SPD Arrests Over 20 in Cal Anderson Sweep

Comments

1

THANK GOD!!!!! I'm tired of this shit.

3

I hope they sweep Ballard Commons tomorrow morning.

4

Ah, it's so comforting to see all our resident trolls filled with the loving spirit of Christ so close to the celebration of his birth. On this day let us remember the words Jesus spoke and likewise hope those of you who believe in him do as he commanded:

Luke 6:20-21
Then he looked up at his disciples and said: ‘Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.’

Luke 4:16-19
When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.’

Matthew 25:34-36
Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’

Mark 10:21-22
Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, ‘You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.’ When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions.

Mark 12:41-44
He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. Then he called his disciples and said to them, ‘Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.’

Luke 14:12-14
He said also to the one who had invited him, ‘When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, in case they may invite you in return, and you would be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.’

Luke 16:19-25
There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who longed to satisfy his hunger with what fell from the rich man’s table; even the dogs would come and lick his sores. The poor man died and was carried away by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried.

Luke 11:39-42
Then the Lord said to him, ‘Now you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. You fools! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also? So give for alms those things that are within; and see, everything will be clean for you. But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and herbs of all kinds, and neglect justice and the love of God.’

Luke 12:16-21
Then he told them a parable: ‘The land of a rich man produced abundantly. And he thought to himself, ‘What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?’ Then he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God.’

Or, you know, just keep on being sanctimonious, hypocritical assholes - it's your choice...

5

"This story will be updated soon. My hands need to thaw a little more"

ok just a wee bit dramatic. there are these things called "gloves" that allow hands to stay warm even during these arctic 46 degree days.

once the park is cleared the city needs to keep it that way as well as trespass anyone that tries setting up again.

@3, yes one would hope. its a shit show there...

6

@4, "should your needles run dry i shall replenish them with meth and heroin"

7

@2... where they got Covid19 and died.

The End.

8

@6 I take it your an old testament "throw babies from the walls and dash their skulls upon the rocks" kind of guy.

Anyway, I fail to see why it's morally or economically superior to withhold help and compassion from people with mental illness and addiction.

If we'd did that all the time your mom would've been in prison rather than give birth to the fetal alcohol baby we know and love today.

9

Good news everyone! The symptoms have been removed!

10

@9 temporarily

11

@8 "Anyway, I fail to see why it's morally or economically superior to withhold help and compassion from people with mental illness and addiction."

those are your words, not mine. unfortunately you can offer help 100 times and if a person says, "no thanks" 100 times then what?

of course there is not nearly enough funding for mental illness and addiction but that is another story. as it stands now, the greater good is more important to me than letting a small % of the city population run wild, free of concern or consequence.

aside from being immature, your statement about my mom is false - people don't go to jail for drinking, silly!

12

@6 That's the point. These Reich-Wing Nut-Jobs want the poor and downtrodden to die, and reduce what they see as nothing but surplus population.

13

And of course COMTE claims the alter of the most progressive, humanitarian, compassionate, arbiter of truth and gazes over the homeless tents and blight in Cal Anderson and is nevertheless filled with a conviction that if you side with the homeless no matter who they are, location, or circumstance you know you're in the right no matter what and those who take issue with park encampments shall be cursed as the wicked.

15

"Alter of the arbiter of truth"?

Boy, someone needs to brush up on their English language skills and vocabulary!

16

Put the vulnerable unhoused at the front of the line for vaccines, watch Prof's "leave them be or they will DiE oF CoViD!!!!" argument vanish. Will we be allowed to remove them from the filth-strewn parks for a few days to tidy them up then, o great one?

"Individuals experiencing homelessness should be in safer spaces like shelters and hotels especially during the winter, and our parks should not be places with illegal and unsafe conduct like fires, makeshift barricades blocking access to residents and first responders, or individuals who are threatening city workers conducting routine maintenance and breaking into city facilities"
-Seattle Parks Dept, seems like a reasonable statement and reason to clear the park

"Just let us live outside."
-Sunday (ever notice these people always have fun nicknames?), a totally unreasonable request

17

*altAr - Thank you seatangled

18

Poor dumb-shits.

19

@13:

I claim nothing - I simply quoted the teachings of the person roughly 205,000,000 people in this country claim to follow, but only a fraction of that number do in actual fact - they're HIS WORDS, not mine. So, if you have a problem siding with the poor, destitute and downtrodden regardless of their circumstances you should take it up with him, because so far as I'm aware he never made such an exception.

20

They'll be back tomorrow, Monday tops.

21

But they ran out of Overtime funds back in ... July.

22

Why do you even need a park in a pandemic? You don't. Just let the people live there; if you don't want such a mess, maybe hire someone to keep these encampments clean.

Because it's not like you get trashed picked up when you are homeless; instead, you have to find a place to put your trash.

People should try being homeless before they curse the homeless; because it's sure not easy nor comfortable being homeless.

23

That was the least important typo.

24

"...unfortunately you can offer help 100 times and if a person says, "no thanks" 100 times then what?"

So the fuck what? You offer it 101 times. An 102 times. And 103 times. And... How do you think compassion works? there's always other people to help.

Or I guess you just quit helping everyone, right? Jesus. How were you raised such a failure of a human being?

25

They were there because we have a housing crisis, an economic crisis and a society crashing into fascism that is causing more poverty and desperation. It is really not rocket science, right wing zombies. Too bad you can't wake up from your demented Trumpist spell. Grow up into full human beings that have actual compassion for others instead of control freak thinking that dwarfs your spirits.

Provide positive solutions for a change. This city is backwards, when other cities throughout
the world are able to provide the poor and ill Housing First solutions, this city is criminally lacking, using brutality to force human beings into the streets is beyond sickening. Kind of like a practice that nazi Germany would use. You think?

26

Imagine if we actually fixed the problem instead of continually cycling through sweeps that do nothing. Spend the money on providing no barrier, permanent housing and be done with it.

27

You trashers are very fortunate that you are not in the shoes of the people forced into the streets. I guess you could thank your mommy and daddy or whoever else secured you. But others were not so lucky.

It really, really, stinks being so poor and yet people work and can't earn enough to live in this wealthy city.

Cowards blame the poor yet refuse to see the root causes such as greed and corruption.

28

@16 Boy, Strawmen are popular today!

No, you give vaccines to front line doctors, medical workers, vulnerable populations and essential workers first. Just like we are now.

The homeless, if they are over 60 YO or have co-morbidity, then they get in that queue with the vulnerable populations. You triage exactly like we are.

Why would you not? Makes no sense to do it another way. Not sure what reaction you'd think I'd have? Or why I'd favor up-ending a process designed by epidemiologist. See. I actually TRUST experts. And the experts say leave the outdoor encampments alone until the pandemic is over peak.

Otherwise the homeless populations that live in parks are low risk. You move them to shelters, you raise the risk.

So. Why would you raise the risk? Why do you want to spread an infectious disease? Oh. Right. Because you see them as non-human scum and you do not give a shit if they die. Except the spread disease to other populations. You know. Like you.

And you don't believe the pandemic is serious anyway so cares about your dumb straw men.

29

16 Notice that you don't understand what is really going on?

30

"None of the passages you quote, in the original language and original context, were intended by the speaker, or understood by the audience, to refer the way society should organize government."

HAHAHA. Holy shit. Religion WAS government, dumbfuck. There literally was no separation of church and state for 90% of the history of Christianity.

But if it's "historical context" you after then nothing in the bible was designed to apply to a civilization that could put a fucking man on the moon, fly trans continentally, and give sex reassignment surgeries either.

But sure. Cherry pick according your own selfish and narrow hearts content. He would've wanted it that way.

31

@27 - Nobody's blaming the poor. Get off that schtick. We just want the poor, along with everyone else, not to set up camp in our city parks.

32

@24 - by, "then what" i mean more along the lines of, if they are offered legit help and they decline instead to camp along greenlake, ballard commons, cal andersen, "then what"? they remain set up in a public park? throw our hands up in the air, hand over parks and public amenities to drug addicts and hope for a better result the 102nd time, the 123rd time?

someone that drug addled and/or mentally ill can't make a good decision for themselves often times and the city should not allow them to rot in the streets or a park for a variety of reasons.
so its "let them camp anywhere or you're a trump supporter!"??

you seem unwilling or incapable of rational discussion and assume people (me) are trolls or evil, resort to petty insults, name calling, etc...that's fine i guess, but i will continue to voice my opinion here and elsewhere without concern for your mean ol' tough guy words.

33

@4 Quoting fictional writings about mythological deities is no way to prove a point.

34

SLOG commentators, and most of Seattle's political leadership continue to show a lack of understanding about the encampments across Seattle.

It's not about income inequality, affordable housing, or really even poverty. It's about mental health care and drug addiction.

The seeds for this problem were planted decades ago by conservatives who stopped funding for inpatient mental hospital care, and by Liberals and Libertarians who filed and won court cases making civil commitment much harder than it needs to be.

Look around Seattle. The people living in tents on our sidewalks will never be able to care for themselves. They will need support for the rest of their lives. Conservatives will never let us pay for that kind of support and Liberals and Libertarians will never let us make that support mandatory.

So we are stuck playing whack-a-mole.

Our only hope is to increase the number and frequency of the sweeps until the out of state travelers travel on to greener pastures.

35

@34: "It's not about income inequality, affordable housing, or really even poverty. It's about mental health care and drug addiction."

If the problem was that 2 dimensional we would have solved it by now. Yes there is mental health and drug addiction, but there are also arrest records that make it impossible to rent, people experiencing divorce, garnished wages due to tax events and decade old student loans, and a hundred other tragic individual reasons. In my experience, people who want to sum the problem up with 1-2 reasons are usually victim blamers projecting their distorted world view on others. They find the least sympathetic case ( a Travis Berge who almost certainly was portrayed as a characture designed to justify victim blaming) and use that to define all homeless of beyond help and more importantly, undeserving of it. Some people were born on third base and spend their life pretending they hit a triple. These people are the most offended by the homeless.

There only seem to be three areas of agreement among experts who work with the homeless. The first, as confirmed in Salt Lake and to a lessor extent New York (where 90% of their homeless population has temporary housing) is that a housing first policy is most effective in dealing with homelessness since nothing else can be addressed without it.

The second is that government erects far too many barriers to accessing the programs nominally designed to assist the homeless (we're only willing to help homeless people who look and act like a character from a Dicken's novel and invest and enormous amount of time and energy creating barriers who anyone who is not the type of homeless person we approve of) . Much like failed broken windows policing, this one provides a great way to scapegoat and victim blame the homeless by shifting our institutional failure to deal with this on to those least able to overcome that obstacle (they want to be homeless!)

The third is that criminalization of the poor and homeless only ensures the problem makes things worse and makes things harder to fix. When you are living in your car and the police impound it, when you have your tent swept with 15 minutes notice and lose your ID, birth certificate and everything else you need to reintegrate into society you are actively making it harder for them to find housing in the future. That sums up the current Cal Anderson sweep.

Just as the goal of broken window policing was never greater public safety, the goal of homeless sweeps is not to bring the homeless closer to housing. The goal is to remove human beings who have been reduced to an eyesore in the public imagination and provide easy tropes to justify how they deserve whatever they got along with feeding stupid "all homeless people are fill in the blank" tropes the simple minded thrive on.

There are two kinds of people who see the homeless. Those who look at the homeless and see a series of bad choices they would never make, and those who look at the homeless and think "that could have been me." Those two people will never agree, but it's clear that law enforcement is staffed and run entirely by those in that first group.

One way we would help the homeless immediately and save money in the process would be to further defund the police. If we have enough police for an operation like this, we clearly have too many police.

36

@35
"If the problem was that 2 dimensional we would have solved it by now."

If you had read my post you would have seen why this simple two dimensional problem is impossible to solve.

Any true solution is going to anger people on the left and people on the right.

People on the right are going to be royally pissed that we have to spend tax money taking care of these people for the rest of their lives. We are talking about people who can't pull themselves up by their bootstraps because they are terrified that their bootstraps are conspiring with their neighbors cat to inject them with mind control fluid. That person will never be able to contribute, hold a job, or provide for their own sustenance. So it is up to the government to perpetually house them.

People on the left will be royally pissed because with the help will have to come rules. No you can't just setup your tent in this city park you have to go to this shelter. No you can't take your dog with you to the shelter. No you can't continue to sell stolen bicycle parts at the shelter. And no you can't inject heroin at the shelter.

Want to solve this homeless crisis? Bring back Civil Commitment and fully fund Western State Hospital.

37

31 You still don't get it?

38

Luddite5 Thank you for your realistic excellent comment.

39

Sir Toby 11 The newer more effective approach would be the Housing First program which has been proven in places throughout the world.

40

31 Oh, come on Raindrop admit it. You really want them dead. You don't care about the parks and who is using them now. You want people out of the way. You don't want to see the poverty
because that might mean things need to change for the better. People can see through your shtick. YOU THINK YOU ARE MAKING CLEVER COMMENTS. They are generally just mean.

41

Great exchange between Sir Toby II and Luddite5. I must say, Luddite5, that I fully know "but for the grace of God, go I" so I fit your latter description of how people see the homeless. But such a disposition doesn't mean we have to forego public safety and the needs of our city - which include our most popular parks.

42

This is what we have to show for the $100M/year our Seattle city government spends on homelessness. A rousing success all around, amirite? Obviously, we just need to spend more on our current approach! $100M didn't do it, so let's hand over every public space, too! A homeless guy died in a vat of bleach at Cal Anderson Park? Obviously it was a plot to stop de-funding the police!

Civic discourse on this level suggests why we can't solve our problems.

43

@39
"Want to solve this homeless crisis? Bring back Civil Commitment and fully fund Western State Hospital."

I think I was promoting a Housing first option.

44

@41: I'm glad you agree that could be any one of us. Because our homelessness government institutions have failed in Seattle, we are presented with a false dilemma between public safety and clean parks, but those should not be competing goals. There is some correlation between functional government and dealing with homelessness. Typically the better government is at collaborating across institutions, the better they deal with all adversity to include homelessness. I think before we can address homelessness in Seattle we need to address dysfunctional government that leans too heavily on policing to solve its problems.

@42: I don't think anyone would argue that the money we spend on homelessness in Seattle could be better spent, but how is that the fault of the homeless? Why aren't you asking them why they are not using that 100/m a year to build actual housing? Shouldn't your ire be directed at those we task with addressing homeless rather than the victims we fail to help?

I mentioned Travis Berge in my earlier post. He is almost certainly a more sympathetic person in real life than how he was portrayed in the Seattle Times and KIRO, who both specialize in smearing people to hate who are no longer with us to defend themselves. Whatever you think of Travis Berg, things would have been better for all of us if we had given him housing. We have the same responsibility to look after him that we have to look after all out most vulnerable members if society. I think a society is judged by how well it looks after it's most vulnerable. In the US we currently despise prisoners, the homeless and sex workers the most. That we treat these three groups with a law enforcement first mentality does not speak well for us.

Homeless sweeps and incarceration are far more expensive than building housing for the homeless. We tried the voucher system and it has been a huge failure. Time to go back to building actual infrastructure for the homeless and removing barriers to them being accepted for that housing. It we build housing and place more homeless people in it, we will have less need for police to perform counter-productive sweeps so we can reduce their budget. You mention the 100m/year we spend on the homeless, but that is a fraction of what we spend on ICE, SPD, Highway Patrol, Sheriff office, prisons, judges, prosecutors and everyone else involved in making homelessness worse through criminalization of poverty. We need to stop digging before we can start building. Defunding the police further is a move in the right direction.

@38 You are a consistent a point of light for compassion. Thank you.

45

@39
"I think I was promoting a Housing first option."

You are promoting housing first by twisting arms (civil commitment), which is something different. America has the largest, best funded, most powerful in terms of surveillance, most violent and least accountable police force in the western world along with the worst homeless problem. Clearly more police and more violence is not the answer.

99% of the homeless would jump on the chance to have housing and medical care if we simply provided it without massive puritanical restrictions. Besides, how many times have you been persuaded by someone twisting your arm? Why do you think the homeless would be any more respective to that?

The hardest part wouldn't even be building the housing. It would be convincing suburbanites that open access public housing is in their best interests even when the tenants don't look like orphan Annie. No grown up wants to be treated like a 5 year old by people who don't even know them.

46

Finland, a model for housing-first, managed to build 3500 units of housing in about 10 years for $306m USD.
Seattle could never achieve that, we get excited about 100 new units at $200m every few years. It's certainly a goal to reach for.
@28 simmer down now, I was being facetious. I believe the covid risk...me sitting in my house doing nothing exciting and going nowhere since February when I lost my job ski instructing about 2.5 months too early. Hooray! The city supposedly offered these folks covid-safe arrangements, as well.

47

Good. 💉 everywhere. Don't have a problem with homeless, but if you litter you deserve to be yeeted into the i-5.

48

@44: "I don't think anyone would argue that the money we spend on homelessness in Seattle could be better spent, but how is that the fault of the homeless?"

I neither stated nor implied it was the fault of the homeless. I noted how the policy has obviously failed, yet we keep trying it anyway. That is the fault of our city government, as I very clearly did state.

Again, your discourse shows why we cannot even describe a problem, much less solve it.

50

Luddite5 @44
No, Travis killed his girlfriend. There’s no sympathy for him.

51

Do a quick search for and watch the KOMO recent documentary "Fight for the soul of Seattle" on YouTube and "Homelessness" by Chris Rufo. Rather than reflexively dismiss the film-makers because you don't like them personally or who they are working with or for, pay attention to the content and decide if it may have merit. Rufo actually links some citations from the YouTube page. The significant portion of those on our streets are beset with drug or alcohol issues as well as mental illness. Those temporarily down on their luck emerge from homelessness, can accept limits and the parameters of shelters. And more than half on our streets are from other cities, as we have created relative to other places, incentives for those with fewer choices and options. We tolerate the intolerable. There is nothing that links homelessness with garbage and graffiti but both seem to accompany the issue in Cal Anderson and every other park and squat in the city, as well as I-5 corridor.

I am amazed at the enablers who excuse those who want to take over our parks when they prefer to decline options offered. I prefer that our parks are given back to the people for the purposes designed, and which by the way, we the people voted to add funds to a few years back. Those apologists really ought to free up their couch or spare room, since that is yours, while the park is mine and thousands of others who did agree to share it in this way.

The only way that many of the addicts will ever change is if they find themselves with fewer options and decide that sobriety might be easier than being chased around and living where they don't want to, and not being welcomed in parks and given every sort of help but treatment. They are not capable of informed choice while strung out. They are not like you and I until they are healthy. You would not expect functioning from a person in the middle of a cardiac event, or advanced cancer. You would treat them. I have more sympathy for the addicts than the many fools who enable them. And nothing but contempt for the black clad mobs who are using this for their own childish acting out. I hope the cops and city sweep every park and squat in town. Make shelters available but do not let saying no to vacating public spaces and option. Return and re-sweep as necessary. And use jail as they were designed for, like people who steal, assualt and destroy things! You will miraculously find some return home to family and friends, some to treatment, some to work. Stop throwing our collective hands up in defeat. We spend so much already. Redirecting a portion to cleaning and recleaning our spaces and case management services and shelters for each person would be cheaper and more impactful. It has to start somewhere and I hope that Cal Anderson is a symbolic and real start. The minute a new tent appears, a few cops should walk out of the nearby precinct and give them about an hour to dismantle.

52

@50, @51: The satire just writes itself, doesn't it?

Luddite5: Would you please accept our help? Pretty please? Pretty, pretty please, with sugar on top?

Travis "Traveltron" Berge: Nah, I'd rather take huge amounts of meth' and kill my girlfriend. Where's my vat of bleach?

Luddite5: Defund the police!

53

@51 Agreed completely, I think the sweeps should also be used to deter addiction by confiscating drugs & contraband. In addition the city should come down hard on the dealers who can give two fucks about the rest of us including the people they are slanging dope too. As an ex addict who had a mean rock habbit for several years, as well as seeing close friends get on and off heroin (thank god before fenty) you have to hit rock bottom before you can change your life. The city of Seattle is only stringing on addiction with our policies and should rather be making it so hard that it accelerates that rock bottom while at the same hand be ready to offer a way out via temp housing and treatment.

54

@24: "So the fuck what? You offer it 101 times. An 102 times. And 103 times."

How'd that work out for Lisa Vach and Travis Berge?

"CHS reported here on the domestic violence murder-suicide in which Vach was found assaulted, choked, and dying in the park and the police standoff with suspect Travis Berge ended with him dead inside the park’s reservoir pumphouse." (https://www.capitolhillseattle.com/2020/09/remember-lisa-vach/)

If any one of Berge's many, many "catch-and-release" episodes with our criminal justice system had instead ended with a requirement he go for drug treatment or stay in jail, he and Lisa Vach might still be alive. But hey, another two ugly deaths, and you just keep on advocating the same failed policy. (Don't forget to yell at your neighbors for lacking compassion!)

55

The homeless are not drug addicts and they're not mental health problems. But yeah, keep letting conservative right wing paranoid tin foil hat wearers convince your gullible, naïve asses that's true.

Fucking idiot losers. Stop shitting your pants and grow up.

56

@55: Not all, but approx 36 to 38 percent are:

As of 2019, 567,715 people in the United States were sleeping on the streets, in emergency shelters, or in transitional housing, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).1 Many of the individuals who lack a permanent residence suffer from substance abuse or mental health disorders that prevent them from finding safe living conditions. The HUD estimates that in 2019, 36% percent of the chronically homeless suffered from a chronic substance abuse problem, a severe mental illness, or both.1

https://sunrisehouse.com/addiction-demographics/homeless-population/

The National Coalition for the Homeless has found that 38% of homeless people are alcohol dependent, and 26% are dependent on other harmful chemicals.

https://www.addictioncenter.com/addiction/homelessness/

57

@55, @56: And specifically for Seattle:

-- More than two-thirds of Seattle's homeless said they were not originally from Seattle;
-- A minority said Seattle was the place they most recently became homeless;
-- A majority claimed to use alcohol or other drugs;
-- "One quarter (25%) of respondents self-reported job loss as the primary cause of their homelessness. Thirteen percent (13%) reported alcohol or drug use, 11% reported an inability to afford rent increase..."

(http://coshumaninterests-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/City-of-Seattle-Report-FINAL-with-4.11.17-additions.pdf)

Seattle may have a housing-affordability problem, but that is not what primarily drives our homelessness crisis. We've had an influx of already-homeless drug users. Trying to solve this public-health crisis as if it was a housing problem has wasted a hundred million dollars annually, and cost us plenty of lives as well.

58

Oh, and from the same report: "The highest percent (71%) of respondents reported that they could afford a monthly rent of less than five hundred dollars, followed by 24% who reported they could afford between $500 and $1,000 monthly."

That was in 2016, by which time there were no more one-bedroom apartments anywhere in Seattle (or even King County) for rent at less than $1000/month. (A decent small apartment for $500/month was hard to find twenty years earlier.) Literally 95% of respondents could not afford to live in Seattle. We're simply not responsible to provide housing for anyone who wants to live in Seattle, regardless of ability to pay.

59

@5: "No, Travis killed his girlfriend. There’s no sympathy for him."

What happened to his girlfriend was a tragedy, but seeing his lost life as a tragedy as well does not diminish her. We have the capacity to see multiple tragedies without diminishing anyone if we choose to.

In real life, criminals and victims are usually the same group. They magical line between good and bad is an illusion. There is good and bad that runs through all of us.

@46: You seem to have stumbled upon the point I made in my post: "I think before we can address homelessness in Seattle we need to address dysfunctional government that leans too heavily on policing to solve its problems."

@ You don't propose solutions or ideas, just a lot of whining about the problem while jealously protecting bloated police budgets at all costs. You also have a bad habit of responding to the comments of others that you attribute to me:

"Luddite5: Would you please accept our help? Pretty please? Pretty, pretty please, with sugar on top?"

Where did I recommend begging the homeless to be helped? Your comments are laregely nonsensical, which is why I increasingly ignore your posts. You seem to struggle with saying what you mean and meaning what you say.

Let's give you one more try. We can't have a conversation if you have no ideas. What is your proposal for the homeless?

60

Last post above was fr tensor @48 & @52:
You don't propose solutions or ideas, just a lot of whining about the problem while jealously protecting bloated police budgets at all costs. You also have a bad habit of responding to the comments of others that you attribute to me:

"Luddite5: Would you please accept our help? Pretty please? Pretty, pretty please, with sugar on top?"

Where did I recommend begging the homeless to be helped? Your comments are largely nonsensical, which is why I increasingly ignore your posts. You seem to struggle with saying what you mean and meaning what you say.

Let's give you one more try. We can't have a conversation if you have no ideas. What is your proposal for the homeless?

61

It's quite fascinating to see Urgutha and others get so enraged when we describe the percentage of chronic drug addiction and mental illness among the homeless. Why is that?

The reaction of homelessness sparks one of two reactions: Either people get angry at seeing the tents, garbage, graffiti or they see that and the anger turns to Jeff Bezos and income inequality and rage at billionaires. For the latter, the tents and garbage are more of an argument for their rage than something to be addressed and removed.

Imagine the surprise some would have when finding out a homeless person was once a rich investor but lost it all over OxyContin, meth, heroin, or booze. The correct course of action is treatment, including forced treatment, but certainly not that his tent should remain in the park.

Homelessness should always be a horrible existence to avoided at all costs. It should remain a cold, hungry, and dangerous existence. It should remain a stigma, a humiliation, a degradation. That's actually far more compassionate disposition to have than using the homeless as objects and arguments against capitalism and Amazon.

62

"Homelessness should always be a horrible existence to avoided at all costs."

wow.
you mean: EXCEPT an equitable (and Humane) distribution of our Resources that does NOT vastly Favor the Right of ONE Individual to amass more Wealth than 50,000,000 of our Citizens -- you're right -- that's the One Cost we WILL be Avoiding at all costs.

"It should remain a cold, hungry, and dangerous existence. It should remain a stigma, a humiliation, a degradation."

wowzer.
Merry Xmas.

"That's actually far more compassionate... "

oh no doubt

but perhaps recognizing the Difference 'twixt the symptoms and their Causes'll be your First Step in the Epic path to your Enlightenment, raincloud.

speaking of Moral High Horseys

63

@62. I get the reaction to 61 and would like to rephrase it to something along the line of "homelessness due to bad decisions should have consequences that motivate change...". The simplistic pointing out of wealth disparity is a distraction. The uber wealthy who created companies got that way because we sent them our money because they and their teams took risks and created goods and services that we want. And they are but temporary custodians of this wealth, which as you can see in the form of the Gates Foundation and the ex wife of Bezos, MacKenzie Scott, get redistributed. And Bezos does things like buy and maintain the venerable Washington Post, launch rockets and have his own foundation. Whether altruistic or good tax planning, the wealthy can only consume so many homes, art and jets before they die. The rest is surplus. If they wait till their demise the government will take over 50% in inheritance taxes, which they are too smart to permit.

I am one of those who have far more than I need but less than the uber wealthy by several zeros. I pay my taxes - more than 30% of income, have a nice home, take nice vacations when I am not confined from Covid, and have one more car than I need. We give away 6 plus figures per year to non-profits of my family's choice. And we buy the services of many working people, to build or remodel a house, serve a meal, grow our food, sell us goods, deliver these goods and maintain them, maintain the yard, do our taxes and much more.

We have zero interest in giving money away to the likes of those in Cal Anderson who claim victimhood, entitlement, who steal, who tag, who trash, who shoot up - who do anything but contribute to society or earn our respect. They take, many steal, and still want more. And their suburban enablers have no excuse! Many of them save the chronically mentally ill are capable of much more and all are capable of limits, choice, entering treatment, not stealing bicycles and packages, not setting fires and making undue noise, and respecting the community at large.

The idea that redistributing wealth to individuals who have no self-control will lead to a good outcome, absent something more than passivity on the part of those in the park is beyond naive. Like the ill-equipped lottery jackpot winner, such wealth would be squandered, homes acquired trashed, and the drugs imbibed, of higher quality.

I'd like to point out in my unscientific review of letters to the Stranger, a significant change in tone on the topic over the months and years. The previously woke are increasingly done with tolerance and are recognizing the failure of our city's and region's policies. This gives me hope that there may be the political will to finally say no to our new normal and truly help and care about the well-being of all in our community, by no longer enabling or tolerating the unacceptable.

Sweep the parks and highways. Create shelter options that meet the requirements of the courts, but like a jail, are not required to be on the terms of those sent there, provide treatment. For those who won't abide, who steal, who damage and disrespect the property or safety of individual owners and the community - jail is a necessary outcome to perhaps change their minds. And it may send a message to the nation that Seattle is not a place to get a pass from the limits that the majority of cities and regions have long maintained on bad actors.

64

@63: I concur with your edit.

@62: Kristofarian, do you touch hot stoves with your bare hands? Of course you don't.

Do you do things to keep yourself from being homeless? Of course you do.

Get it?

65

It's like that classic Star Trek episode where two warring planets changed from weapons to computer algorithms to create fatalities where obedient and dutiful citizens reported themselves into disintegration chambers. Kirk and Spock put an end to that and made them face real war or engage in diplomacy.

It almost seems that the tragedy of homelessness is set aside by the some myopic progressives and "suburban enablers" to use it to solely clamor against the rich. Hence my (admittedly over-the-top) heralding how important it is to see how awful homelessness is.

This comment is paid for by a donation to Northwesthavest.org

66

"Do you do things to keep yourself from being homeless? Of course you do."

most folks go Bankrupt thru Medical Emergencies their Insurance won't cover and nor will the Gov't till you're broke or nearly so and now we have a Panfucking Demic with absolutely ZERO Leadership at the top (how can feckless republicans be so Tolerant of such insidious ineptitude?) and shall we assume an accompanying Tsunami of Homelessness?

I'm not suggesting the Homeless line up at Fulfillmenting Centers for their Daily Handout. I'm suggesting Bezos et al pay More than currently. from where else might the Money come? maybe from a Military that Planet-wide protects Capitalism from all comers? at the Cost of what? not having Homeless? and it's not just that. it's how we Run this whole thing. if we cannot Rethink it, I'd say we're pretty fucked.

Homelessness is a Symptom.

67

fuck
we cannot even provide
HEALTHCARE for the Citizenry.

are we Truly that Stupid?

68

@66 @67 You’ll perhaps sway me by documenting how many in Cal Anderson or other encampments lost housing due to medical debts. I’d bet zero or close to it.

That said, am personally all for Medicare for all.

69

lookit fucking Walmart
shit pay, and they teach their semi-indentured serfs how to surf for medicaid and food stamps and all those costs you have when you have Citizens whose Domestic Welfare you're Charged with protecting.

so the Waltons Refuse to pay it.
so We do.

and they've become THEE RICHEST FAMBLY in fucking America on the Citizenry's back thru shirking. unless we decide we wanna continue to see Corporations as farmers and the Citizenry as commodities to be harvested then wtf?

where the Fuck's
the Balance?

there is no
or Damn Little
Corporate Responsibility
and they can hang out
in their Gated
Communities
but for how
Long?

@68 -- well, as I suspicioned there's this:

Even before the pandemic left COVID-19 patients with staggering hospital bills, many people, especially those who are uninsured, were often overwhelmed with medical bills

Research shows that medical debt burdens millions of Americans: Depending on how “medical debt” is defined, studies from nonprofits and academic institutions generally show from 16% to 28% of adults carry that burden.

And medical debt and housing instability often go hand in hand. In a new University of Washington study of people experiencing homelessness in King County, unpaid medical bills were their primary source of debt, and that debt extended their period of homelessness by an average of two years.

“So many people have lost their jobs, and then they lose their health insurance.

They may not be able to pay even small medical bills or co-pays and still have rent or mortgage payments.

If they get sick with coronavirus, or some other medical condition, this can be the perfect storm that puts people out on the street and increases the time they spend there,” said Jessica Bielenberg, who conducted the study for her master’s thesis from the UW School of Public Health.

more at
https://www.washington.edu/news/2020/06/29/trouble-paying-medical-bills-can-lead-to-longer-episodes-of-homelessness-new-study-shows/

70

more here:
Little research has been done linking medical debt and homelessness, Bielenberg pointed out.

While her study did not find a direct causal relationship between the two, it did determine that among those experiencing homelessness, the inability to pay off medical bills, even a few hundred dollars, was associated with considerably more time spent unhoused.

Bielenberg and her co-authors worked with two Seattle organizations supporting shelters and encampments for the homeless: SHARE and Nickelsville. The team surveyed 60 adult residents about their health and financial situation, including other debts and past periods of homelessness. Two-thirds of participants were white; 15% were Black, and 7% were Native American.

Participants whose medical bills had been sent to collections had experienced homelessness for an average of 22 months longer than those who hadn’t had such trouble paying bills; Black, Indigenous and people of color who were unable to pay their medical bills reported being homeless a year longer than white participants with the same financial challenge.

“If Black lives really mattered, we wouldn’t systematically exclude those folks from good jobs — and a good job in America is a job with health insurance,” said co-author Marvin Futrell, a clinical instructor in the UW Department of Health Services and an organizer with SHARE and Nickelsville.

the Problem
is Systemic.

& we Bow
to the Corporate.

oh and then 'we' call it Freedom.

71

The first homeless encampment on record, was a stable in Bethlehem.

The "offenders" were an out-of-town couple, a carpenter come to pay his taxes, and his pregnant fiance.

In the absence of suitable space in the local shelter, they took refuge in the stable, where the fiance went into labor. There, they were visited by traveling clergymen from a neighboring jurisdiction ( which would later become known as "Iran" ).

When the local authorities came to evict the offenders, and to murder the new-born son ( on orders from the government official named Herod ), they fled into the jurisdiction of Egypt until Herod died after a long illness.

An "open warrant" remains outstanding for the offenders. Anyone with knowledge is asked to call 9-1-1.

72

And she refused to blow the whistle on the deadbeat dad!

73

@SecretAgentMan
pretty Certain I saw Him
in one of those Giant Prosperity
churches He was always promoting
(even as he threw the Beancounters the hell0utta
the Temple) -- he was up on a weird platform suspended
by, apparently His arms and legs and they'd put some sorta
Crown on His head that caused Him to bleed all over the place.

pretty sure it was the same Guy.
He didn't look at all Pissed, though -- almost
At Peace with what they'd done to Him... very very Odd.

74

@73 That's the way Robo-cops and SWAT Teams treated "vagrants" in the First Century.
I think the peaceful expression on his face was from the opioids. Did you notice empty needles on the ground? Or were they just planted there by the Robo-cops?
The crown on his head was the equivalent of a cardboard sign, since the guy couldn't read and write.

75

didn't notice the needles 009
perhaps Janitorial was already
all over it. riveting, to know they
had Slave Patrols even back then
but yeah they* musta had them Cog-
nitive dissonances to worship one and
Disown the Other for a more Muscular fat-
walleted blue-eyed AK-47 totin' Son of what-is-name.

say -- and doesn't He have a Birthday coming up soon?

that might help explain McTurtles
KkKonnell's sudden act of Generosity
he's gonna Hand Out nearly a Trillion in
Handouts to the Starving soon to be Homeless
trumpfs. do I have that about right?

*MEGA MAGA Prosperity Gospelers

76

@59, @60: We can't have a conversation if you can't or won't read, either, but I'll give you one more try.

"What is your proposal for the homeless?"

Exactly the same as it has been for years: to continue implementing the recommendations in the Poppe Report. It's been working, however imperfectly. From the 10 April 2019 edition of The Seattle Times:

"New Seattle homeless shelters got more people into housing

"...Seattle now says that 3,559 households received permanent housing and 704 were prevented from becoming homeless in 2018 with city-funded homeless services — a combined 17% increase over the previous year."

Which may be one reason the number of homeless persons counted in 2019 was smaller than in 2018 -- despite proponents of the EHT predicting the exact opposite outcome after we repealed their head tax. (Why does anyone still take them seriously?)

Now, if we could just get our City Council to stop interfering, maybe we could have even greater success.

"...while jealously protecting bloated police budgets at all costs."

I've never 'protected' any police budget, and if I had, it certainly would not have been via posting comments on Slog. Again, we can't have a conversation if you won't stop attributing to me statements I have not made.

"Where did I recommend begging the homeless to be helped?"

Oh, please stop whining. @55, here's your negative response to requiring drug treatment for persons who, due to their addictions, cannot care for themselves:

"You are promoting housing first by twisting arms (civil commitment), which is something different."

There are reasons you'd already engaged in extensive, if fruitless, attempts to hand-wave away the sorry example of Travis Berge. He's the #1 local poster boy for incarceration and involuntary commitment to a drug-treatment program. No amount of our politely asking him to enter treatment worked, and now he (and another homeless camper, apparently) are dead. By not requiring him to give up his criminal ways, we doomed him and, apparently, Lisa Vach.

Finally, if you'd pause flogging your "DefUnderpants Gnomes" shtick long enough to notice, you might see how the violent death of a homeless woman, literally within several blocks of the East Precinct station, shows we do not have enough police protection for everyone who chooses to reside in Seattle.

77

Here is just a sampling of words you WON'T find in the Poppe report:

"citation"
"sweep"
"arrest"
"involuntary"
"incarceration"
"ticket"

Here is a list of words you WILL find in the Poppe Report:

"voluntary"
"treatment"
"health"
"shelter"
"safety"

Huh.

78

$100M isn't anywhere close to what it would take to fund a solution to homelessness. McKinsey & Co. estimated the cost at $400M-$1.1B, and the political willpower to generate those kinds of funds doesn't exist. Neither do we have the resources to chase the homeless out by arresting and harassing them endlessly. All we can do is push the homeless around the city and remediate the worst sites temporarily. It sucks for all involved: the homeless, the sheltered citizens of Seattle, the policymakers, the police, the social workers. No one wins, and the reality is very unlikely to change anytime soon.

Anyone pretending otherwise (i.e.: Slog commenters acting as if a solution is one more internet comment away) is self-deluded.

79

@77: If you'd actually read the Poppe Report, instead of just failing to impress anyone with your ctrl+f'ing skills, you'd understand it does not cover homeless persons who either (a) need medical intervention for mental illness and/or severe drug addiction, or (b) are criminals. The former need to be committed for intense medical treatment, and the latter belong in jail. Neither belongs in a shelter.

@78: We really didn't need any more proof you didn't actually read the Poppe Report. It pretty clearly describes how we could shelter everyone who needs it with the resources we have, if we allocate those resources properly. (Contrast this with the yelps of pain from SHARE when asked to accept any performance metrics AT ALL as condition for receiving public funds, and our Council's repeated exemption of SHARE from even the most basic of accounting requirements.)

"McKinsey & Co. estimated the cost at $400M-$1.1B,"

By simply assuming that a lack of housing alone was the issue, and that persons were being driven into the streets from rising rentals alone. That assumption was never validated by data, as the study itself explicitly admits: "While exact data are hard to compile, it can be safely assumed that at least half of all ELI market-rate renters in King County experienced one or more episodes of homelessness last year..." (https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/public-and-social-sector/our-insights/why-does-prosperous-king-county-have-a-homelessness-crisis#) The actual figure given by the homeless themselves for rent increase as primary cause of homelessness was cited @57: 11%. McKinsey's study blithely assumes a figure almost five (!) times higher.

"Neither do we have the resources to chase the homeless out by arresting and harassing them endlessly. All we can do is push the homeless around the city and remediate the worst sites temporarily."

Um, because Seattle's city limits are some kind of event horizon for the homeless, right? Once they cross it, they cannot ever leave Seattle? That's not only untrue, it would be a weak excuse for not enforcing our public-health and safety laws. Keep spending ~$100M/year for a problem which never gets solved, and eventually even liberal Seattle will start electing law-and-order candidates.

"Anyone pretending otherwise (i.e.: Slog commenters acting as if a solution is one more internet comment away) is self-deluded."

Yeah, that endless "defund" nonsense really grates, doesn't it?

80

For anyone who’s interested in a fun read on homelessness, I recommend Pathways Home, a housing-first approach abandoned when our prior mayor was railroaded out of office by bigots and homophobes.

http://www.seattle.gov/documents/departments/pathwayshome/actionplan.pdf

I like our current model better: sweeps first. I am also rooting for arrests first and tickets first and just make them go away first.

Raids First: kills hobos dead!

81

Also fun: MATH! And the constitution.

There are roughly 12,000 homeless people in the city. Half live in shelters and transitional housing. Shelter capacity usage is estimated at 90%.

Did you know courts have ruled that people have a fundamental right to sleep? Imagine - you can’t just deprive someone of a place they are relying on to sleep.

Okay, story problem time!

If 100% of shelter beds were full, how many homeless people would you have to deprive of their civil rights to end homelessness by mass arrests? Is it:

A. ~5,000
B. The homeless aren’t human, duuuuuh.

Tune in tomorrow to find out if you’re stupid, a monster, or a stupid monster.

82

Bonus round!

Under a housing first model, the most effective way to combat homelessness is to get people off the street first, then treat underlying root causes (substance abuse, employment, affordability, etc.). For Seattle to follow this model, it would at a minimum have to double shelter bed capacity. Which if the following statements most accurately describes the cost of doing so?

A. Totally doable without spending one cent more
B.$400M - $1.1B a year sounds about right.

83

Bonus bonus round!!

People love to raise points like: “most of the homeless aren’t from here.” “The homeless are drug addicts.” “The homeless are lazy criminals.”

Which best describes these points of view?

A. Unhelpful to discussing constructive models of intervention
B. Prejudicial judgments meant to de-humanize
C. Beside the point
D. Impossible to prove or disprove, given the multiple complex factors at play in matters of housing
E. ALL OF THE FUCKING ABOVE

84

@80-@83: We really, really didn't need any more proof of your not ever having actually read the Poppe Report. Housing First was a prominent part of it, starting with low-barrier-to-entry shelters. Shelter capacity was under-used, so there was no physical barrier to getting everyone off the streets. But hey, manipulate your made-up numbers, and 'prove' otherwise! When that fails, just create facts out of nothing:

"Raids First: kills hobos dead!"

Lisa Vach died in a raid?

"Did you know courts have ruled that people have a fundamental right to sleep?"

Interesting you would mention, "... a fundamental right to sleep..." on December 23, 2020 at 2:05 AM. Perhaps that was a subtle hint as to the true origin of your awesome reasoning skills on display here?

85

Hey, everyone! I’m starting a homeless outreach citizen brigade! We are going to visit all the homeless camps and let the homeless know about all the open shelter beds! We will use baseball bats and chains to compassionately encourage the homeless to get into treatment and transitional housing! First outing is the day after tomorrow! You won’t want to miss it, because we’ll have it solved in a week or so and then you won’t get your chance to be part of the solution!!!!

(This post sponsored by Eric Johnson and his little heroes.)

86

Correction!

FINAL solution.

We are going to wipe homelessness from the face of the city. No homelessness will survive our thoughtful, caring work.

87

@80-83, @85-86: Dude, the only people killing homeless campers in Seattle are, apparently, other homeless campers in Seattle. No one in city government has anything to do with it.

I heartily recommend you get some sleep -- the four hours you may (or may not!) have squeezed in between @81 and @82 obviously haven't refreshed you. After you awaken on Xmas morning, have some holiday cheer, give thanks that -- unlike Lisa Vach -- you have survived 2020, and relax ahead of the challenges our new year will bring. Please take care of your health, at least until you receive your vaccine for COVID. Peace, and be well.

88

IMPORTANT NEWSFLASH!!! I just got a data dump showing that 100% of homeless people in Seattle: 1. are on meth right now, 2. LOVE being homeless, 3. came in from out of town for the sweet camping spots and the awesome sandwiches at the Union Gospel Mission, 4. are laughing at us gullible rubes giving them such a sweet setup, 5. totally know there are shelter beds available for them but just prefer the street, and 6. would totally leave town if someone gave them a citation for being stinky and unsightly.

Is the City Council listening? C'mon - treat the real causes of homelessness: petulance and impudence!!!