Advocates Propose Major Changes to Encampment Sweeps, New Protections for Homeless People

Comments

1
Can they sweep the pile of trash surrounding the tent and leave the tent?
2
Has Seattle crossed the line from advocating for the homeless to advocating to be homeless?
3
Well, OK.

If I'm reading this right, they're saying we should change the law from "camping on public city land is illegal" to "camping on public city land is legal for the first 30 days, and indefinitely thereafter provided it does not pose an immediate threat to human life"

Fair enough, but I think they might find it hard to get even a slim majority of the local citizenry to support it.
4
@3 More than that. They're saying camping on, and making a mess of, public land is a constitutional right. I fail to grasp that connection.

5
@3 Rather, the point is the city cannot make living outdoors illegal. Before you punish someone, they have to have alternatives.
6
@1 That would be too logical.
7
@3 That seems to be what the article portrays. Shocking isn't it? It's time we get some more detailed information about these homeless advocacy groups.

What are the names of their leading members. What is their financial structure. That should be available at the Secretary of State office in Olympia since they are a "non-profit" organization. How do they balance their books to turn in a "non-profit" statement. What is the compensation package provided to the leaders of these homeless advocacy groups.

The media is obligated to inform the public of this information.
8
You know what they're going to do with that $250 don't you. And just as soon as you give them that, they'll come back for more.
9
I need to find a new place to live because I can't afford my recent rent increase. This is great news -- the city will catalog and store my stuff, for at least 90 days at a time, if I put it on public land and leave evidence that I have slept there. When I find a new place to live, they will transport my stuff to wherever that is. They will pay me (and my friends) $250 each if we can get them to inadvertently miss a provision of the ordinance, perhaps failing to notify someone who isn't present.
If I decide to go the shelter route, the new place is guaranteed to take me and my stuff no matter my treatment status (relapse time!), and it will be available to my entire household including the dog and 2 cats, and will be accessible 24 hours a day ... and so much more.
I'm calling my old friends in Texas and Oklahoma and tell them things are getting better every day in Seattle.
10
The $250 per violation is insane. Who is going to adjudicate that? What process in the world could ever manage the 'he said-she said' cluster that would result.
11
I think the Mayor proposed one too many useless task forces (let alone hiring the Homelessness "cabinet position" at $137K/yr to oversee the same vicious policies as when there was no cabinet position), and this proposed legislation is the very rational, practical, and overdue result. I hope the majority of the Councilmembers agree.
12
@9:

Yeah, because living outdoors in an urban environment when you have no fucking money, resources, or support is just like a vacation stay at your favorite RV park. Seriously, I dare you to try it for a week.
13
All people live with fear, real and imagined. Consuming a position of imaginary equivalency by expressing 'my fear is greater' than those who are sleeping on the streets reveals an ownership of emptiness,
Hope, alive within those seeking kindness, love and yes, shelter, is brought by the Sun.
14
@5

From what I understand, it's perfectly legal to live outdoors in Seattle. What is currently illegal, for better or worse, is overnight camping on public city land, and by extension, camping on public city land for 30 days or more.

I'm fine with people advocating for changes in the law. All I'm saying is that the proposed new law is going to be a rather tough sell for most of the populace.
15
@12 Just because you couldn't do it doesent mean its hard. Did it in Anchorage when my apartment burned down. Seattle would be a cakewalk.
16
@12, have you not seen the endless puddles of strung out kids on Broadway and in Cal Anderson all summer long? They're having a blast.
17
@15
you know what's a tough sell for people in my neighborhood? watching about 100 people living as human garbage under the I-90 viaduct. The faces keep changing, but the numbers increase: all of the reasons for their situations are different, but the result remains the same. I'm genuinely interested what your objection is altering the legal approaches to managing homeless encampments.

Are you afraid that decriminalizing homelessness will lead to some kind of social decay or moral hazard? That approaching marginalized people as equal citizens of Seattle will make us a somehow culpable for their actions? Do you actually like the situation as it exists and want nothing to change?

I just went on the Mayor's find it fix it walk last night through this encampment area and got told by several department heads that public opinion is somehow divided on options, and therefore some kind of political gridlock prevents civil servants like themselves from doing anything other than crisis management; that if Seattle want's to commit resources to solving the problem they would have to give up something really important to them like more parks or civic improvements to accomplish it. I spoke briefly to 'hizzoner' Murray (who looks like he's been in a bar fight or something) who also said their is no municipal fix to a federal problem.

Are they really getting mixed messages from their constancy on this? Are people like you telling them there is a libertarian option you want implemented instead?
18
As much as I would like this legislation to pass I expect Ed's cronies on the council to veto it.
19
@17

I am saying that most people who are not anarchists are going to take issue with redefining "public city land" to mean "city land which anyone can, by setting up camp on it, reserve indefinitely for their own private use."

What I don't have a problem with, no matter how convenient it might otherwise be for your own rhetorical purposes, is letting homeless people sleep in peace.

Unlike you and your fellow anarchists, I think there are things the city can do to make that possible without abolishing property rights, or abandoning the concept of public land as space available for use at any time by everyone.

But you aren't even slightly interested in suggestions that don't advance your narrow ideological agenda, are you?
20
You go, internet tough guys, you go take advantage of this plush luxury policy and report back to us how sweet it was. Go on.
21
@9 what you're missing is that THE CITY has to follow these rules, but everyone else living in the public park you're storing your stuff in is free to take whatever they want in the meantime. Whatever worthless mess of your life's posessions is left after that the city has an obligation to store.
22
@10 there will be no adjudication in practice. It would be a give away as the marginal cost of adjudicating each of these incidents would far exceed the cost of paying.

Ed Murray really has his hands full. If he was concerned the city was losing control of the streets back in May that was nothing compared to what he's facing now. Within a few weeks it will be obvious again that he's in way over his head.
23
@19
so, does the recommendations by advocacy groups really redefine property law? somehow I don't think the earth is going to shift and we enter a wild, wild west of claim jumpers vs. homesteaders if we let people camp out on SDOT right of ways while we sort out this wage inequality problem that seems to require if the 1st and 3rd richest people ON THE PLANET live here we have to have 100 people sleeping al fresco next to my apartment. Still waiting for the libertarian solution to this problem.
24
@7 and @8

Much of the information you are seeking is in fact public.

If the nonprofit was incorporated in Washington then you may find the organization's registered agent and registered address very easily using the corporation search on the SoS website.

In addition, if the organization is a nonprofit then you may find financial and organizational information by pulling down the organization's publicly available IRS form 990. The 990 will display information such as revenues and expenses, names of officers of the organization, and salaries of top employees. To find the 990s you may use the IRS website or another site such as foundation center.
25
Arrest them for "vagrancy" and commit the mentally ill to Western State. Had the ACLU not sued to force the states to dump the mentally ill out onto the streets some 30 or so years ago, the majority of non-addicts and alcoholics would be getting the help they so desperately need! As for the addicts/alcoholics - they made their choices that got them into their current situation. It's a horrible situation, as I know, but allowing it to continue through acceptance and normalizing it, does nothing to solve it. It needs to be made socially unacceptable again and stigmatized to frighten people into not getting there in the 1st place! Accepting it as normal "homelessness" does nothing but encourage more of it. Ever wonder why this is a relatively new problem?
26
"For any encampment that did not pose an immediate risk, outreach workers would have to, over the course of 30 days, offer the people staying there extensive outreach and 'adequate and accessible housing' before the city could clear the area. "

Unfortunately, such housing does not exist. At least not right- now unless you are the most vulnerable. Everyone else is looking waiting months, if not years.
27
Heroin possession is illegal. Arrest these folks and jail them. Can't get high behind bars. Best way to get them clean.
28
I'm going to lock you in a jail cell until you stop making posts, can't make shitty posts behind bars.
29
@27*