News Jun 7, 2022 at 4:50 pm

Residents Want More Options and More Oversight Over Seattle’s Preferred Shelter Model

“The Mayor wants to get everyone off the streets so it’s pretty outside, but it's ugly inside those villages," said Julia, a tiny shelter resident. CROUTON

Comments

1

What a concluding quote!

2

I give money to LIHI because at least they’re building housing. That’s more than can be said for many other housing “providers.”

3

I think it’s wild how universally loathed Sharon Lee/LIHI is. Seattle would be so much worse off without the thousands of affordable housing units it provides.

4

“The Mayor wants to get everyone off the streets so it’s pretty outside”

No, the mayor wants to get everyone off the streets because it's the humane thing to do.

Poor Julia, what a horrific past she's endured, but that doesn't mean her attitude shouldn't be adjusted.

5

Thank the Stranger for FINALLY starting to investigate the Homeless-Industrial Complex in Seattle. Seattle's Homeless-Industrial Complex operates with a complete lack of transparency and accountability, and this story recounts some of the inevitable results. Of course a vulnerable population, with no resources or appeals process, gets abused by petty bureaucrats playing God. This is about as surprising as night following day, and yet the City Council continues spinelessly:

'Lewis said he has yet to hear complaints about mishandled grievances or requests for oversight over LIHI. However, if someone came to his office asking for an agency to audit the nonprofit, he wouldn’t be opposed. “Everyone’s entitled to due process. Everyone's entitled to making sure that they're heard. We need to make sure that people aren't getting turfed out of tiny houses for arbitrary reasons,” he said.'

Why is it even legal for the city to provide money to LIHI, Share, or anybody else without "an agency to audit" what happens with that money? If a private, for-profit landlord treated tenants anything like what we've read in this article, half the Council would be yelling for legal action. But Seattle has here validated one of the oldest right-wing smears against government: "The government can do (with your tax money) what it can declare illegal for you to do (with your own money)."

Again, thanks to the Stranger for FINALLY investigating these abuses. Please continue and extend this good work.

6

So, how many homeless people got housed with the Billions of Seattle Dollars a year for over 10 Years.
Tell them to wave out the window so I can see them.

7

I find the semantics misleading and casual, yet critical to understanding. These 'tiny homes' do not the definition of "permanent housing", ergo, they are NOT HOMES. What to call them is loaded and perhaps volatile, but here are a few ideas to roll around: cabin, cottage, hut, lean-to, camp, shed, shelter, tiny house, and I would add: roofed structur with modest security.
Lacking a foundation, plumbing, ans sewage, it might be a tad more understandable that regardlessof size, these would not be anyone's first choice if they could avoid it.
Combine this with others running the "group tiny home village" and maybe you get a closer mental picture of the scene.
Glad they are allowed. No doubt there is room for improvement.
Thanks for reporting on it.

9

Eldenring dear, "Gang and crime infested Chicago and St. Louis" don't have the the temperate climate that we do, and they are both poster children for urban sprawl.

10

"the stigma that unhoused people are unreliable narrators, overly paranoid, or deceitful." Say it isn't so!

11

speaking of Entitlement:

The total wealth of U.S. billionaires grew by $1.3 trillion during the roughly first eleven months of the coronavirus pandemic -- a 44% spike in wealth. This increase in wealth is more than it would cost to send a stimulus check of $3,900 to every one of the roughly 330 million people in America.

The U.S. added 50 billionaires during this period, increasing from 614 to 664. During this time the economy cratered: 76 million people lost their jobs, 28 million fell ill with the virus and more than 500,000 died from COVID-19.

The number of U.S. billionaires grew more than nine fold between 1990 and March 2020 -- leaping from 66 to 614.

The combined wealth of the top three billionaires grew more than 11 times over that same period -- jumping from $23.8 billion (adjusted for inflation) in 1990 to $279 billion today.

https://americansfortaxfairness.org/billionaires/

gosh can there be
a Connection to
Unhousing the
Citizenry?

great comments tentsy
(FUCK that's Hard to type)

12

Life is so hard for so many people in ways most of don't even know anything about. With respect to race or social class or income, it can make you crazier than a shithouse mouse. One grows up, rightly or wrongly, with the understanding that in some ways, he/she/they will always be limited.

I am now and forever more supportive of anything that can eliminate that resignation. But you can't dismiss threats of violence with an "aw...she's just crazy" anymore. Innocent people living their daily lives are getting stabbed, beaten, picked up and thrown onto subway tracks. This has to stop.

To de-house this woman was a mistake - like trying to put out a fire with olive oil. We must have the authority to get these people help whether they want it or not, I know that sounds Orwellian, but there is a clear and present danger leaving her, and troubled people like her, to their own devices.

13

Interesting article.... In depth, hard hitting and well researched. : (

Here are the penetrating insights and take aways ....

If you behave like a Jack Ass and threaten people you can't live in the tiny house village. WOW! Ground Breaking!

Tiny houses are a government monopoly... Uhhh Duh!
Do you think private business are going to build and operate them?

I think most landlords are too busy walking thru the mine field of regulations for paying tenants. - rent moratoriums, inspection fees, fending off gov. provided attorneys for renters, signing up tenants to vote.. and the list goes on and on and yes on.

Then the author is incredulous that the "city officials" who operate them are inefficient, apply rules unilaterally and are unresponsive to the residents. Golly welcome to any city government office. Why would you expect anything less.

14

For those of us who have been bunked in the military or lived overseas (i.e. as an English teacher in Tokyo) tiny homes don't feel too tiny, but I also realize the dynamics of communal living. Factor that 10X when dealing with a homeless community.

15

lol getting free place to live but mad about having to do chores and follow some rules.
this place sounds like a kindergarten.

16

@14 I lived in dorms and other micro living all over the world and it was fine. We need a variety of options like this or dorms for the homeless so we can house all who those who are homeless. If the city hired some case managers to support the homeless this could make sure people like Julia still have housing available in the situation like this.

17

Julia serves as a meme of sorts here, used to make a point. I find myself wondering about her story, why she is chronically homeless, what her offenses were and if I would want her as a neighbor if I or someone I cared about lived next to her in another tiny home. I would like to know why she is not employed, her origin story (did she come here or was she born here). If she came, from where and why? She is a single mother. Imagine the great beginning that her kids are or have endured.

Maybe she deserves to be kicked out as she is toxic to others if her language reflects her general demeanor. But expecting The Stranger to do any actual fact checking is naive, especially if the facts disprove the victim narrative. The problem with the advocate class is they demean all those who they assume have zero agency and are incapable of making choices and being held to account for such choices. By various accounts, the Tiny Homes are seeing a modicum of success compared to many other approaches to the homeless in our town. Keep on covering the issue but please consider doing some deep dives on individuals on our streets. Tell their stories, unvarnished. And if they make a statement that can be verified, you know, like being a Veteran, you ask for a copy of their DD-214 to see if they served and if they served honorably. We have been conned by the defund movement, by "community activists" by the majority of our city council, and by most of the reporters in this publication.

The recent shift to the center by formerly progressives, and to the right by former centrists, is the logical outcome of the failure of civil society in places like Seattle, San Francisco and elsewhere. Ann Davison is remarkable in her basic competency and willingness to commit to and perform the basic job description of her office. She has a low bar to meet. We need to hire more cops and empower them to do their jobs of securing our city for all. Again a fairly low bar that we have fallen below.

18

@Park Place

"And if they make a statement that can be verified, you know, like being a Veteran, you ask for a copy of their DD-214 to see if they served and if they served honorably."

This is where experience with being homeless can be useful. It's tough enough keeping hold of a driver's license, never mind other forms of documentation that you generally don't carry around with you everywhere like a passport, birth certificate, social security card, or a DD214. These are things that are easy to mislay when you do have a secure home or storage unit or bank deposit box. Think how difficult it would be to hang on to such documents, even if you had them when you became homeless, in an environment where theft is endemic (including the legalized theft of government just swooping in and clearing away your possessions). Now add mental illness and/or drug use (in yourself, those surrounding you, and others) and it becomes impossible.

I can't remember off the top of my head where, exactly, my own DD214 is. Replacing it isn't exactly easy. Military records aren't available online; they have to be mailed to you. Good luck if you don't have an address because, you know, you're homeless. And it's not like a reporter can just ask the feds for a copy; military records are generally not available to the general public for 62 years following separation. This is why there are actually special programs around expressly to help people get around these problems., and there's only so much they can do (and the continued GOP penchant for erecting more and more roadblocks to acquiring ID, you know, so people can't vote, doesn't exactly help).

And that's only one very small aspect of how we make life suck for homeless people.

Your suggestion itself, that homeless people somehow need to have their stories double checked, right down to demanding their DD214 if they call themselves a vet, reflects another. Politicians claim military service all the time. How often do we demand their DD214s? Given how some have coasted on stolen valor assertions for years and only got caught because they were making truly outrageous clams. Dress someone up in a nice suit, with a fresh shave and a haircut and they're instantly trustworthy. Put the same person by the side of the road with a cardboard sign and now we absolutely much have documentation for everything they say.

19

@Corydon - Your points are well taken. All I am asking is that reporters exercise some reportorial muscle and do a bit more of a dive on the people discussed. Julia was described in victim terms with respect to her being ejected. Nothing was really said about her story. It does not appear that questions were even asked, let alone fact checked. One can certainly ask a Veteran a set of questions that only a Veteran would likely be able to answer, about their deployment, training sites, rank and more. Likewise someone who says they are from Seattle and living on the street. What high school did they go to and street they grew up on are easy asks. My point is that real reporters report and ask tough questions and let the answers lead. The Stranger reporters start with a conclusion, generally that society and Capitalism exploit people, and fashion their narrative accordingly.

20

The most salient distinction between a community with a lot of homeless people and a community without homeless people is the availability of affordable housing.

21

The most salient distinction between a community with a lot of homeless people and a community without homeless people is the availability of affordable housing.

22

@21 or continue trying to live in an area they can’t afford.

23

For anyone upset because this article didn't involve a lot of factchecked detail, this isn't an investigative report. It's an article, period. That's what Slog does, simple articles.


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