by Carolyn Bick
A bill that would create a public emergency ordinance to restrict the City of Seattle’s ability to sweep encampments during the current novel coronavirus crisis will be introduced to the Seattle City Council on Monday, May 18, with a vote to be taken on May 25, the Emerald has learned.
Continue reading Bill to Create Public Emergency Ordinance to Restrict Encampment Sweeps Set to Be Introduced at Seattle City Council on May 18
by Erica C. Barnett
(This article previously appeared on The C is for Crank and has been reprinted with permission)
Nearly two years after King County first announced that it planned to open a modular shelter for people experiencing homelessness on county-owned property in Interbay, the project is almost ready to open for a new purpose: Providing non-congregate shelter for between 45 and 50 homeless men over 55 from the St. Martin de Porres shelter, run by Catholic Community Services. The modular buildings, which are essentially trailers with windows, fans, and high-walled cubicles to provide privacy and protection from disease transmission between the four men who will share each unit, were originally supposed to be dorm-style shelters housing up to eight people on beds or cots.
Continue reading As County Opens More Non-Congregate Shelter to Prevent Spread of COVID-19, City Plans to Remove Two More Encampments
by Wesley Stewart
Five years ago, I was living in San Francisco as a homeless young adult. My experiences being homeless are formational to the person I am today.
I currently work at The Mockingbird Society as a veteran of homelessness, fighting to uplift the voices of homeless youth and young adults, and advocate for legislation to end homelessness altogether. Although we do not provide direct services to our homeless neighbors, my work has me engaging with the community, service providers, and officials at the city, county, and state level.
Continue reading OPINION: COVID-19 Has Escalated Seattle’s Problems. It’s the Responsibility of Our Institutions to Escalate Their Response. Tax Amazon!
By Reverend Angela Ying
How can Seattle have gone so wrong and become a city of people “sweeps?” The word calls to mind clean cities, such as Vancouver, Canada, and Toronto, Canada –– except sweeping is what they do to garbage.
People are not garbage.
Seattle’s sweeps cost more than $8 million per year and has no proven track record of getting people into permanent housing. Continue reading OPINION: Seattle Must Stop the Sweeps and Build Tiny House Villages
by Kayla Blau
By now, you’ve probably seen or at least heard about KOMO 4’s “Seattle Is Dying” documentary — it gained more than 4 million views online alone. The hour-long documentary is plagued with sensationalized claims, like “We don’t have homeless crisis, we have a drug crisis” (in one of the most expensive rental markets in America), and a menacing soundtrack that rivals Law & Order: SVU.
Continue reading OPINION: Seattle Isn’t Dying — Here’s How to Respond to People Who Think It Is
by Aaron Burkhalter
with reporting by Alex Garland
People shared the post more than 300 times, igniting an online debate over the city’s response to homelessness. And the claims were grisly, but ultimately remain unconfirmed: A body was found at an encampment on Beacon Hill, the post claiming that the person was found decapitated with a bloody saw nearby.
Continue reading Social Media Post Sparks Debate With Unconfirmed Murder Claim
by Villainus (formerly Bypolar)
People have blamed the houseless crisis in Seattle on a lot of things: mental illness, chemical dependency, even laziness. In truth, they point a finger in every direction except toward the root cause: gentrification.
Continue reading OPINION: War Against the Poor, Weeding of the Emeralds
by Zachary DeWolf and Dylan Cate
As we examine our own stories and feelings about growth across our city, a particular quote from Dr. Maya Angelou keeps coming to the surface: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Continue reading OPINION: Which Seattle Will You Choose?
by Aaron Burkhalter
City staffers from the Human Services Department, community members, and activists say that Mayor Jenny Durkan sidestepped the city’s own procedures and race-equity process in the appointment of Jason Johnson as the director of the Human Services Department (HSD).
Continue reading HSD Staffers, Community Seek Racial Equity In Human Services Department Director Appointment
by Carolyn Bick
Tomasz Biernacki is a West Seattle photographer, documentarian, and former architectural graphic designer. His first film, Trickle Down Town, follows several different people who are experiencing or have experienced homelessness in the Seattle area. The film first premiered in October, and has since been shown around the Seattle area. The Meaningful Movies Project will screen Trickle Down Town at Centilia Cultural Center, 1660 S. Roberto Maestas Festival Street Jan. 8 at 7 p.m.
Biernacki spoke by phone with the Emerald from Camp Second Chance, where he was building tiny homes.
Continue reading New Documentary Examines Homelessness in Seattle