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
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?
by Erica C. Barnett
(This article was originally published by PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement).
Drive through Seattle’s industrial areas — Georgetown, South Park, parts of Ballard, and SoDo — and it’s hard to miss them: Bulky, horizontal concrete blocks lined up like giant Legos along the sides of the street, preventing large vehicles from parking by the roadside.
Continue reading ‘Eco Blocks’ Are Concrete Signs of Seattle’s Failure to Address RV Homelessness
by Carolyn Bick
The City of Seattle and the UW Medicine have launched two free novel coronavirus testing sites in Seattle, one of which is located in South Seattle’s SODO area.
In a press conference with several health professionals and Seattle Fire Department (SFD) personnel, Mayor Jenny Durkan and UW President Ana Maria Cauce announced the launch of the North Seattle and South Seattle testing sites, which open Friday, June 5. The South Seattle site will be located at 3820 6th Ave. S. Both sites will be open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Continue reading City of Seattle and UW Medicine Partner to Launch Two Free Testing Sites
by Carolyn Bick
The mountain of trash that caught fire in South Seattle on the afternoon of May 18 has been sitting under Interstate 5 for several years, according to both residents of the encampment in which the trash pile is located, and outreach workers. But though officials from both the City of Seattle and Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) have in that time visited the encampment, and the city’s Navigation Team appears to have done a full encampment sweep in late May 2018, neither city nor state officials have taken action to remove the trash.
Continue reading Encampment Residents, Outreach Workers Say Trash Pile Beneath I-5 Six Years Old, But Officials Haven’t Taken Action
by Ruth Bayang
(This article was previously published on Northwest Asian Weekly and has been reprinted with permission.)
Insignificant. Unseen. Ignored.
That’s how Kert Lin, 35, of Seattle felt, as he heard someone yell “Chink, open your eyes, go back to China!” when he pulled into the parking lot of Home Depot on 2701 Utah Avenue South, just outside the International District (ID) on May 12.
Lin, a Chinese American, snapped a photo of the white man driving a company truck belonging to a local landscape company. The same man goaded Lin into getting out of his car while Lin called 911, all the while saying that calling the police would do no good, intimating that he couldn’t get fired because he was the owner of the landscape company, and that nothing would be done.
Lin said this happened in plain view of store security officers outside Home Depot.
Continue reading Man Endures Racist Taunts, Said SPD Was Unresponsive
by Lisa Edge
(This article originally appeared in Real Change and has been republished with permission.)
Has your commute become more colorful? Those traveling via bus or light rail along Fifth Avenue South between Royal Brougham Way and South Spokane Street have recently been treated to a new sight: A continuous line of murals, known as SODO Track, turning an otherwise uninteresting route into a charming one.
Continue reading Scenes in Motion: SODO Track murals bring public art to transit travelers