Comments

1

Shelters are available Hannah, and it's homeless' choice not to use them. So to say that our city leaders are "allowing" this is disingenuous. Nevertheless so sad.

2

"Remember their names:"
So, in reference to your picture how many died of exposure?
What exactly was the cause of death to this relatively young group of people?

3

As horrible as it is to die homeless, and it is horrible, the causes of many of these deaths are often the same causes of homelessness to begin with. Nobody froze to death in Seattle in May. Yes, housing would definitely help to alleviate some of these outcomes, but mainly this is still an issue of addiction and mental health.
We need more affordable housing, but we also need more counseling and services to prevent people from sliding all the way down to homelessness.

4

I remember news coverage about a decade ago. When every fall, the local TV stations would send reporters out to ask the homeless how they were getting along. One of the common responses was, "We didn't know that it would get so cold and damp in Seattle." So much for the standard narrative that these are all long time residents who have found themselves down on their luck. A Seattleite would know that it's time to find a warm, dry spot and hunker down.

So they stopped doing the reporting.

5

Great comments 1-3. I also fail to see the connection between sweeping problematic encampments and these deaths. As has been documented numerous times some of these encampments are incubators of crime and violence. These sorts of disingenuous, snark filled rants may generate clicks but it ultimately does more to disenfranchise people from the cause Hannah says she cares about. Same goes for the predictably trite comment about landlords making money from property they don't use.

6

Anything but actually putting them in houses, am I right?

How about another homeless study? Let's talk about drug/alcohol dependency again! But we have "beds" in "shelters" for "referrals"! THEY'RE MAKING CHOICES!!!

You know what we haven't tried yet? We haven't tried putting people into houses! Let's try that!

7

You missed the closing of the Hales Ales Brewery and its sale to investors.

I hear they'll be installing a 40 story tower there, with lights that blink red and green on and off from 2-5 am every weekday

8

Completely disingenuous and inaccurate Hannah. They died from homelessness? Exposure (snow in Seattle in April?)? What a crock of shit. Many of them died from overdoses, stabbings, shootings, etc. Please stop being so blatantly dishonest.

9

fun fact: death by overdose, stabbings, shootings, etc still count as 'outside, in public, or by violence' if that's where/how they took place

10

What a crock of shit. They didn't die from being homeless. They overdosed or were stabbed or shot or died from a propane tank explosion. There are options but they don't want them. Keep sweeping.

11

@8, 10,

The fuck are you talking about? She didn't say they "died of homelessness," idiot. She didn't even insinuate it. She literally said they "died outside, in public, or by violence." Learn to read.

12

'they didn't die by violence, they were stabbed'

grasping so hard for reasons to not care that a bunch of people died that an accurate description of their deaths is somehow not accurate enough

13

"As part of the solution, WHEEL demanded an end to Mayor Bruce Harrell’s cruel, relentless sweeps."

How does stopping sweeps prevent deaths due to exposure? Serious question.

14

6 - We are. Tiny Houses is a great development.

15

If you are concerned about homophobia, maybe better not to enroll at an Evangelical college. There are any number of places that are not run by institutions dedicated to keeping us in the 16th century

16

@1:

That's complete and utter bullshit. Everyone KNOWS there aren't nearly enough shelter spaces available for the number of unhoused in the city; that's why "offers" of shelter are often refused when encampments are swept - because people know there won't be an actual space available when they get to the shelter, or that married couples and families will be separated, or that some don't allow pets, while others set occupancy hours that make it virtually impossible for the working homeless to use them, and that almost none can accommodate more personal possessions than a backpack or small garbage bag, thus forcing people to leave everything else they might have completely unattended and thus subject to theft or confiscation. Under those circumstances it's completely understandable that offers of shelter are summarily refused: because more often than not they're at-best unusable and at-worst completely bogus, and simply meant to create a metric that makes it look like the City is doing something positive (and conversely, that critics can point their moral high-horse scoldy-fingers at when complaining about those "ungrateful, lazy bums"), when in fact it's all just smoke-and-mirrors.

17

@14,

Maaaaaannn.... Screw tiny houses. I say a far better development would be the building of some insanely large, multi-story houses, with dozens and dozens of subdivided small units within that use interconnected sewag, electrical and waste disposal systems. Has anyone thought of putting up a few of these? I get that tiny houses are a cute and relatively quick fix, but they're also wildly inefficient and impractical uses of otherwise valuable space.

18

"As part of the solution, WHEEL demanded an end to Mayor Bruce Harrell’s cruel, relentless sweeps."

But I recently read somewhere that there was one very good way, better than any other way, to get homeless campers into shelter. What was it, again? Ah, yes:

"Service providers from the Low Income Housing Institute, REACH, CoLEAD, and other organizations agree that 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)

So, WHEEL wants Seattle to stop providing "the best way to find shelter" to homeless persons? What does WHEEL have against homeless persons getting into shelter? Does WHEEL not value human lives, at least if those lives belong to homeless persons?

19

Hannah has been running that snowy tent photo since at least December 2021: https://www.thestranger.com/slog/2021/12/30/64536371/seattle-mutual-aid-groups-try-to-keep-unhoused-neighbors-alive-in-the-snow

I'm sure she'll keep using it as long as she believes it supports her commentary. This is the kind of thing I expect from Gateway Pundit, Breitbart, InfoWars, and similar outlets. KOMO's photo of the Women in Black rally would have been a much more appropriate journalistic choice, but no one at the Stranger is a journalist.

20

People die, with or without shelter. That’s why these numbers are meaningless without context. In 2015, prior to COVID-19, over 12,000 died in King County, mostly white people who live in buildings, some of them infants. Are the unhoused more vulnerable? Of course they are. What I’m saying is these numbers cited in the SLOG are complete and utter hyperbolic bullshit. I know math is hard but this is just terrible reporting. If you want to move people, make the facts beneath your emotional narrative unassailable. What this article offers is wretched, misleading, garbage that doesn’t change anyone’s mind or offer anyone a solution beside just stop that mean Mayor Harrell.

21

You can't remember that many names in a list of people you've never met. No one can. No one can remember the Uvalde dead or the Buffalo dead's names either. “A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths are a statistic.” -Stalin

Homeless deaths can absolutely be from hypothermia this time of year. Wet and temps in the 40s will do it, and we've had plenty of those.

22

I’m not sure how long you have lived here Hannah but there really is not any Right Wing in Seattle. At least not for 3 decades.

95% of us voted for Biden the vast majority of us are liberal Democrats.
Siding with the victims of criminals rather than with the criminals isn’t Right Wing, it’s human and it’s compassionate.

The truly heartless people in Seattle are those who are willing to let homeless addicts cower in filthy encampments where they are repeatedly victimized by repeat criminals.

It’s the heartless and cynical enablers who use the homeless as props for their activism who are the truly disgusting people in this city.

23

@6: "You know what we haven't tried yet? We haven't tried putting people into houses!"

Actually, we have:

"Lolë has been living in the park on and off for the past year. [...] Lolë has an apartment in Bellevue through the legal system diversion program LEAD, but says she can’t stay there because she was asked to get rid of her dog, Ragnar, who she’s had for two years.

"She said the city’s outreach workers did not offer her a different housing option."

Well, it's obviously all Seattle's fault, then.

(https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/homeless/seattle-clears-woodland-park-homeless-encampment-after-months-of-trying-to-place-people-into-shelter/)

25

It is sad that so many drug addicts had to die on the street because progressives pretend that this is a housing crisis not a drug crisis.

26

What would a drug-not-housing-crisis solution look like? What is the alternative to allowing people to sleep on the streets when there aren't enough houses or shelter beds for them? I have some ideas and I'm pretty sure any homeless person / advocate would accept those solutions in a heartbeat, but inevitably they are shot down over disputes about land use or 'taxpayer handouts' whenever they are considered. How would anyone who believes there are more humane solutions for homelessness and addiction propose to work through those hurdles? Because they are inevitable and activists are not the problem.

27

I love the sophomoric use of "allowing" as if adds any credence since the verb means someone has the control to allow something or not. By what authority do leaders or politicians have over the free will of people moving about the city? None.

Of course, they would say "allowing" is being used figuratively, but it's just an overused gimmick used to season weak rhetoric.

28

As usual the faux journalists here have an agenda and no desire to accurately portray the homeless situation.

29

@3 A common misconception is that hypothermia can only happen in freezing temperatures. This is not true. Hypothermia can happen at much higher temperatures than most people realize. People can absolutely die of hypothermia in 40-50F temperatures if it is wet and windy. and that has been Seattle from April through May. This happens every spring and fall hiking season in fact.

In fact between January 2009 and July 2019 hypothermia mortality in Houston was 66% higher than in NYC. And alcoholics are particularly vulnerable.

I have no cause of death data for these homeless people who died. Statistical probability is they were likely mostly suicide or OD related. However, like hypothermia, a comorbidity of suicide and OD is alcoholism, poverty and homelessness.

And it is well known that addressing housing stability first produces better outcomes for both drug treatment and mental health treatment.

30

Here's the causes of death for the persons referenced in Hannah's post, which is based on information obtained from the King County Medical Examiner's office:

Roger Toolan, 57, died outside near 15901 W. Valley Hwy in Tukwila on 4/2; cause pending
Linda Jimmy, 26, died of burns near Ballard Commons on 4/20
*Tyree Guillory, 41, died by OD outside at 1561 Alaska Wy S on 5/1
Rickey Burns, 52, died of severe sepsis/pneumonia outside at 138 SW 148th St on 5/3
Teke Airhart, 41, died in an RV in the Safeway parking lot in Auburn on 5/8
Todd Epperson, 56, died by OD outdoors, unknown location, on 5/9
Donald Hayes, 49, died by OD in alley at 4533 9th on 5/9
Danny Jones, 60, beaten to death at a halfway house in Kent on 5/13
Gregory Oakes, 57, died by OD in an encampment at 1007 4th on 5/14
Mark Brummel, 62, died by OD in a camp/outdoors unknown location on 5/14
Ricardo Lopez, 51, died by OD outdoors at 11700 bl Stone Ave N on 5/14
Aaron Oxyer, 34, died by OD in a tent at Interurban Trail at N 127th St on 5/16
Fanette Pinkston, 71, died of natural causes in hospital on 5/19; found in unk location
Alicia Lopez, 47, run over by train and killed (accident) in Kent on 5/22
Eric Behrens, 62, died of natural causes at Ballard Commons on 5/22
Jeffrey M. Gill, 41, temporarily housed person died by suicide in Redmond on 5/24
*Gary Asher, 36, found outside at 1902 Second Ave/died of hypoxic encephalopathy at HMC on 5/28

Source: https://business.facebook.com/pg/Homeless-Remembrance-Project-184372257014/posts/?ref=page_internal

I'm still trying to figure out why Hannah elected to use her snowy tent photo, because with the possible exception of Mr. Toolan (cause pending), not one of these poor souls died from exposure or hypothermia.

31

Expanding on @30, these 17 names supposedly represent persons who "died outside, in public." As far as I can tell, that description is only applicable to 12 of those persons. I don't understand why it was necessary to exaggerate this point, but I do find it troubling.

32

Wait how does ending sweeps help people who died outside? The point of ending sweeps is…to let people continue living outside. It’s all quite confusing.

33

More specifically, how would ending sweeps in Seattle prevent Ms. Lopez from getting hit by a train in Kent? How would ending sweeps in Seattle prevent Mr. Gill from committing suicide in temporary housing in Redmond? The more I look over the circumstances of these deaths, the more confused I am regarding the connection to Seattle's policy of removing problem encampments.

34

@30, etc...

It's a freaking stock Getty image, probably one that either her or her editor found upon doing a google image search for "cold weather homeless camp" or something. Not sure what sort of convoluted conspiracy you think you're rooting out here, but you might want to consider taking up a hobby to get yourself offline. Yeesh.

35

“not one of these poor souls died from exposure or hypothermia..”

She never said they did. This is you reading into a stock photo and then beating the straw man.

36

@26: "What would a drug-not-housing-crisis solution look like?"

First, it would explicitly recognize that merely providing housing cannot solve the problem, because treatment for drug addiction is also required.

Second, it would estimate what drug treatment (needed in addition to housing) would cost, and present to local elected officials what this total of what housing + treatment would cost.

Third, local elected officials would either decide to obtain the funds necessary to provide treatment + housing for all of the homeless population, or decide what fraction of that population should get what level of help. These decisions would, of course, be made openly and publicly.

Given that Seattle is almost seven years into a Homelessness Crisis, with neither the City Council nor the Stranger having budged AT ALL on the need for that first step, I rather doubt we need to get into details on the second and third steps.

@34, @35: Yeah, it's patently ridiculous for readers to expect an image accompanying the article to have specific relevance to the article itself. Only a nut-case conspiracy theorist looks at an image of a snowy homeless encampment under a grey sky, captioned, "It's been a deadly year to live outside," and expects any of the deaths recounted in the article to be homeless persons who perished from exposure. Obviously, the deadly situations in the article simply must be of some housed person who got beaten to death, or run over by a train. Duh.

37

@36,

You know these writers wake their asses up at FIVE ASS O'CLOCK IN THE FUCKING MORNING to compile these write-ups for you?!?

If the accompanying images they locate at those ungodly hours don't satisfy your expectations for relevance to the content, I'd suggest finding some other news blog to read. You ever consider this option?

38

Wow! 5:00 AM? Unprecedented.

39

@38: Well, that was quick, wasn't it, shifting from "you're an unhinged conspiracy theorist if you so much as dare to want the photo to represent the story," to "you're a regular f*n ungrateful slave-driving Scrooge McDuck if you so much as dare to want the photo to represent the story." (Also, as mentioned above in this thread, there was no need for a bleary-eyed staffer to search the web at obscene hours; the Stranger could have just used an image from the story linked in this post.)

As far as @37 knows, Seattle is a wasteland of high unemployment, so staffers at the Stranger had better well bust it wide open at dawn, or they too will be on the bread line. It's not like they could just go get a higher-paying job elsewhere with minimal effort.

@37: Dude, chill out. You might want to consider taking up a hobby to get yourself offline. Or maybe finding some other news blog to read. You ever consider this option? Or just relax, gaze at your favorite picture, you know, the one you took of white snow falling quietly against the many vivid colors of those onion domes, and contemplatively reminisce about how beautifully placid the cherry blossoms were in Kyoto that spring.

40

To quote Bill Maher in describing the current homeless/drug/mental illness problem that is uniquely American and our coddling uber progressive attitude of allowing these folks to remain outdoor in spite of available housing, assistance, and public safety laws; our statement should be that of the bartender at closing time: “You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here.”


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