disgusted with housed people living in QA and Ballard and Magnolia who think they're entitled to pitch a fit every time they see someone who might need services. Please, City of Seattle, cram some apodments down their throats so they'll STFU.
52
To be honest, it seems like whether you sympathize with the homeless, hate the homeless, or are homeless, you want some sort of solution to homelessness. I know that seems like an obvious statement, but there's so much unnecessary bickering. We all have to lay our emotions and our ideologies aside and act like grownups who want evidence based solutions to get these people housed and reintegrated into society wherever possible.
53
Seattle, a rich white community, hates poor people. Who could have seen that coming? The real solution is a very nasty and very deep recession to knock the well to do's off of their pedestals to find themselves struggling to pay for housing. Poverty is a great equalizer and a wonderful tool to teach the obtuse humility.
54
@50.......As if you don't know. Well druggie is simply a person addicted or on their way to addiction to drugs. Can be alcohol, opiates, or amphetamines. Life is bad and there seems to be no hope so what else is left. Go unconscious and forget, but all too soon you wake up. If you peek out of your RV looking at the house people carrying in their drugs, to do inside, but if they keep it up they too will be down and out.
55
Lots of comments - way to go Heidi!! You're like the Donald Trump of journalism.
56
Translating for typical faux liberal white ballard resident:

"Theres soo many poors here and entirely too many 'ghetto/barrio' people (wink wink, negros, browns and poor whites). Cant we do something and send these subhumans from our peaceful *cough cough skinhead and meth rampant cough cough** peaceful neighborhood????!"
57
Homelessness is an epidemic in our country, and if everyone looks at it honestly, it just can't be solved on a local level. It needs to be addressed by the Federal government, which actually has the resources to do so. On the local level, there just is not enough money to divert to take care of this problem. States have to fund state government, education, infrastructure (which should mostly be paid for by the Fed, and wouldn't be a problem if congressional republicans would get off their asses and do their jobs,) paying to maintain their own "taker" (AKA rural) counties, and all other state run government services.
That just doesn't leave the state with the resources to, "house them all." $10,000/year/homeless person is way more then any city can manage. We need the Federal Government to help.
Homelessness in this country, will never be solved, until it is addressed on the national level.
58
Help out the homeless.
Get rid of the drug addicts, criminals and drug dealers first.
59
People without homes is not the epidemic.

Meth and other drugs is the epidemic.