by Ari Robin McKenna
Trigger warning: Threats of violence, profanity. This article contains actual threats made to the school board president and her family that are both violent and profane.
Out of 107 Seattle Public School sites, two had unhoused people living on or near them with students set to return for hybrid, in-person learning last month. This was during an ongoing pandemic that has increased the number of people living outside in tents by 50%. One encampment was at Meany Middle School on Capitol Hill at the edge of the Central District, where 41 unhoused people accepted referrals for temporary housing in April. The other camp is at Broadview Thompson K-8 in the North End, where about 50-60 tents are currently set up on the other side of a recess yard fence, spread out in clusters down a slope towards Bitter Lake.
Continue reading Durkan and School Board Directors at Odds Over Bitter Lake Encampment
by Erica C. Barnett
(This article was previously published on The C is for Crank and has been reprinted with permission.)
More than six weeks after the Seattle-based Public Defender Association (PDA) launched its Co-LEAD program in Burien, the diversion program has come home to Seattle and began serving five homeless clients last week. Co-LEAD provides hotel rooms, case management, and other basic supports to people experiencing homelessness who have been in the criminal justice system and lack legal options for making money during the COVID-19 pandemic. After launching the program in Burien in April, the PDA had hoped to enroll some of the people who were dispersed throughout the city during several recent encampment sweeps, but were unable to do so because the city moved ahead with the removals before Co-LEAD case workers could identify and enroll new participants.
Continue reading Co-LEAD Allowed to Start Moving People From Seattle Streets Into Hotels, Too Late to Help Those Removed in Last Three Sweeps
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
The Northwest Daily Marker published an article by Jason Paulus arguing that these shanty towns that have been popping up all over the city are breeding addiction and killing addicts. He argued that we must ban addicts from housing, requiring sobriety and enrollment in treatment to be housed.
Because we are approaching the cold and rainy seasons, Jason, it seems like you are the one trying to kill addicts. Paulus takes the stance that people experiencing houselessness must hit rock bottom before they can get clean, because that is what he needed.
Continue reading OPINION: Burning the Slums, a War on the Poor