Ballard Business Group Wants to Flood the City With Homeless Encampment Complaints

Comments

1
Sounds like some people are getting fed up.
3
@2, you're deliberately, knowingly spreading fake numbers: the City is not spending "$1billion a year".
6
If only people put as much energy and action into ending homelessness. FFS.
7
Use find it fix it to report cops parked illegally instead especially in bus zones and on sidewalks and stuff.
8
Right on @6. Complaining about poverty may feel good but it really doesn't help to end poverty or to address the problems that come with poverty. The middle class is disappearing, more and more people fall into homelessness and, as conditions get worse, we squabble over the scraps of what is left. It doesn't have to be this way. Congress has the tools it needs to end this right now. It just needs the will to do it. We are the ones we've been waiting for.
9
That's strange. You forgot to report about how Ballard Alliance is also providing employment to homeless people through Millionaires Club, taxing businesses to pay for a full-time outreach worker to help unsheltered individuals in the neighborhood, and supporting the expansion of LEAD. Ask the Ballard Food Bank what kind of partners local businesses are. Were you at the Ballard District Council meeting this past week to hear George Scarola say how Ballard is one of the best neighborhoods at actually collaborating and making progress on issues? Did you hear Pastor Britt Olson from St. Luke's say that they are overwhelmed and encourage the city/police to do more enforcement?

It's no secret that numerous unsanctioned encampments in Ballard have been out-of-control heroin dens (even when trash bins and toilets are provided) and that property crime is sky high. Why shouldn't businesses (most of which are small, local companies, doing their part to be good community members) report issues in a coordinated way?
10
the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

@4: "the puget sound area" is what, king, pierce thurston, snohomish, kitsap counties? and jefferson, clallam, skagit? i wasn't aware that seattle city council controlled all that spending.
11
@10

I don't think the city needs to be in control of regional spending, nor the spending confined solely to the city, nor the source of funds to be taxes only, before we're allowed to notice that there's quite a lot of money being spent on a social problem that's getting worse every year.

The current direction of city policy (more centralization and coordination between organizations, "results-based" funding) might not be effective, either, but it seems perfectly reasonable to look for new ways to use the resources available when the results of the approaches tried to date have come up short for everyone involved, not least the unsheltered themselves.
12
Democracy in Action.
........standing ovation....
13
@11: is the crisis getting worse BECAUSE of city policy? i doubt it's causal.

rents are climbing, property taxes are climbing. working class pay is not. social housing is not. federal spending is contracting.
14
@13

Er, no, I'm not suggesting that city policy is causing homelessness. I'm not sure how you managed to get that out of what I wrote, but no, I do not think that is the case.
15
Another reason not to feel bad about saving money buying online instead of local. A lot of the locals we could do without.
16
The Navigation Team says only 2/3 of homeless they encounter during sweeps accept assistance with homeless services.
That means 1/3 of homeless in those encampments actively choose to stay on the streets, refusing homeless services.
They do not represent all homeless people; many of whom are simply poor folks down on their luck.
But they're there, gathered in numbers.
17
Good. I'm planning to move to lovely Ballard from the crumbling, horrifying homeless encampment known as Hollywood. Doing something about homelessness like Seattle does is much better than wallowing in it and letting ppl die on the ground in front of businesses and looking the other way.
18
We shouldn’t complain, Seattle being a sanctuary city and all. Logically a “sanctuary city” is just that - a city. There is no insinuation that “sanctuary city” means a home, food, job or basic necessities. Of course, liberals don’t recognize that and believe that being a sanctuary city means dividing the city into two sections. Those that can afford the over-inflated prices to live in new clapboard developments or the rest that can live in the new “Campground Seattle”. The newest member of the “West Coast Campground” cities. I say enjoy the diversity and when that Hepatitis A outbreak (or worse) makes its way up from the south, as people are huddled together in an effort to survive. Then I imagine that the progressive screamers can sit back, “reel” and “process” the situation like they alway do while accomplishing nothing, again, like they alway do.
19
@18 Dude, major cause of Hep A transmission is by food workers not washing their hands after going to the loo. Do you think the homeless are eating out every day at restaurants, and buying lattes at all the cafes in Ballard? Or do you think they get soooo much gourmet food left over from the food bank, and they're giving it to all those Amazonites living in Ballard?
20
it has gotten pretty bad in some parts of Ballard, especially near the library (Hep branch) and Commons park. there is really no upside to allowing people to plop down and set up camps wherever, whenever. as much as some people try to deny it, a major % of the folks there are thieves, drug addicts. look at the heaps of bikes and bike parts - where did they come from? donations? yeah, right.

also, even though the city was kind enough to treat Ballard residents to the Urban Rest Stop, the "campers" still go into the library to use the bathroom for cowboy showers and worse - that's why the doors to the bathrooms are propped open now.

hopefully the citizens of seattle are finally starting to realize the con game being played with the homeless - a small % accept shelter space, a small % are in their position because of lost jobs, etc.

a post on the west seattle blog re: "camp 2nd chance" states that nobody really knows the monthly cost for running the camp. that is ridiculous. the "nonprofits" are keeping themselves busy and employed with our tax money and need the homeless inventory.

WAIT A MINUTE!???? I thought seattle had a ten year plan to END HOMELESSNESS???? what, you mean throwing millions and millions of dollars at lifestyle homeless and junkies DIDN'T WORK? and you want to do more of the same, but of course with more money? lol
21
@19, no but they are most certainly touching common public things like door handles at stores, the library, etc....and if any of their precious shopping carts get returned to the stores they belong to i hope they are boiled in bleach before hitting the floor again.
22
Find It Forget It

This is the second time in a week I've agreed with Heidi Groover on something. Should I check myself in at the mental health clinic?

Seriously, though, while I understand Mike Stewart's frustration with the situation in Ballard, flooding Find It Fix It with duplicate complaints on homeless camps is not going to make city to clean them up any faster. First of all, Find It Fix It is already overwhelmed and has a months-long backlog of work to do on camp clean-up. And let's remember what Find It Fix It is really for. Do you think it ever intended as a way to put pressure on city officials as Steward imagines? No. Just the opposite. It was intended to RELIEVE pressure on them. And it's been doing a great job of that. Every time someone files a homeless camp report with Find It Fix It, they're sending a message to themselves that the City is really concerned about the problem and is really DOING something about it. When the peasants perceive that the government really cares about them, they are much less likely to revolt. If King George III had implemented a Find It Fix It app for tax complaints in the Colonies, there would have been no Revolution, and today we'd all be speaking.... um.... English.

No, if we want to get serious about cleaning up homeless camps and getting people indoors, we've got to go right to the source of the problem, and in this case the source is Ballard councilmember Mike O'Brien. We've got to remove this guy from office and get somebody good in there for a change. And we can't wait another two years on this. We've got to do it now.

Visualize Ballard
Visualize Whirled Peas
Visualize Recall

Visualizerecall.com
23
Um, @19, the reason there is funding for the successful LEAD program expansion to North Seattle is because CM O'Brien repurposed $750K for that when the budget item for an employee hours tax (EHT) failed to pass Council.

The EHT may or may not pass but in the mean time thanks to CM O'Brien we will still get LEAD coming to our neighborhood in 2018.

*LEAD = Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion
http://leadkingcounty.org/
24
@14: you're not. but you are saying that we're spending a lot of money and it's not getting better.

but it's not because city council are fuck ups or lazy. it's because they don't control the forces that are causing the crisis. "the market" (for real estate and opiates) does.
25
If those 12,000 homeless were suddenly housed in clean, decent, private home or apartments how long do you think it would be before another 12,000 or more showed up in the county to take their places on the street ?
26
Heidi's selective fact system is operating well, I see. The key fact she leaves out is that the Navigation Team has been markedly more successful in moving people out of unsanctioned camps and into services. The concept works. Hell yes file the FIFI report and get these people talked to, over and over again, to convince them that there is help available.

Instead of getting snarky on a group of small business owners and residents who have not only had to live with the crime, environmental degradation (ever had an RV empty its septic tank in your front yard or sidewalk?), needles, wino fights at 3 AM, and on and on, all while being pecked at by unhelpfully divisive voices like Heidi for DARING to send the wrong virtue signal, maybe you should be getting all shitty on your buddy Mike O'Brien and his friend with the megaphone. They've made a lot of noise these past few years but no progress in getting a significant number of people off the streets and into housing and care. They've also spent a lot of your money. BUILD THE HOUSING NOW. Camps suck for everyone. Spending all day debating where tents can go is one less day spent on buying the land (eminent domain is fine, too) and building the housing. Shame.
27
@15 so supporting amazon with even greater profits is a way to increase affordability in seattle? That makes total sense?
28
@26 - you were going great until the "eminent domain" bit...don't advocate stealing (ie) someone's property for the homeless. that is ridiculous.
29
City Light has a couple of bunkhouses up at Newhalem to house visiting workers and contractors. They date back to the 1920's and are quite spartan: Each one has about ten rooms, each room with a bed, a desk, a dresser and a TV. There's a communal kitchen and dining room, and 3 or 4 shared bathrooms. They're very attractive from the outside - rustic, you might say.

The city could build similar structures all over the city on single family lots. Put in nice landscaping so it looks like a private home, and assign a resident social worker to each one. Make people who are staying there check in each day and take their medicine (if applicable), have someone come into each room each day and empty the trash, so no hoarding happens, and stock the kitchens with donations from food banks.

Once you build up that inventory, have zero tolerance for encampments - and provide the necessary social programs for addiction, mental health, etc. You either have to go into the program or leave town.

They could do the same thing with apartments - build fourplexes all over town that are designed to fit in with the neighborhoods, and some larger apartment buildings. Keep it simple, though - don't make it a bonanza for the Architectural and public art industrial complexes. Use the same floorpans whenever possible.
30
@19: This year, California struggled with the worst outbreak of Hepatitis in decades, and it was traced directly to homeless individuals. Filthy living conditions with liver-compromising drug use and exposure to other sick persons -- e.g., an illegal homeless encampment -- creates the perfect conditions for Hepatitis A transmittal.

Those folks yelling "Stop the Sweeps!" at our City Council should be yelling, "Yay! Hep' A!"

From now on, every illegal homeless encampment I see gets a cell-phone snapshot for a FIFI submission.
31
Good for them. Do you live in Ballard or work/spend days in Ballard? Why does this neighborhood have to accept the detritus of the rest of the city? It is TOO much. Have you personally seen the Ballard Commons, a community park? Have you seen the filth under the bridge? The filth piled up outside the RV's? Or do you simply not care that the rest of us have to put up with this? A great #of these people do not want help. They do not wan't jobs. They want to be allowed to live as they wish, even if that means living off the rest of us. It is obvious in how they take care of their "space" We have, and continue to, give an enormous amount of money to a problem that only gets larger year after year, with ZERO positive gain. I would like to see a journalist go out and talk with the people in the filthiest neighborhood camps and find out where they are from, what they are doing and what are their future plans. I would put money on; most are from out of state, most are not really doing anything or they would be working, most have unrealistic ideas of what they may do in the future.
It is time for tough love. It will be tough for us, who actually do care and, it will be tough for the ones who don't really want to live in the norms of society, but, so be it.
32
Does anyone who lives in Magnolia want a ghetto in their neighborhood? No. Why not ask why doesn't Queen Anne have a ghetto on the top of the hill? How about S. Lake Union these days? NO ONE FUCKING WANTS IT. We are tired of this bullshit. You care so much about wasters having four walls and a door, to fuck up, then why aren't you writing articles inviting them to come live in your neighborhood, hmmmm?
33
@27

I didn't say anything about affordability. All I said was I don't feel bad about not giving money to the mean spirited pricks that claim to speak for Ballard. Most of these businesses just got here yesterday and they ought to be more grateful for the privilege of doing business in our city, instead of their endless complaining and rejection of the people who were here before them. Homeless Seattleites were here before them.

Local small businesses are self-pitying, narcissistic and guilt tripping. They never give you a good reason to want to deal with them. They only try to bully us into feeling like we owe it to them. At least Amazon delivers what you were promised at a good price, without driving around for an hour spewing carbon trying to figure out which store carries what you need.

Look at package theft. Is Amazon trying to harass people in crisis? Siccing the cops on them, making their lives worse? No, Amazon isn't blaming package theft on the most vulnerable people in our society. They're working on solutions. They are spitballing ideas, and experimenting. Some of their experiments are kind of goofy, but that's better than looking of scapegoats.

If they Ballard Alliance wants their business to thrive, they should focus on giving back to the community instead of putting community members in their crosshairs. I hope they go out of business. I don't feel bad about not giving them my money.
34
@33: The homeless Seattleites you're generalizing about doesn't preclude running a business, nor would it help them if Ballard businesses closed up shop. Your conflation is illogical.
35
...they ought to be more grateful for the privilege of doing business in our city...

They pay annually to renew their business licenses with the city. Maybe that's why they want the laws against vagrancy and public dumping to be, you know, actually enforced.

Homeless Seattleites were here before them.

I can't wait to see your census data from Ballard to support that point.

...instead of putting community members in their crosshairs.

That's assuming our local businesses' communal values include living in filth, trading in stolen bicycle parts, sharing needles, and being a vector for Hepatitis A.

Local small businesses are self-pitying, narcissistic and guilt tripping. They never give you a good reason to want to deal with them.

May we safely say you've been heartily disinvited from any considering any future patronage at a number of our fine local businesses?