Tag Archives: Houselessness

Homeless Outreach Providers Say New Rules Would Put Them at City’s ‘Beck and Call’

by Erica C. Barnett

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


Homeless outreach agencies that contract with the City’s Human Services Department have threatened not to sign their 2021 contracts over new requirements that they argue would harm their relationships with clients and give unprecedented new power to the City.

Agencies that provide outreach and engagement to homeless encampments, including the outreach that happens before the City removes an encampment, have been operating without contracts since January. Late last month, HSD sent out new contracts that included requirements — not included in previous contracts — that would effectively subordinate the agencies to HSD’s HOPE Team (formerly the Navigation Team) and require them to create detailed “supplemental daily outreach reports” about who they contacted and what services they offered each day.

Continue reading Homeless Outreach Providers Say New Rules Would Put Them at City’s ‘Beck and Call’

Ticketing Vehicle Residents Is Eviction and Happening, Despite COVID-19 Moratoriums

by Samira George

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


“I used to live in those apartments,” Dee Powers, a 38-year-old Seattleite, said wistfully, “but I got priced out.” Standing in Seattle’s Occidental Park, coffee in hand, Powers stared at the distinctive white point of Smith Tower where across the street rests the old apartment Powers called home for five years.

The burst of the housing bubble in 2008 allowed Powers to rent a downtown apartment for $650 a month, but in 2015 they came home to a 60-day notice and a warning of a 40% rent increase. Since then, Powers has called a 40-foot RV home.

On April 13, five vehicle residents gathered at an action meeting in Occidental Park to share their unique car-living experiences in a city with a checkered past. All of the residents, including Powers, have either lived or are currently roaming Seattle’s streets in vehicles.

Continue reading Ticketing Vehicle Residents Is Eviction and Happening, Despite COVID-19 Moratoriums

Seattle Rejects Biden Administration Offer to Pay Full Cost of Hotel-Based Shelters

by Erica C. Barnett 


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

As funding runs out for JustCARE, a program that has moved more than 100 very high-needs people from tent encampments in Pioneer Square and the International District into hotels where they receive case management and services, Mayor Jenny Durkan’s office has made it clear that it considers one source of funding off the table: money from the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA), which recently announced it would pay 100% of the cost for eligible hotel-based shelters.

“While we appreciate the work of President Biden’s administration,” City Budget Office Director Ben Noble and Office of Emergency Management Director Curry Mayer wrote in a letter to Seattle City Councilmembers this week, “there continues to be no option to receive 100% reimbursement of the operation and services of non-congregate shelters for individuals experiencing homelessness in King County or Washington.” In other words, the City is grateful that the new administration is offering to pay for hotels; they just don’t consider it a viable option for Seattle.

Continue reading Seattle Rejects Biden Administration Offer to Pay Full Cost of Hotel-Based Shelters

OPINION: Seattle Isn’t Dying — Here’s How to Respond to People Who Think It Is

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

OPINION: War Against the Poor, Weeding of the Emeralds

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

OPINION: Which Seattle Will You Choose?

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.”

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New Documentary Examines Homelessness in Seattle

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.

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Once Upon a Riot: A Christmas Tale

by Bypolar

What do we imagine when we think of Christmas? A rosy-cheeked white grandfather who promises you your wildest dreams wrapped in paper decorated with snowmen and candy canes? Waking up to the smell of baked goods, excitement bouncing in your hearts? For some, even the smell of fresh cut pine or carolers pestering you at the door, yule logs burning, stockings hanging, shadows reflecting in the flames. Many see Christmas as a celebration of the birth of Jesus or as a marketing myth to increase winter sales for corporations. Though others understand that it is inspired by old “pagan” traditions, people usually do not learn where the traditions came from originally.

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OPINION: We Need Better Options

by the Seattle Peoples Party

This past year has been a very difficult one. With global fascism on the rise, the war has continued to escalate against people of color, women, trans and gender non-conforming folks, disabled people, and anyone who is economically disadvantaged. Here in Seattle, the housing catastrophe has intensified, with over 12,000 people living houseless at any given time.

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The City of Seattle Spiked a Progressive Revenue Source, and We’re Stuck Watching the Fallout

Four months after the abrupt repeal of the Employee Hours Tax, subsequent developments are underscoring just how hard it will be for local governments to find money to seriously address our region’s affordable housing and homelessness crises.

by Geov Parrish

It’s been four months since Seattle City Council, in apparent violation of the state’s Open Public Meetings Act, abruptly decided behind closed doors to repeal the compromise Employee Hours Tax (EHT) it had unanimously passed only a month before. Since then, a lot has happened on the homelessness front locally — almost none of it positive, from the standpoints of saving lives or getting people off Seattle’s streets.

Continue reading The City of Seattle Spiked a Progressive Revenue Source, and We’re Stuck Watching the Fallout