Tag Archives: Homelessness

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

NEWS GLEAMS | Council Budget Chair Mosqueda Unveils Balancing Package for Budget; Veteran Homelessness Rates Are Down

A round-up of news and announcements we don’t want to get lost in the fast-churning news cycle!

curated by Vee Hua 華婷婷


Continue reading NEWS GLEAMS | Council Budget Chair Mosqueda Unveils Balancing Package for Budget; Veteran Homelessness Rates Are Down

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 | Finding Home in the Chinatown-International District

by J.M. Wong


On Friday, Sept. 30, my friends and I sent selfie photos of each other shopping at Viet-Wah, the Vietnamese-owned grocery store located in the Chinatown-International District. It was Viet-Wah’s last day of operations, and we exchanged our favorite memories of the place. It was nostalgic to listen to the music in the background amidst altars with joss sticks and offerings. When I arrived in Seattle in 2007, Viet-Wah was the one place that reminded me of home — they had spices and mixes for Malaysian and Singaporean cuisine. And most importantly, they had everything I needed for hot pot in one store. 

Continue reading OPINION | Finding Home in the Chinatown-International District

Under Pressure, County Executive Constantine Cancels Plans to Expand SoDo Shelter

by Erica C. Barnett

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


King County Executive Dow Constantine announced on Friday that in response to “community feedback,” the County will abandon plans to provide new shelter beds and a sobering center on vacant land next to the existing 270-bed Salvation Army shelter in SoDo. In a statement, Constantine said, “It is clear that building trust and resolving underlying concerns about the conditions in the community today will take considerable time before we can move forward with any added service capacity.”

Continue reading Under Pressure, County Executive Constantine Cancels Plans to Expand SoDo Shelter

OPINION | Hooverville Then and Now: Who Is Worthy of Space?

Echoes of the history of Seattle’s relationship with homelessness 80 years on

by Caedmon Magboo Cahill


My Great-Uncle Agaton settled into Seattle’s Hooverville when he immigrated from the Philippines sometime in the 1930s. The City and census records I can find indicate he lived very close to a current SODO shelter that has been in the news. 

Named for President Hoover and his disastrous economic relief strategy after the Great Depression, Hooverville was a collective of shacks built with discarded scraps of metal, tar paper, cardboard, and whatever could be salvaged to create shelter. While Hoovervilles cropped up across the country, Seattle’s might have been the largest and longest running. City records also show that by 1941, the City acted upon the recommendation of the “Shack Elimination Committee” and destroyed my great-uncle’s home along with all the others that comprised Hooverville.

Continue reading OPINION | Hooverville Then and Now: Who Is Worthy of Space?

The Central District’s Byrd Barr Place Expands Programming in a Renovated Historic Space

by Ronnie Estoque


Byrd Barr Place has served the Central District community since the 1960s. The organization’s recent renovation of the historical building Firehouse No. 23 at 722 18th Ave is allowing them to return to the space with increased programming capacity, which includes food and energy and housing assistance as well as financial tools to more than 1,100 households every week.

Continue reading The Central District’s Byrd Barr Place Expands Programming in a Renovated Historic Space

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.

How Seattle’s Crackdown on Crime Ensnared a Homeless Man

And Made His Struggle With Addiction Worse

by Erica C. Barnett

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


Here’s how charging documents describe Trey Alexander, a 40-something Black man who was recently charged with organized retail crime for stealing liquor from a Target store in downtown Seattle: a “career criminal” and “chronic shoplifter” whose offenses over the past 15 years have included theft, drug possession, and criminal trespass. (Trey Alexander isn’t his real name; we’re calling him that to protect his anonymity.)

Continue reading How Seattle’s Crackdown on Crime Ensnared a Homeless Man