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?