A Man Died Falling from This Homeless Encampment

So Why Do Five Seattle Politicians Oppose a Bill That Would Make Encampments Safer?

Comments

1
Legalizing encampments would be a significant, positive step. And the season change adds some urgency to the matter.
2

Why don't they just legalize overnight tent camping at Golden Gardens or Montlake?

Anyone can use it.

The city can pay the nightly fees for the indigent.
3
13 million empty houses . . . twenty-million empty apartments, condominiums , and mobile homes: seems to me homelessness - like overpolicing and student debt - is an industry for some . . . .
4
if encampments are legalized, expect to see the number of homeless "sleeping rough" go up.

what we need are what used to be called flophouses.
5
While, clearly, allowing the homeless to occupy currently unoccupied or abandoned homes is better (more protection) than sleeping in tents,.. at the *very* least de-criminalizing homelessness, stopping the police-sweeps/property-confiscation, and allowing them to self-organize for their mutual safety, dignity, & betterment is the least the City Council can do.

Providing city-funded porta-potty service on-site would be another good, cheap step. Hey, take all that money you'll be saving from eliminating police-sweeps and use it to pay for the porta-potties. You'll still come out ahead.
6
@3, 5: where are these "currently unoccupied or abandoned homes"? in seattle? out on the periphery, like yelm or marysville? in another state?

who's going to allow the homeless to occupy them? the banks that own them?

that is not the way Merica works, you might have noticed.

such idealism is not going to fix this problem.
7
"The council's more conservative members have argued that authorizing encampments would be a tacit endorsement of a substandard life."

Conservatives always make the same mistake, they see this as an endorsement of substandard living instead of seeing it as an entry level pathway into standard living.

And to the guy who said he's not his brothers keeper, I wonder what species he is, since we humans are all social animals who depend on each other to live.
8
Thank you for continuing to write about homeless issues and hold our city council accountable. This is shameful for Seattle.
9
Have an article talking about how Utah has cut their homeless numbers and costs by offering actual permanent housing. Also a bonus stat from Florida on how those in shelters are five times more likely to be homeless again versus those that get actual housing. We have a group(s) in this state that do the same thing with the same positive response. Legal or illegal, camps aren't the answer, they're the bare minimum response.

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/0…
10
"...authorizing encampments would be a tacit endorsement of a substandard life."

Actually, what the Councilmembers who oppose encampments fear is that authorizing them would be a tacit admission that the Council has failed to help its residents safely sleep under actual roofs.
11
To those who oppose recognizing encampments, and who feel that the only thing we owe to the homeless and the rest of the dispossessed is a stiff lecture, a nightstick to the head, and a ride in the back of a squad car,

To those who are lucky enough to have somehow ended up with all the comforts of life(unlike the many who worked just as hard as they did but ended up with none of those comforts, or who were never even given the chance to work for a living wage at all) who feel entitled to judge those who have nothing and who have no chance of changing that, thanks to the wonderful system we are made to live under,

To those who see people like those in this story as sub-human, as nothing but vermin, who think it's funny to make vicious "jokes" about MALT LIQUOR AND COCAINE(as if everybody who's down and out is in that situation because they somehow chose to screw up their lives, as if anything was ever that freaking simple),

Grab a Bible. Reread Matthew:25

And get over yourselves.

Because it could just as easily be you, someday.
12
Speaking of actually reading a Bible before quoting it: the guy who said 'I'm not my brother's keeper' was paraphrasing Cain from Genesis 4:9 - who questioned his responsibility for his brother Abel shortly after having murdered him. Not really the character in the story one would want to emulate. Or quote in public. Regardless of our religious identity, biblical knowledge, or lack there-of, I think there practical and compssionate ways that we can provide for the common good when it comes to our homeless neighbors.
13
I propose making homeless encampments safer by building them on the east side of the mountains. Why should bums and winos camp in the most expensive and crowded metro area in WA?
14
billlwald, I feel so sad for your lack of empathy for the down-and-out. Who was it? Rush or O'Rielly who told you to think that all homeless are "bums and winos"?
15
It costs Seattle $1.5 million to house 9 homeless people for a year? That is $166,000 a year per person. Why so expensive. Sounss absurd to me.
16
Glad to see feedback is mostly positive but there's still not much hope because the ignorant reign. I'm so tired of being judged and dehumanized by people who haven't worked half as hard but have better luck or family that cares. No matter how hard u try, it doesn't matter because there's always some prick to call u a drug addict or whore when the REAL problem is a system that sets u up to fail. Both of us only long for death at this point because after 3yrs, there's no hope things are going to get better and d!cks that yell get a job only rub salt in the wounds and make it impossible not to hate...we didn't do anything wrong, he got sick. For that we deserve this nightmare??

http://lm.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2…
17
Glad to see feedback is mostly positive but there's still not much hope because the ignorant reign. I'm so tired of being judged and dehumanized by people who haven't worked half as hard but have better luck or family that cares. No matter how hard u try, it doesn't matter because there's always some prick to call u a drug addict or whore when the REAL problem is a system that sets u up to fail. Both of us only long for death at this point because after 3yrs, there's no hope things are going to get better and d!cks that yell get a job only rub salt in the wounds and make it impossible not to hate...we didn't do anything wrong, he got sick. For that we deserve this nightmare??

http://lm.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2…
18
Sorry for the double (well now triple) post, was trying to get the link to our story to work, plz feel free to delete this post and the 1st one
19
A certain number of tent encampments will always be illegal because they are essentially drug house encampments. I've been surprised to see how persistent some of these have become over the years in Seattle. For example after the March 2014 police operation "Rock and Hock" a Seattle police spokesman stated “We think we have the bulk of the people selling drugs in the area.”

Aerial pictures posted after the raids prominently featured a drug encampment next to the I-90 collector-distributor lanes in the ID. However, that encampment was barely slowed. Only in the last couple of weeks was it essentially razed and re-fenced by the city (or Washington State DOT).

I don't mean to imply that people who are currently homeless don't deserve help to try to move out of that condition, only that the current situation of tent encampments in Seattle has some additional wrinkles that weren't mentioned at all in the article.
20
I see encampments like the I-5 one near the Paramount, the one on the hill next to Harborview, and along 4th ave in Stadium-ville all the time. It's obvious that the SPD breaks these up only when they feel like it/when they receive pressure from locals/when they're bored. Its pretty disgusting on our part- as residents of Seattle- that we can't, at the very least, offer the homeless a fucking parking lot or field to pitch a tent or lay out a sleeping bag for the night, without fear of arrest or assault.
Housing, at least here in Seattle, is the most prevalent form of class warfare around. The "haves" have, the "have-nots" are fucked.
(And am I the only one who recognized the irony in the photo of the tents pitched on an overpass with the convention center in the background?)
21
@Max Solomon: are you a troll or what? Google it, you asshole!( and call it " idealism" all you want, you dick, I don't care: I call it Justice, you fucking piece of shit!) --- http://squat.net & htt://www.nationalhomeless.org ). WHY DON'T YOU RANT ABOUT CORPORATE WELFARE AND THE COST OF MAINTAINING THE GREEDSTERS, YOU COCK?!
22
Money for making encampments safer would be MUCH better spent to prevent homelessness; youknow, more shelters, education, job programs ....etc