Tag Archives: Homelessness Crisis

As Camping Ban Looms, Burien Considers Privately Owned Lot Near Library as Potential Shelter Site

(This article was originally published on PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.)

by Erica C. Barnett


On Monday night, the Burien City Council decided not to immediately approve a bill that would ban sleeping outdoors in the city “at any time between sunset and sunrise,” opting to request more information from City staff about the implications of the ban before passing it.

Continue reading As Camping Ban Looms, Burien Considers Privately Owned Lot Near Library as Potential Shelter Site

Services Not Sweeps to Hold Rally on Aug. 2, Hoping to Ban Winter Sweeps

by Lauryn Bray


Services Not Sweeps is organizing a rally on Aug. 2 from 12 to 2 p.m. at City Hall to move the City Council to ban encampment sweeps during extreme weather and winter. Services Not Sweeps is a coalition of service providers, community members, and folks with lived experience advocating to ban encampment sweeps during winter and extreme weather events.

Continue reading Services Not Sweeps to Hold Rally on Aug. 2, Hoping to Ban Winter Sweeps

With Contentious Shelter Plans Canceled, CID Residents Organize Their Own Safety Solutions

by Amanda Ong


In September, King County announced plans to build a new shelter for the unhoused in SoDo, near the CID. The plan was highly controversial as there had been little to no outreach from the County to the CID about the proposal before the plan was announced. The County even seemed to avoid community input by scheduling public hearings during weekday work hours, preventing attendance from many working residents. 

Continue reading With Contentious Shelter Plans Canceled, CID Residents Organize Their Own Safety Solutions

Myth Busting: Five Misconceptions About Homelessness We Need to Retire

by Lauren Duffy

(This article was originally published on Real Change and has been reprinted under an agreement.)


Homelessness remains a persistent problem in Seattle and King County. The region that houses some of the wealthiest men on the planet simultaneously has one of the largest populations of homeless people in the country. 

Continue reading Myth Busting: Five Misconceptions About Homelessness We Need to Retire

OPINION | King County’s Lack of Outreach on CID/SoDo Shelter Complex Is Systemic Racism

by Tanya Woo


Residents and business owners of the Chinatown-International District (CID) are just now hearing about a $66.5 million, 6.8-acre project to expand and enhance a shelter that will house over 500 people with support for 50 RVs and a 50-home tiny house village. It was approved by the King County Council in partnership with Seattle and the King County Regional Homeless Authority. For a complex that opens this fall, these decisions were made without any meaningful community outreach or engagement. This follows a long history of policies that have been forced on the CID with no engagement or outreach. This is systemic racism.

Continue reading OPINION | King County’s Lack of Outreach on CID/SoDo Shelter Complex Is Systemic Racism

OPINION | Everyone Wants Less Homelessness. Social Housing Offers a Viable Solution.

by Gennette Cordova


We all want less homelessness.

Some people believe that housing should be a basic human right. Others prefer that poverty in their city be out of their line of vision. Counter to narratives centered around addiction and mental illness often spun by The Seattle Times’ editorial board, the newspaper recently acknowledged that the cause of our city’s rampant homelessness is a lack of affordable housing. Rather than debating the morality of reasons rooted in compassion, the shamefulness of reasons based on aesthetics, or the virtue of rationale landing somewhere in between, we can build solutions based on the understanding that tackling homelessness will require us to do something about Seattle’s skyrocketing housing costs. 

Continue reading OPINION | Everyone Wants Less Homelessness. Social Housing Offers a Viable Solution.

OPINION: When It Comes to the Unhoused, We Speak With Compassion but Act Without Empathy

by Marcus Harrison Green


(This article is co-published with The Seattle Times.)


At times, our city’s most astounding feat is being well-versed in the language of compassion, without any fluency in the exercise of empathy. 

A perfect illustration was the cruel contrast I witnessed visiting the corner of 4th Avenue and Cherry Street in late February, just days before Seattle’s eviction moratorium expired. 

Continue reading OPINION: When It Comes to the Unhoused, We Speak With Compassion but Act Without Empathy

Surprise Sweep Displaces Encampment, Scattering Unsheltered People Throughout Downtown

by Erica C. Barnett

(This article originally appeared on PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.)


A three-week standoff between mutual-aid volunteers and the City of Seattle over a row of tents across the street from City Hall ended abruptly this morning, March 9, in a surprise sweep spearheaded by police and the Seattle parks department, who cordoned off Third and Fourth Avenues between Cherry and Washington Streets and began ordering people out of their tents at 8:00 am. (The parks department posted removal signs at 6:00 a.m., giving anyone who happened to be awake just two hours to pack up and get out.)

Continue reading Surprise Sweep Displaces Encampment, Scattering Unsheltered People Throughout Downtown

Pallet, a For-Profit Provider of Utilitarian Shelters, Could Be a Contender for County Funding

by Erica C. Barnett

(This article originally appeared on PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.)


Over the past two years, a broad consensus emerged that non-congregate shelter — hotel rooms, tiny houses, and other kinds of physically separated spaces — was both healthier and more humane than the typical pre-pandemic congregate shelter setup, in which dozens of people sleep inches apart on cots or on the ground. When people are offered a choice between semi-congregate shelter and more private spaces, they’re far more likely to “accept” a hotel room or tiny house, and once there, they’re more likely to find housing than they would in traditional congregate shelters.

In January, the King County Regional Homelessness Authority (KCRHA) issued a request for proposals for almost $5 million to fund new non-congregate shelter spaces. (An RFP is a preliminary step in the process of selecting and funding nonprofit service providers.) The Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI), which operates a dozen tiny house villages in and around Seattle, applied, as did Seattle’s JustCARE program, which offers hotel-based shelter and case management to people with complex behavioral health challenges and criminal justice involvement.

Continue reading Pallet, a For-Profit Provider of Utilitarian Shelters, Could Be a Contender for County Funding

Councilmember’s Homelessness Plan Could Include 10 New Mass Encampment Sites

by Erica C. Barnett

(This article originally appeared in PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.)


As part of an effort to substantially reduce the number of unsheltered people living in downtown Seattle before summer, Seattle City Councilmember Andrew Lewis is working on a plan to relocate as many as 600 people into sanctioned encampments around the city, potentially including South Seattle. 

Continue reading Councilmember’s Homelessness Plan Could Include 10 New Mass Encampment Sites