I'm amazed not more homeless don't commit suicide given how they are treated here in "liberal Seattle".
Thank you Ansel, does Columbia Legal Services have suggestions that will help make these policies and procedures better? It's important that people don't lose their things, sometimes those treasured memories are the only things that keep them attached to society/life/hope. OTOH, injuries from weapons/needles/communicable diseases are a legitimate concern. What about a program to give people a sturdy container/locker to keep their most important things? It would cost money but throwing every out also costs a lot of money in dump fees AND environmental/ground water/public health/public safety problems especially when no one even knows what's in the stuff.
@1 suicide takes making the decision, planning how, getting what's needed to do it and carrying through. Many homeless people are severe depressed and/or otherwise not mentally/physically able to do any/all those steps.
The pitched tents are unfortunate, but understandable. I think what spurs the cleanups is the sea of trash that surrounds most tents. That eyesore is what diminishes my sympathy for the tent owners and their belongings.
@3 Yes the trash sucks, but who's dumpster do you suggest they use? A local business's dumpster that is likely locked and a mile away from your average freeway underpass? (and it's their dumpster, after all). The City has resisted even covering the refuse costs of an established, organized and enclosed homeless encampment. Their current solution for the informal encampments: 'Here, have a few plastic bags'.
This is nothing new. They have been doing this sort of shit at the DESC for years. If they find that your belongings are not being attended, even if it's because you are going to the bathroom, they will take your belongings and then you have the option of either not retrieving your belongings or retrieving your belongings and then being barred, thrown out on the street for up to 3 nights. Sometimes they will take your things and if they are in good enough condition, they will sell them at their thrift shop, so you can always buy them back
Great info. Thanks Ansel.
Seattle's Homeless Emergency Declaration is a joke. Sweeps are increasing. Seattle and King County aren't doing diddly, or even talking about the lost of hundreds of shelter beds stemming from SHARE's abrupt closure of all its shelters last week. SHARE still has two encampments of people shaking in their boots because their caps could be closed next. Seattle and WSDOT are moving fast on their plans to fence off the Jungle even though neither jurisdiction has any clues on where the 400-600 homeless Jungle dwellers could go. No new homeless housing is being built, or if it is, it's a big secret that isn't talked about in the media. Ed Murray's highly compensated, part time homelessness expert has never visited a single officially sanctioned homeless encampments or shelters in Seattle, and doesn't have much use for either of these stopgap solutions. This all winds up to one gigantic SHAFT of homeless people, who are dying on the streets in far greater numbers than people shot to death by the police and gangbangers combined. Hopefully in the next mayor election we will have an opportunity to elect a mayor and King County exect who actually care.
@1, at least seven homeless people did commit suicide last year. Probably more, because those are only the people found and determined to have been suicides.

@8, half of what you say is not true, but too much of it is.
@9 Would you care to be specific about which parts of what @8 says are true and which are not? Inquiring minds would like to know. Thanks.
The mayor must be pressured to create adequate temporary housing for all the homeless...This is a social responsibility of any city with a sense of decency. THEN the Housing First program must be enacted. This program works to end homelessness in a humane and cost effective method. The present punitive activity by the city costs huge law enforcement and emergency room bills and just does’t work.. This is a wealthy city and its time to tax the very rich. Pressure the mayor.

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