Council Approves Durkan Plan for Nearly 500 New Shelter Beds



These beds at City Hall, are they open 24/7 or just overnight? Can they drink and do drugs in the City Hall?


Whenever the comrade and misquito say the words "social" and "progressive" I'm automatically against it.


This additional 500 shelter beds will do nothing to curb the homelessness in Seattle. If anything this proposal opens the door to more sweeps to occur within the city. The Navigation Team in Seattle (who conduct the sweeps) can only sweep a person if there is an open shelter bed to refer them too. Case in point, Durkan doesn't want to house the homeless she wants them out of the city, along with her amazon overlords.


Comrade Sawant is channeling Rudy Guliani: a noun and a verb and “big business” or “the wealthy”.

What an empty suit.


meanwhile, Tacoma and Spokane will probably send 600+ people to house in the same time frame....


Sawant keeps yammering on about "publicly funded, deeply affordable, social housing" while conveniently ignoring the City's almost complete ineptitude in budgeting for managing. She wants because she thinks she'll end up controlling it; the triumph of her 'movement' is historically inevitable, don'cha know. Nevermind that neither Sawant or any of her subalterns have ever managed (or produced) anything of any complexity, or for which they had ultimate responsibility. (If they have, they're awfully modest about it.)


@6:"Durkan doesn't want to house the homeless she wants them out of the city..."

Not that your statement is true, but so what if she does? The people who accept the shelter are more likely to be the ones to make an effort to turn their lives around. The ones who continually refuse help and shelter are the junkies, tweakers and criminals who want to be left alone to pursue their lifestyle. So why would you want them in our city?



Building and maintaining public housing is absolutely within the purview of Seattle's city government, just as it is within the purview of City governments throughout North America and the world.

The Seattle Housing Authority currently maintains around 8,000 units of public housing in the city, housing around 25k people, or 3.6% of the population.

For comparison, NYC houses about 4.3% of its population in public housing, Philadelphia 2.2%, Toronto 5.9%, Chicago 1.8%, Houston 0.4%.


5: and allow the residents of those apartments to repaint them and decorate them and do whatever they wish to do to make the places feel like home-don't put in requirements like they had in "the projects" that everything be kept as dreary-and-run down-looking as possible.


@8 @12

The problem with the idea that the homeless (or the "bad homeless" at any rate) should not be allowed to stay in the city is that they're probably not going to leave if you just ask them politely.

We don't have the police force necessary to continuously roust the homeless throughout the city; we'd need a lot more money to build up that kind of police presence. And if we were going to arrest and imprison anyone who eventually collapsed after being hustled off of one patch of ground after another, we'd need more prison capacity, which is considerably more expensive than shelter beds or even plain old housing units.

In other words, the "zero tolerance" homeless-removal approach you seem to be in favor of would fail for the same reason "housing first" is failing-- the city simply can't raise the revenue to pay for it.


Given that the 2018 count found fewer persons in shelters than did the 2017 count, this will give us yet more capacity to sweep the illegal encampments, and more opportunities for the Navigation teams to succeed.

Meanwhile, the losers of the EHT debate, CMs Sawant and Mosqueda, seem to believe that doubling down on the very talking points which led to their humiliating defeat on EHT will magically work for their next great big idea. (What did the poll commissioned by the pro-EHT side say about voters’ perceptions of the Council, again?)


@15: The problem has exploded out of control in the last years precisely BECAUSE we don't roust them. They know that they can come here and do whatever they want, so they follow the path of least resistance. And I'd much rather pay for more cops to arrest the crazies who are attacking tourists and citizens in broad daylight than pay for free housing to enable these people so they can continue to shoot up drugs while stealing from us to fund their habit. Boston is about our size with a much smaller budget and almost twice as many as cops, with a fraction of our homeless problem. Once the nation's vagrants and drug addicts start to get the message that we're serious about it, and that "Ellis island" is closed, the problem will start to take care of itself. They will move on to greener pastures or get the help that's offered them. We should have shut down the 1st encampment the day it popped up years ago.


@15: So, laws against theft, vagrancy, camping, and so forth should not be enforced because it’s just too gosh darned expensive?

What’s the cost of a Hep’ A outbreak? Even a small one?

Citizens just changed our City Council’s spending plans. We can do that again.


Awwwwwright! 500 down 12,000 more to go!(And growing daily)


I'm want to know why the future operating costs are so high: it works out to $17,500 annually per tiny house or shelter bed. I don't understand how we can spend that much each year on a plywood shack with no utilities.


@6: “If anything this proposal opens the door to more sweeps to occur within the city.”

Why is this a bad thing?



Um, because, if, as all the "homeless are scum" contingent keep saying, they need to get fucking jobs or whatever, they may find it rather challenging to maintain the sort of minimal stability needed to become gainfully employed: maintain an address, have access to job search services, keep clean and presentable; if they're being uprooted every couple of weeks and whatever meager possessions they've managed to accumulate to accomplish that lofty goal are constantly being thrown in a dumpster.


@17 @19

OK, then, go out there and get the ball rolling. Write a ballot initiative, back a candidate, go find out what Mark Sidran is doing these days, whatever you fancy.

You can put all the laws on the books you like, but they aren't going to do a damn thing if you haven't got the police numbers for a comprehensive daily sweep of every park, greenbelt, underpass, and vacant lot in the city, and the prison cells to hold anyone who won't cooperate. And never mind all the other crap the currently understaffed SPD has to deal with.

Show us some realistic dollar figures for the staffing, equipment, and training for that kind of program. And then propose a revenue plan, and put it to the people.

You're gonna have the same damn problem everyone else runs up against: the citizens of Seattle ain't gonna pay for it.


@23: Oh please. What kind of job-seeking effort do you think the people at the tent mansion have been making for the last 3 months? Even after the attack on the tourist the other day, we haven't uprooted them or their neighbors, who have been slowing down construction of the new apartment building on the site. They'd happily stay there for a year if if we allow them to get away with it. That's the lifestyle they say they want to live.


@24: Why should I — or any citizen — have to make a special effort to get our laws enforced? Since the repeal of the EHT, losers from CM Mosqueda on down have whined about how much time and effort was spent crafting the miserable failure that was the late EHT. Let they who asked for leadership roles show some real leadership on getting our laws enforced and disease outbreaks prevented.

Your argument about it costing too much kind of runs smack into our City Council’s willingness to tax us a lot more to fund more failure.



Oh, you poor thing, no you don't have to do any work at all to get your government work the way you want it to work. Laws you like will just MAGICALLY start enforcing themselves without incurring any extra costs at all!

Get a grip and stop acting like a petulant toddler. If you want those laws strictly enforced, you're going to have to face up to reality, put together some in-this-world estimates of how many officers and how much equipment and prison capacity that kind of enforcement is going to take, and how much it will cost, and then present a revenue plan to your fellow citizens.

Police equipment doesn't fall from the sugarplum forest, officers aren't paid by the tooth fairy, prisons don't grow out of the ground like dandelions, and the homeless sure as hell aren't going to just wake up one day and decide to start strictly obeying the laws you favor.

If you don't like the idea of hiring and training the police officers your plan would realistically require, then you're going to have to put up with us laughing in your face when you shake your little fists and demand a program that would quite obviously take a hell of a lot of money to implement.

What is that term you have, the one for people who demand expensive things for free?


Sawant: "The only way.... And the only way..." and anyone who disagrees with me, the one who knows, is a corporate sell-out, centrist wimp, and ideological traitor... Well, I'd love to see more folks on the council who can say: I might be wrong. Let me ask you what you think. Let's try to synthesize some different approaches into a coherent program. Let me consider what you've said, and perhaps I'll change my view in light of evidence you provide. That's not betrayal or selling out: it's being true to oneself and to life's complexity. Just now the right nationally and the left locally don't seem to grasp the difference between principle and dogma. Some of us recoil at those who announce "the only way this" and "the only way that" because the "ism" to which I've committed myself is better than your oppressive, terrible "ism." Fewer ideologues, more philosophers. Less sanctimony, more consideration.


@27: I see I need to spell out every last thing to a putative adult, so I will.

It is the responsibility of the legislature (City Council) to appropriate and allocate funds to the executive (Mayor and police) so the latter can enforce our laws. This is a basic concept in American civics and governmental theory for the past quarter of a millennium; sorry that you missed it.

If the police lack the resources to enforce our laws against vagrancy, theft, and camping on public property, then it is part of the normal function of government for the police to request more funds from the Council, and the Council to provide, e.g. by re-allocating from other accounts, or by raising new funds via taxation. That is what needs to happen.

Everything you snottily and condescendingly lectured me to do is thus part of the normal function of government; it is the reason we citizens pay taxes and vote. We shouldn’t have to do anything more — especially when we have a Council so active, they can eagerly plan new taxes we neither need nor want.



Oh you poor little duckling.

No, the funds to enforce a law do not magically appear in the City's coffers as soon as the ink hits the paper. The city is already underfunded. Your program will require a new source of revenue, and lots of it. And if the council proposes and passes a new revenue (i.e. tax) plan for you, it's going to face exactly the same backlash the head tax experienced.

By all means, keep demanding expansive things for free, my little duck. I find it extraordinarily amusing to watch you do so.


@30: The only person who talked about getting anything for free was you, so please direct your surfeit of snotty, jejune condescension into the nearest mirror.

Yes, proper enforcement of our laws will require more police resources. You can talk really, really big at yourself all you want about how any new tax for that purpose must simply go the way of the head tax; it seems the losers of the head tax debate will console themselves with any statement, no matter how obviously false, about why that particular tax was immediately opposed and swiftly repealed.

One thing the city is already doing is reducing the number of social-service providers on contract to provide homeless services. As this liberates money, we can increase the amount spent sweeping these illegal and hazardous encampments. So a new tax, if required, might require less revenue than the head tax demanded.

A new and smaller tax which provided resources for the police to evict criminals from illegal encampments might have a far different fate than did the head tax, but since you can’t or won’t understand that, I won’t bother explaining why to you.


31 there's no humane or decent way to enforce those statutes. And it isn't possible to just "roll the bums out of town" as the Utah Phillips song had it.

Why are you so bound and determined to run Seattle as though Rudy Giuliani were mayor? His approach didn't do anything but punish the poor for being poor. And in many ways, it made life WORSE for the poor, as when Rudy did things like plow under community gardens so more luxury housing could be built-as if NYC's big problem was that the rich didn't have enough privilege and the non-rich weren't suffering enough. The police could go in to the camps right now and get the actual criminals...there's no need to drive EVERYBODY out of the camps and destroy the camps entirely, especially since there's nowhere else for them to go. Filling the jails with the homeless achieves nothing.

At some point, you simply lost your humanity.


@32: “...there's no humane or decent way to enforce those statutes.”

Of course there is. Give the inhabitants of a swept illegal encampment the option of shelter space — which we already do. Anyone who refuses gets a ticket for illegal encampment. The latter leave town rather than pay, and our chance of a Hep’ A outbreak is greatly reduced.

Meanwhile, you’re free to demonstrate how you haven’t lost your humanity by opening your home to as many drug-using bicycle thieves as you like. Get going.