News Nov 17, 2022 at 10:54 am

They Demand Safe Lots and an End to Sweeps, but They Don’t Think They’ll Get It

To be clear, Solidarity Budget organizers stand against City-sanctioned death and displacement. Hannah Krieg

Comments

1

Lol, “they demand”, huh?

Thanks again for the links to your twitter, can’t live without it baby!

2

Well, they do provide a lot of taxes. Sales tax is a primary revenue source for the city.

3

So for the last 10 years Samuel Lange has made the choice to live in a tent in the middle of a large urban area and Hannah Krieg is young and naive enough to believe this SOB is a poor victim of economics.

After 10 years Mr. Lange has had had plentiful opportunities to join the rest of us in society. He made other choices.

4

@2 Since when do shoplifters pay sales tax?

5

@4, what do bored rich entitled teenage girls have to do with this conversation?

6

"Mike Davis, who's been unhoused for many years, said public comment is all theater–just politicians in suits pretending to listen when “they already have their minds made up,” he said. "

I think we may have found the one thing that the unhoused, the business community and homeowners can agree on. I'd also add in some cases they don't even pretend, watch any council meeting and many of them turn off their cameras during public comment or are looking down at their phones while in chambers.

7

@5 You mean besides the one who wrote this story?

8

@3: From 2010 to the start of COVID in 2020, the unemployment rate in Seattle dropped continuously, reaching 3% by the start of COVID. (That is effectively full employment, as defined in standard economics textbooks.) Also during this time, Washington state’s minimum wage was briefly the highest in the country, and Seattle raised its minimum wage to $15/hour.

Throughout all of those boom times, Samuel Lange and Mike Davis remained homeless in Seattle.

Whatever problems may be keeping then homeless, those problems do not originate in economics.

9

It's the Homeless-Industrial Complex. Too much money is being diverted from actually buying lots and putting in basic services (water, RV pump-outs, garbage pickup) and to such things as the "King County Regional Homelessness Authority", the "Human Services Department" (to conduct outreach, whatever that is), the "Unified Care Team" and other bureaucracies.

I believe it was in The Stranger some years ago where they calculated the cost per RV to park on a city-owned lot (The Yankee Diner parking lot) to be around $1500 per RV per month. While rich, retired folks can find RV parks for far less. With a clubhouse, tennis court and a profit motivated owner with a mortgage to pay. The difference: All those 'counseling services' that simply must be provided. To keep the social workers employed. Cut it out. Just find them a lot.

"his tent, planted a few blocks south of the event, caught on fire in a propane accident and burned down."

But not too close to me.

10

Propane "accident"? Yep. Sweep sweep sweep. This city is tired of listening to the entitled cries of the drug addled, crime ridden homeless. They don't want help - they feel entitled to everything without contributing. "The shelters have too many rules." Um yeah. Sweep.

11

@9 I know this won't get airtime in The Stranger but turns out we aren't very good about how those homeless dollars are being managed either. Shocking.

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/homeless/wa-audit-governments-lack-data-driven-approach-in-homelessness-response/

12

@8 sounds pretty reasonable as long as you don't mention the huge rise in average rents and the cost of nearly everything over that same period. That other half of the economic factors you deliberately kept in the dark is doing work.

13

@5 They shouldn’t get a say in the city budget either.

Propane accident, whatever - while not intentional, these incidents are absolutely foreseeable. Propane is hazardous. It needs to be stored and used in a responsible manner or more “accidents” will occur.

14

Sweep early and sweep often.

15

@11: That’s quite a report, isn’t it? Here’s just one of the money quotes:

“The report focused on Seattle, Spokane, Yakima County and Snohomish County.

“Rather than use the data they collect each time someone comes into a food bank, shelter, hospital or police station to prioritize services, the four local governments more often used homelessness boards and people with lived experience, grant funding requirements, and elected leaders to guide their homelessness strategies.”

Wow — it’s almost like using “homelessness boards and people with lived experience” led to catastrophic failure, and the deaths of many homeless persons.

Yeah, you’re right: that’s not a report which will get much play around here.

16

@12 Why are you ignoring the huge rise in median income in Seattle and King County over the same period in time. I think we now have the highest median income, and it’s not just Amazon employees benefiting. Many companies, including the one I work for, attempt to keep pace.

17

RV lots make a lot of sense. But they need to have some actual enforcement of laws against things like chopping cars, stockpiling stolen goods, and dumping sewage on the ground or else they’ll turn into the lakeside slum that was on Northlake last year. Knocking off all that crap would go a long way towards being accepted by the community.

18

@17 - they’d make more sense if they weren’t so ridiculously expensive for taxpayers - there’s no reason for them to sit on expensive city land either.

Also, why can’t there be some actual responsibilities tied into it, such as keeping the area clean, maybe even picking up trash adjacent to the site, etc? Is it mean and heartless to expect ANYTHING from “campers”?

All this “houseless demand” stuff is pretty funny from a group that largely continues nothing to the community other than theft, violence, garbage and “people in crisis”.

20

$170 million budgeted for the homeless.... how unheard are they again? Remind me.

21

Beggars can't be choosers, and they sure as hell can't be demanders. Most of our vagrants are still on the streets not because there's no shelter available, but because they don't like what's on offer. They don't like the rules. These days the popular buzzword with the Homeless-Industrial Complex and the Activist Class is 'Appropriate Shelter'. What this means is that the only shelter option the vagrants deem 'appropriate' is a free, no-barrier, no strings attached apartment that they can stay in for life, never work, and just get high all the time. Please explain to me why the Seattle taxpayer, who's struggling to afford to stay in this town themselves, should be on the hook to provide free apartments for transient addicts who can't even be bothered to do a little bit of work for their keep.

They are right about one thing though: the 'Public Comment' sessions at City Hall are a total joke, and everyone knows it. The people who come to those things are about as representative of most Seattleites as Martians. These sessions are bad political theater, with the room stuffed with Activists, employees of City-funded non-profs agitating for more - wait for it - City money, and the occasional member of the Tinfoil Hat Brigade just for comic relief. If anyone wants to share their opinion, they can call or e-mail their CM, but we all know they only REALLY listen to the Activist Class, so why bother?

22

And who cares what they think anyway? 'Lived Experience' is highly overrated. Everybody has 'Lived Experience'. Asking these people for input on how to solve our vagrancy/drug problem is like asking incels for dating advice.

The only homeless I'm interested in hearing from are the ones who have made it off the streets, stayed off, and are now productive, self-sufficient citizens. I guarantee you most of them will tell you the turning point came when someone put them somewhere into a situation where they were compelled to get off the drugs. There are plenty of anecdotal accounts where they'll tell you getting arrested and put in the clink where they could get Clean & Sober is what saved their lives, not coddling and enabling addictions!

23

If the Solidarity Budget folks are oh-so concerned about Seattle’s homeless, then why did their proposed budget contain fewer dollars for new housing than does Mayor Harrell’s budget? The Stranger noted this, but didn’t explain it. (https://www.thestranger.com/news/2022/09/27/78537841/very-little-for-progressives-in-mayor-harrells-2023-2024-budget)

Solidarity Budget wants to “stop the sweeps,” even though the Stranger itself has noted, “…the best way to find shelter is to get swept into it – and the Mayor’s office has ordered plenty of sweeps.” (https://www.thestranger.com/slog/2022/05/24/73946179/the-hunger-games-of-housing)

With Solidarity Budget wanting both less money for housing AND wanting to stop “the best way to find shelter,” it’s hard to conclude anything other than Solidarity Budget wants more homeless persons living outdoors in Seattle.

And if that’s the case, then why listen to Solidarity Budget at all?

24

To Tanya, Davis, and the rest of them ... the city OWES you nothing ...try something novel, get a job even if minimum wage, find enough roommates to afford a place. Been there, done that ... I never expected the city to take care of me.

25

Wow; the number of hateful comments here is only outweighed by the number of misinformed or wrong ones.

You complain about RV folks not keeping areas clean or tidy of trash but you get rid of anywhere for it to go (and lock all bathrooms as well.) You say that homeless folks just need to get a job but 40% have one if not 2. You say they should accept congregate shelter with bedbugs, stabbings, and having their shoes stolen along with getting kicked out at 5 am with all their stuff over having any kind of stable spot outdoors.

Once you are in poverty or are experiencing homelessness, it’s 10 times as hard to get back to something better, especially when the city says that they are offering shelter (only at sweeps though!) and they are not. Try actually going to a sweep and talking to not just the unhoused folks but the people “offering” shelter and you will find that it’s not happening.

26

Also, 21/22…you obviously have very little experience with this topic, lived or not, since your comments aren’t reflective of the truth; most shelter and housing don’t have significant rules about drug use so I guess it must be something else… like the fact that there are not nearly enough referrals for the number of folks living outside. And a large number of “transient” folks work harder than you to make sure they don’t lose the little they still have.

As for the government listening only to the activist class, that’s hilarious. That isn’t even a “class” - this group wants to make sure folks who are marginalized have their basic human living conditions met and that’s not happening. Why in the world would you think they’re the only ones being listened to?

27

@25 -- Maybe do what everybody else in the city does with their garbage: pay a garbage bill to have their trash collected. It's $42.15 a month for a standard 32 gallon garbage cart in Seattle. And it's $10.50 a month for another standard 32 gallon food/yard waste cart. So a typical family is probably paying around $50 a month for garbage services. Cigarettes are around $10 a pack. So if somebody like Tanya smoked 5 packs a month, that's a monthly garbage bill right there. I'm going to go ahead and take a wild guess that she's smoking more than 1.25 packs a week.

Why should homeless people pay nothing for a service that everybody else has to pay for?

28

man got kicked out of tiny homes and like wants a free apartment lol. my guy, tiny home is the next step-up from tent and you couldn't even manage that.
hannah is really good at finding the absolute least likely person to turn reader support to her side and interviewing them.

29

HanHan, baby, every time you write about homeless people you make them look even worse. Congrats.

30

@29

The disconnect is glaring.

Hannah and the rest of the Stranger writers keep harping that the homeless are all poor victims of Seattle's booming economy.

And yet every single time they profile a homeless individual it's always some vagrant dude like Samuel Lange or Hannah's favorite gardener Cuba. People who are not homeless because of horrible forces outside of their control, but are homeless because of choices they repeatedly make, starting with the choice to not get themselves a fucking job.

I do not remember a single homeless person profiled by HK, or any of the others, who is a single mother escaping domestic abuse, or an elderly couple priced out of their home.

It's almost as though they go out of their way to find the least sympathetic people to profile, the guy selling stolen merchandise on 3rd Avenue, the gardner with the initiative to construct multi-level structures out of shipping pallets, the downtown drug addict.

31

@30 True. That's because the mutual aid, SJW and Antifa folks create the straw man of this other sector of homeless, who are entirely different demongraphically. These are the types who are quiet in their efforts to get out of homelessness. They participate in support programs, they don't trash their temporary situation, tag walls, and steal. They take jobs, they move to other locations. They enter shelters and do what decent and reasonable people do when having a challenge and presented with help and options. Their primary avocation is not drug use, and they don't move to Seattle from elsewhere when their situation temporarily goes south because we have useful idiots among us who welcome this toxic group.

Fortunately we now have a grown up as mayor and I am seeing a meaningful change in the tolerance towards this group. Downtown @ Third and Pine-Union was actually clean and absent of the usual crap observed the other night. Now however I see tents on Mercer right across from Seattle Center. Hoping they get swept along with every other tent, and that Seattle joins many other cities in outlawing pushing stolen shopping carts, camping on streets and more. There are choices that we all make and those who behave and restrain their baser instincts to make rent and buy stuff are tired of the enabling and denial of reality promulgated by the savior and anarchic class among us. Now, how about taking on graffiti before the paint is dry, and putting some of those caught to work cleaning it up.

Sweep early and often.

32

@12: In the five years preceding then-Mayor Murray’s declaration of a homelessness crisis, Seattle’s rate of inflation never reached as high as 3%. For at least one of those years, it was a fraction of a percent. (https://www.seattle.gov/documents/Departments/OERF/CPI_historical_data_up_to_202112.xlsx)

Unless you’re seriously arguing that falling unemployment, rising wages, and low inflation are a recipe for an explosion of homelessness, Seattle’s homelessness’s crisis did not have economic roots.

33

Here's a demand:

Clean up your fucking act, houseless individuals. No drugs, dirty RVs, ramshackle tents and pick up the various detritus left.

Get a job. There are plenty out there.

Live by the rules of society not your hippy homeless vagabond lifestyle.

34

@27 "Maybe do what everybody else in the city does with their garbage: pay a garbage bill to have their trash collected." - when dumpsters were opened back up at certain encampments, people used them and did it correctly. the city provides a program to pick up garbage but it's limited (it kind of sounds like you don't want anyone to get anything for "free" even though many of us will hit tough times and need services and help, from the city and others.
https://www.seattle.gov/utilities/protecting-our-environment/safe-and-clean-seattle/encampment-garbage

@29 "People who are not homeless because of horrible forces outside of their control, but are homeless because of choices they repeatedly make, starting with the choice to not get themselves a fucking job." Yet 40% have a job (or 2) and it hasn't helped them get out of homelessness. What leads you to thinking that they must be homeless because of their choices? A lot of folks experiencing homelessness didn't start doing drugs (or boosting or lying a lot) until after they became homeless. And I've met a large number of folks who had something happen to their kid(s), were victims of not just domestic violence but abuse as a youth, foster kids, and folks who were kicked out of the house as teens and of course, couldn't figure out all the nuances of attempting survival.

@30 I would love to see an article where you found that mutual aid groups were trying to "hide" an entire section of the homeless population. They have no reason to. "and do what decent and reasonable people do when having a challenge and presented with help and options. Their primary avocation is not drug use, and they don't move to Seattle from elsewhere when their situation temporarily goes south because we have useful idiots among us who welcome this toxic group." Wow. "Decent and reasonable?" So if you are homeless and don't deal with the challenge in a way you proscribe, they are indecent and uh, unreasonable? What help and options do you think are actually happening out there? Because they aren't. It's ridiculous trying to get mental health help, or get into inpatient treatment day-of (or week-of) without many hoops. Temporary housing like tiny homes show up as a possible referral about 1-3 times a week; the rest of the time, it's hit or miss and some folks never get a chance to talk to outreach.

(and what an odd concept; to think that folks moving to Seattle to get better support with services or to find better opportunities for themselves must be bad for doing so...when everyone seems gung-ho that they figure out work with a felony on their record and no ID.)

35

@27 "Maybe do what everybody else in the city does with their garbage: pay a garbage bill to have their trash collected." - when dumpsters were opened back up at certain encampments, people used them and did it correctly. the city provides a program to pick up garbage but it's limited (it kind of sounds like you don't want anyone to get anything for "free" even though many of us will hit tough times and need services and help, from the city and others.
https://www.seattle.gov/utilities/protecting-our-environment/safe-and-clean-seattle/encampment-garbage

@29 "People who are not homeless because of horrible forces outside of their control, but are homeless because of choices they repeatedly make, starting with the choice to not get themselves a fucking job." Yet 40% have a job (or 2) and it hasn't helped them get out of homelessness. What leads you to thinking that they must be homeless because of their choices? A lot of folks experiencing homelessness didn't start doing drugs (or boosting or lying a lot) until after they became homeless. And I've met a large number of folks who had something happen to their kid(s), were victims of not just domestic violence but abuse as a youth, foster kids, and folks who were kicked out of the house as teens and of course, couldn't figure out all the nuances of attempting survival.

@30 I would love to see an article where you found that mutual aid groups were trying to "hide" an entire section of the homeless population. They have no reason to. "and do what decent and reasonable people do when having a challenge and presented with help and options. Their primary avocation is not drug use, and they don't move to Seattle from elsewhere when their situation temporarily goes south because we have useful idiots among us who welcome this toxic group." Wow. "Decent and reasonable?" So if you are homeless and don't deal with the challenge in a way you proscribe, they are indecent and uh, unreasonable? What help and options do you think are actually happening out there? Because they aren't. It's ridiculous trying to get mental health help, or get into inpatient treatment day-of (or week-of) without many hoops. Temporary housing like tiny homes show up as a possible referral about 1-3 times a week; the rest of the time, it's hit or miss and some folks never get a chance to talk to outreach.

(and what an odd concept; to think that folks moving to Seattle to get better support with services or to find better opportunities for themselves must be bad for doing so...when everyone seems gung-ho that they figure out work with a felony on their record and no ID.)

36

@27 "Maybe do what everybody else in the city does with their garbage: pay a garbage bill to have their trash collected." - when dumpsters were opened back up at certain encampments, people used them and did it correctly. the city provides a program to pick up garbage but it's limited (it kind of sounds like you don't want anyone to get anything for "free" even though many of us will hit tough times and need services and help, from the city and others.
https://www.seattle.gov/utilities/protecting-our-environment/safe-and-clean-seattle/encampment-garbage

@29 "People who are not homeless because of horrible forces outside of their control, but are homeless because of choices they repeatedly make, starting with the choice to not get themselves a fucking job." Yet 40% have a job (or 2) and it hasn't helped them get out of homelessness. What leads you to thinking that they must be homeless because of their choices? A lot of folks experiencing homelessness didn't start doing drugs (or boosting or lying a lot) until after they became homeless. And I've met a large number of folks who had something happen to their kid(s), were victims of not just domestic violence but abuse as a youth, foster kids, and folks who were kicked out of the house as teens and of course, couldn't figure out all the nuances of attempting survival.

@30 I would love to see an article where you found that mutual aid groups were trying to "hide" an entire section of the homeless population. They have no reason to. "and do what decent and reasonable people do when having a challenge and presented with help and options. Their primary avocation is not drug use, and they don't move to Seattle from elsewhere when their situation temporarily goes south because we have useful idiots among us who welcome this toxic group." Wow. "Decent and reasonable?" So if you are homeless and don't deal with the challenge in a way you proscribe, they are indecent and uh, unreasonable? What help and options do you think are actually happening out there? Because they aren't. It's ridiculous trying to get mental health help, or get into inpatient treatment day-of (or week-of) without many hoops. Temporary housing like tiny homes show up as a possible referral about 1-3 times a week; the rest of the time, it's hit or miss and some folks never get a chance to talk to outreach.

(and what an odd concept; to think that folks moving to Seattle to get better support with services or to find better opportunities for themselves must be bad for doing so...when everyone seems gung-ho that they figure out work with a felony on their record and no ID.)

37

https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/future-of-cities/the-economics-of-homelessness-in-seattle-and-king-county
"The rise in homelessness cannot be explained by population growth or rising poverty, as there has been little of the former, and the latter has fallen. Exhibit 1 suggests the real cause. It shows how homelessness has risen in line with the fair-market rent (FMR), which in turn has increased in line with the county’s strong economic growth. During the financial crisis of 2008, when poverty and unemployment rose, homelessness was relatively stable. But when the economy took off in 2014, so did rents. Since then, the FMR has risen by more than 12 percent a year on average."
"There are many triggers of homelessness—an unexpected expense, the loss of a job, poor health, and domestic violence among them. But the rapid decline in the stock of affordable housing means that when people lose their homes, many of them find it hard to find a suitable alternative."

@33 get folks who are housed to clean up their acts too as well as no drugs, including alcohol, and taking out the trash regularly. having a home doesn't mean you should get special treatment.

38

@Jenmoon - The concept of personal responsibility vs. victimhood seems entirely lost to you and your fellow travelers. And your so called facts are tired and disputed by others on the ground. And please stop with the reference to the employed, DV victims and others temporarily down on their luck. They are not the ones tweaking and stealing, dumping trash and tagging walls. And you know darn well that your conflating different populations and trying to sanitize and deny reality. I know people who work the streets and they and any first responder will speak to the truth of origins, actions and resistence by those who are taxing the city to the limits. I guarantee that if I made an apartment available at some mythical rent of long ago, when it was "affordable" that members of this population would not be able to write said rent check. They live moment to moment, to the next fix. And have zero reason from the standpoint of external pressures and accountability, to change.

39

@37: “It shows how homelessness has risen in line with the fair-market rent (FMR), which in turn has increased in line with the county’s strong economic growth.”

First, correlation does not imply cause; second —and far more importantly — that’s not what the graph shows. It shows FMR remaining flat from 2009-2014, while homelessness rises and then falls during that same period. Homelessness behaves independently of this economic condition, and therefore this economic condition did not drive homelessness.

That same graph also shows the region’s GDP increasing linearly after 2009, a period during which homelessness rises, falls, and then rises again. Again, this shows homelessness behaving independently of local economic conditions, which is the exact opposite of showing local economic conditions drove homelessness.

If you cite a source, you might want to choose a source in which the conclusions do not contradict the data upon which they are supposedly based.

40

These negative comments are written largely by people that have NO idea or do not care about the circumstances many poor working class people face in one of the richest (billionaire) owned cities in the world. Billionaires that pay little or no taxes compared to most of us. Remember how slavery was blamed on the slaves themselves and it was institutionalized by white supremacy. This hate towards the homeless is similar thinking. Naysayers - sad sad people.

Two thousand dollars or more for many apartments that cannot be paid for
with even two jobs unless you do not eat.

Working just to survive is not the quality of life most people would want.
Many homeless are hard workers and are appreciative of any service they get.

Many people cannot keep up to the cost of living and much of the cause is economic. It was not that way forty - fifty years ago because then there were strong labor unions and people could then afford a lifestyle which included a decent place to live, an annual vacation etc. Homelessness was rare and there was emergency temporary housing. Workers had more power.

The most livable city in the world is Vienna, Austria because they have social housing.

Blaming the people on the bottom does not make the naysayers look good. It looks like they are close-minded and petty. A kind word could go a long way. I feel sorry for any that are unable to do that. Bought and paid for politicians are not the answer and that includes the mayor.

In the Great Depression most people were poor and suffering through no fault of their own. The labor movement changed that.

41

Bax and company. We hope that you are never homeless and that you never make any mistakes or have any faults like the rest of the human race.

42

We have lived in shared housing ourselves to survive because we lived in a house one of us owned. However most apartments do not allow shared housing unless there is special permission and cost.

We would be homeless now because our incomes are so low but when housing was MUCH cheaper we were able to get a house with the help of a relative. We worked hard for years to support our families and we hope everyone has a chance to live comfortably like we do now.

43

Everyone is entitled to human rights and the USA signed onto the human rights declarations after WW11. These laws are not being followed by this city period.

But enabling the billionaires to rob workers and the rest of us is apparently ok.

How many human beings have died on the street??? Hundreds and how many workers have died on the job? Countless.

About half of the people are poor through no fault of their own.

44

22 You want to throw everyone in prison because they are poor?

That does not work and it never will. You are wrong very wrong.

45

Ivy….yes … there are some people that are homeless and need help. What do you propose for all the people that are drug addicted, living in tents, and stealing to support their habit?

46

@40-44: As end of the month approaches, her funds for rot-gut have been depleted, and thus Our Ivy Of Her Alcoholic Coma becomes screamy, ragey Dry-Drunk Ivy, yelling lectures from the Seattle home she owns about how poor people in Seattle supposedly live. Sharing her personal tragedy in this way would be comedic if not so hopelessly wrongheaded:

“In the Great Depression most people were poor and suffering through no fault of their own. The labor movement changed that.”

The Second World War changed that. Will mass slaughter again be a “solution”? Is that where all of your finger-pointing hate rhetoric will lead?

47

@45 - Many of those are the same people. What some of you will never understand is that the only thing less accurate than generalizing all homeless people into one identical group, is dividing them into "good homeless" and "bad homeless", deserving and underserving poor. When you need help and don't get it, you fuck up sometimes. That doesn't make you different from anybody else. That means you need even more temporary help, and when you have a disability, you need the same help that we supposedly provide to everyone else when they have a disability.

48

@47: Please stop conflating chronic homelessness with poverty. As already noted above, the causes of chronic homelessness are not economic. Mental disorders, including those leading to drug addiction, are the root cause of chronic homelessness. Pretending victims of these mental disorders just need housing has wasted time, money, and lives.

I really wish some of the vitriol directed at those of us who have correctly diagnosed the problem could be directed at those who haven’t.


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