Wow, a hefty helping of journalism - thanks Hannah.
This country could easily end homelessness by providing housing to all homeless. It refuses to do so. The fact that places where there are large populations of homeless pretend to give a shit about the homeless when it's cold outside (because dead people in the streets is a bad look) is absurd. This country, where the president just signed a $777 BILLION dollar military budget (while the low level military personnel don't have enough food to eat) could EASILY completely end homelessness. Cut the military budget, tax corporations and the wealthy and provide housing to every homeless person and provide affordable housing to the entire population (because right now there is not ONE state in this country where someone working a full-time minimum wage job can afford a one bedroom apartment) and there is no housing crisis.
Homelessness and the housing crisis in this country is 100% fabricated. It doesn't need to be this way. This country CHOOSES to allow it to be this way. Because corporations need their billion dollar profits to appease their shareholders and their CEOs need their obscene pay (in comparison to the people who actually do the work to earn all of the money for all of the former).
We simply need to stop pretending we are some great country.
This country is a sadistic, sick, cult of greed and death.
The ONLY thing that matters money and bodies to do the work to make the money, no matter the cost.
@2: Well, I don't think pretending we're some horrible country will help either.
It seems even the most ardent mutual aid volunteers draw the line at letting a junkie crash on the floor back at their place in the worst of it.
Why is it people like you ALWAYS demand others do things you yourself would never even consider? It doesn't gain you the moral high ground; quite the opposite in fact. If Yeshua were here today, you'd be the first one he'd excoriate, not those making at least some effort to alleviate the suffering and deprivation of their fellow humans. I mean, after all, it was he (according to some book I read) who purportedly uttered such radical statements as, "it is better to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35), "Carry each other’s burdens and so you will fulfill the law of Christ" (Galatians 6:2), "Give to those who ask, and don’t refuse those who wish to borrow from you" (Matthew 5:42), "Those who are gracious to the poor lend to the Lord, and the Lord will fully repay them" (Proverbs 19:17), "Then they will reply, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison and didn’t do anything to help you?' Then he will answer, 'I assure you that when you haven't done it for one of the least of these, you haven't done it for me'" (Matthew 25:44-45).
The city could rent out every currently available hotel room in town and there would probably still be a shortage. Besides, that would mean spending money, and if there's one thing sanctimonious, hypocrites like @4 absolutely HATE it's spending money to help the less fortunate among us. Oh, they're quite content - insistent even - that OTHERS spend their money, but don't ask them to lift a finger to solve the problem, because compassion is for suckers. Better to let the unhoused, the destitute, the mentally ill, the addicted, starve or freeze to death and reduce the surplus population, donchaknow?
" “Giving someone a tent and a sleeping bag and hand warmer is something, but it's definitely not enough. It doesn't feel great leaving that person being like, ‘I hope you don't die tonight,’” Katie said. "
Even Katie falls short of Jesus's moral exhortations as you've laid them out.
Societal problems cannot be solved at individual levels (letting junkies sleep on our floors).
Societal problems must be systematically addressed starting at the highest levels and managed competently from the top down. Until this country chooses from the top down to spend money on solving societal problems like homelessness, addiction, mental health, living wages, affordable housing, inequality in all of its instances (systemic racism, wealth disparity, pollution, destruction wrought by climate change, universal health care, etc.) these problems will not be solved.
Any and all attempts to address these problems from an individual or community level will continue to be what they are - band aids. And blaming people who suffer the most from these societal problems (people who are homeless, people who are mentally ill, people who are sick and have no access to health care, people who need child care, people who get sick and/or die because of systemic racism and pollution - think Flint, MI as just one example of many, people who lose everything because of destruction caused by weather events due to climate change, etc.) is just more American "individualism" BS.
"Reed, who does mutual aid work in Ballard, called the city’s response 'laughable.' She wondered, 'What is someone in Ballard gonna do about a downtown warming center?'”
Maybe get on the 40, like dozens of them do every day I take transit to work, and ride downtown without paying the fare? Seems to be a pretty straightforward and well-known way of getting there.
Still orders of magnitude more than you'll ever do, though, isn't it?
Here we see the human misery resulting from economic disparities and income polarization brought upon society by greed and self-interest.
Corporate CEOs make 351 times as much as typical workers on average, with many astronomical compensation packages heading well into the millions.
Why not impose a homeless tax on these well-endowed individuals to help build housing and provide onsite health and comfort services for these unfortunate homeless people?
Our predatory collective mindset has produced wolf like behavior, with wealthy people jetting over to Paris for a lunch of baby lamb, washed down with a bottle of VIVANTERRE ‘MSM’ 2020, while their incessant selfishness materializes on the sidewalks and streets in the form of abandoned tents and clothing—and frozen corpses.
From an operational standpoint, a corporate titan making 18 million per year wouldn’t even notice a 10% tax to fund homeless services.
This is why pollysexual voted for Bernie Sanders and stands up for Kshama Sawant, as she suffered the boorish recall imposed upon her by the half-witted Lilliputian Seattle business community.
Nevertheless, pollysexual would like to pinch the tits of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Socialist governing principles will bring about equitable solutions to combat human misery brought upon society by fascist Republican pigs, like Donald Trump, who should write a check to WHEEL as an act of contrition, prior to being rapaciously and repetitiously cornholed in his holding cell, before being sentenced to life in prison for decades of finger-diddling innocent women and tax evasion.
Hopefully Mayor-elect Harmell, the inbred mutton-head anointed by the Rotary Club and The Seattle Times can address the homeless tragedy in some creative, proactive fashion.
Now former Mayor Durkan can do something with her hair and get her butt sanded at Reboot or whatever that salon is in the Denny Regrade.
Tye Reed was Nicole Thomas-Kennedy's campaign manager. That background fact is a glaring omission from the story. Reed's past tweets profanely threatening violence toward elected officials undercut her credibility when claiming "the government is not in a position to really help people," as it doesn't sound like she thinks government has the willpower to do much of anything.
Winter survival trick to avoid freezing. All you need is a blanket, a candle, a lighter, a tarp or dry surface, and something to lean against.
Still remember a snowy night in December 2018. I was walking home from work I saw a woman standing outside Westlake station at night in the freezing cold with her two young boys all bundled up and shivering, and she asked me for help. I only had a few dollars to spare in my wallet and hander them to her, but when our eyes met and I realized she and her kids had nowhere to go and would be spending that night out there in the snow. Her expression and the scene broke me, and I began to cry with her and held her as tight as I could. The kids buried their faces in her legs. I wanted to give them a place to stay but had roommates and was worried she would find my offer unsafe. "Thank you!," she whispered in a voice I will never forget. I hope it helped make the cold night a little warmer, even if only for a moment. I hope she and her kids have found stability and safety. So many need that now.
@1 -- Agreed. Granting the nit picked @13, tho.
Is Hannah the only Stranger staffer left with a journalistic bone in their body? Am I forgetting anybody?
Agree that this was good reporting. The reporter let the subjects speak. How long will Hannah work there? About as long perhaps as it takes her to do a more serious and professional head shot. Her parents should be proud of her. Serious talent and some courage in getting out and reporting.
Now if you really want to make your mark, speak to a sample of homeless people and report on their stories with a reportorial ear. This means fact checking and asking tough questions. Do not let your work be overseen or curated by an advocate or worker in the homeless industry. Real stories are lacking. Just too much rhetoric. Go beyond the moment and learn where folks are from, how long they have been on the streets, drug history, treatment and legal history, work and family history etc. We desperately need real reporting on the people on our streets.
@2 & @9 xina and @12 pollysexual for the WIN!!
@15 Garb Garbler: What an emotionally moving story! Bless you for sharing, and what you gave to that poor woman and her kids.
The Rotary Club? Who will we go after next? The Grange?
@12: I don't think she'll let you.
This reminds me of the heartbreakingly tragic story of two homeless people who set fire to Clark Feed and Seed, a business on 1326 Railroad Avenue in Bellingham during a cold snap just to keep warm. Reported outdoor temperatures were in the teens. Both buildings were lost due to two separate cases of arson. The proprietors had to scramble to save the animals in the store, but thankfully didn't lose any. What used to be a popular pet & supply store is a vacant lot now. The human body was not meant to withstand such extremes of inclement weather unsheltered.
"Smith said he worried that city funding to mutual aid would result in Seattle's bureaucracy absorbing the projects, crushing their anarchist spirit. Right now, mutual aid is in the position to turn on a dime, Smith said. In the face of a crisis, they are not bound by official processes like the city."
No-strings block grants just the way southern states want their federal aid for health, welfare, education
Don't make the perfect become the enemy of the good. What the homeless need rightnow_ is a warm place to sleep. Longer term, secure places to live. These might be cots in a warehouse and tiny homes, respectively.
If we have to wait for the revolution to solve simple problems like this, people will die in the meantime. If that is the plan all along; to hold the needy hostage for massive top down political change then it reveals the moral bankruptcy of that political movement.
@7: @4 was merely noting that none of the "mutual aid" folks will themselves give any homeless person a warm place to stay, despite the mutual aid folks loudly berating everyone else for failing to do so. The very good reason for not giving homeless persons shelter in one's home is that homelessness in Seattle is driven by substance use disorder and mental illness, not economics; inviting an addict and/or mentally-ill person into one's home would require an utterly reckless disregard for one's own personal safety, health, and welfare. Seattle has now spent the past six years in a homelessness crisis, and still the Stranger and certain City Council Members simply will not admit these roots of homelessness in Seattle. They cannot solve a problem when they will not admit to the clear roots of it, and so they are all complicit in the ongoing suffering and misery on Seattle's streets.
@24: Bingo. There are a lot of people exploiting the homeless for money or other benefits in Seattle, from the Homeless-Industrial Complex, which consumes $100M annually not to solve the problem, to CM Sawant's use of homeless persons as human chattel in her Council Chamber theatrics. They're all content to watch homeless persons die if it serves their agendas, and they all need to be called on it, as you have started to do here. Thank you.
Thanks for sharing Hannah. You’re right. Giving out hand warmers and tents or paying for hotels is not the solution, hoping they don’t die in the night. We need to audit and consolidate the city funding of the homeless spending and instead FUND long term housing, HIRE case workers, and offer free health/mental care access to those in need. Dorm style housing with case workers assigned to each dorm would help out so much more. I’m frustrated how our city is spending so much on the homeless without giving any long term solution to help them.
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