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I have personally cleaned up human waste left by the homeless more than once. That is a burden I'm obliged to bear because what else can I do? Just leave it? Its not the biggest deal in the world - I don't like cleaning gutters either. But it doesn't seem just to me that it falls only on people responsible for buildings in certain parts of the city. While people able to get the police to chase them out of their neighborhoods skate for free.
And yes, I know those places were not great but you know what? People lived there because they didn't have any other options available to them. Once you tear them down what do you expect those people to do? Move to Bellingham or just disappear? The Density Advocates have some of the most short sighted plans for Seattle they act like members of the Bush Administration when deciding to invade Iraq.
To pay for the tax cut, the city could eliminate unneeded expenditures such as new bike paths where hardly any bikes travel anyway (line NE 15th), and lower corporate taxes for tourism and film making to bring in more sale tax revenue, increase car tab fees (yes, I did say that), and other creative ideas.
@3: your proposal (except for the dumb "lower taxes" part) was one of the HALA proposals that freaked NIMBYs the fuck out.
Seattle needs places like this. It took years of fighting the city and developers and NIMBYs to make it happen, but the results speak for themselves. It's amazing what happens when you treat homeless people like actual humans.
Look at the empty, cavernous space above King Street Station the city bought for $10 from the BNSF railroad. Perfect for an apodments and needle exchange. Central spot, close to all the social services, with multiple buses and the new streetcar up to pill hill for treatments or a #36 direct to the VA. Easy access to the courts, food banks, and drugs.
It'll bring Seattle one step closer to Vancouver world class status with its own E. Hastings. Vancouver confines their problem children to one area. Cracks down big time elsewhere to keep the shine in shiny. Hence False Creek, Yaletown, North Van, the Kits, West End, Point Grey, Commercial, and all along the waterfront are so glossy.
Yes, Seattle, we can do it.
I think the writer is pointing out that there is a wish to impose MORE rules on these folks than typical members of society must follow. I'd want to hide big time too, if I had to follow all of those stupid, patronizing rules.
It's not just more compassionate -- it's…
Many men choose to be homeless due to child support. Having multiple children can very quickly add up to thousands of dollars in child support every month. In that circumstance, I can see the appeal of a job that pays under the table and living life without an address, social security number, etc, if it allows a person to keep all of the the wages they earn.
Ah, so what the homeless really want is to avoid caring for their own children!
From what I've seen, having a home certainly doesn't prevent anyone from doing that; why shouldn't these fellows have a place to come in out of the rain while they're at it? They're no different than any of the divorced TechDads living in luxury single-bedroom apartments downtown, are they?
I love the tone of this article. "it is worth remembering that alcohol and weed are legal for those of us who are able to afford roofs over our heads". I got news for you, many of us have the freedom but lack the means for alcohol and weed. When you have responsibilities and financial issues weed and alcohol are less important than shelter and food. There are very real issues that this article discusses and disregards. If the city gives encampments in the city then the people must fallow the rules. TOUGH. So many people forget that life is hard. For those of us who are lucky enough to have jobs, we are breaking our backs to keep them. We don't get everything we want. That is life.
I believe that we should give more money to resources and be stricter on the rules. More to job training and less to live in our camp for free. How about live in the camp for free as long as you work four hours of community service a day. The rest of your day can be used for job training or doing nothing. Lets help the homeless, and then the homeless can help the city back.
Instead of building/renovating housing in Magnuson park (place where we could be selling those units for millions), build cheap apartments far outside the city and help many, many more people instead of the few that win the lottery.
I know that a lot of people only want their tax dollars to go to something that sounds more punitive, but waiting for them to commit a violent crime and locking them up means waiting for a innocent bystander to be a victim. Not only that, but people released from jail often end up right back on the same streets.
- Anatole France
It's better to drive working poor and middle class out by institutional and proven capitalistic means. In fact give people housing vouchers once places like Yesler Terrace and low rent rentals are torn down in the city works beautifully. People can't find what they need in the city and move out to Federal Way and Seatac. Win-win.
So as you say, city property can be developed by developers and sold for millions and taxpayers might get enough money back to pay for Parks & Rec lawn maintenance. We still have handcrafted beer to showcase our back to the earth goodness and elementary school children can make toiletry kits for people living in bushes by their schools so they understand what compassion means and why it's important to stay in school.
In the meantime, the public health and public safety issues need to be addressed. It's a "no brainer" to send in properly trained and equipped crews to clean up the hazardous waste and to work with people to determine what is trash that can be collected and disposed of and what are possessions that need to be left in place. Again it takes time to do these things properly.
As the cleanup of waste proceeds, sanitary facilities such as toilets and dumpsters need to be put in place and regularly serviced. Those of us who are housed expect that to be provided to our homes on a regular basis.
Also, lighting needs to be installed. That will enable folks to find those toilets and dumpsters at night and it will have the added advantage of discouraging the criminals from hiding in dark places and preying on the vulnerable. Regular police patrols wouldn't hurt either.