by Ari Robin McKenna
Trigger warning: Threats of violence, profanity. This article contains actual threats made to the school board president and her family that are both violent and profane.
Out of 107 Seattle Public School sites, two had unhoused people living on or near them with students set to return for hybrid, in-person learning last month. This was during an ongoing pandemic that has increased the number of people living outside in tents by 50%. One encampment was at Meany Middle School on Capitol Hill at the edge of the Central District, where 41 unhoused people accepted referrals for temporary housing in April. The other camp is at Broadview Thompson K-8 in the North End, where about 50-60 tents are currently set up on the other side of a recess yard fence, spread out in clusters down a slope towards Bitter Lake.
Continue reading Durkan and School Board Directors at Odds Over Bitter Lake Encampment
by Erica C. Barnett
(This article originally appeared on PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.)
Deputy Mayor Casey Sixkiller joined the crowded race for mayor Tuesday, May 4, after months of hinting that he would make an announcement soon. He told PubliCola that, if elected, he would propose a bond measure, backed by a property tax increase, to build 3,000 new permanent homes for people experiencing homelessness; back a local version of universal basic income; and work to find “common ground” between people on all sides of the homelessness issue.
“If there’s one issue that we can all agree on, it’s that the conditions of our parks and our streets is unacceptable, and despite spending a record amount of money, homelessness has gotten worse,” Sixkiller said. “One part of the strategy for homelessness going forward is, number one, continuing to move more folks inside and creating safe spaces for people to move into shelter, but second, we’ve got to build or require more permanent places for folks to [live].”
Continue reading Deputy Mayor Casey Sixkiller Announces Run for Mayor
by Erica C. Barnett
(This article was originally published on PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.)
On Monday, Seattle City Council homelessness committee chair Andrew Lewis introduced a proposal that would restore funding for outreach to homeless encampments and lay the groundwork for what Lewis described as a new City “unsheltered outreach and response team” that would replace the controversial Navigation Team.
The surprising part is that the council and mayor’s office worked together on the legislation.
Continue reading A Precarious Compromise on Homeless Outreach Inches Forward