Homelessness In Seattle Is a Culture
Seattle residents have taken matters into their own hands due to local law enforcement’s utter failure to address the city’s out-of-control homelessness crisis.
Thanks to years of progressive leadership, Seattle’s once-beautiful parks have become dangerous spaces. Drug deals take place in broad daylight. Homeless individuals – many struggling with addiction and/or untreated mental illness – harass and threaten each other and the public.
Homelessness in Washington state jumped by more than 6% from 2019 to 2020. That is far higher than the national average of 2%. Family homelessness in the state grew by 20%.
The pandemic and the resulting ban on homeless sweeps further exacerbated the problem.
Seattle officials also eliminated a key group of cops and social workers responsible for offering shelter spots to homeless campers during sweeps.
Earlier this month, law enforcement finally took action to clear Denny Park. A dangerous homeless encampment flourished there for nearly eight months. Residents living near the park had demanded action after increased reports of arson, theft, car break-ins, assault, and other crimes.
“The homeless encampment at Seattle’s Denny Park is finally being cleared,” tweeted local radio host Jason Rantz on March 2nd. “It only took 60+ 911 calls, 10 arsons or illegal burns, 5 domestic violence incidents, 4 assaults, 3 sex offenses & an attempt to burn an officer alive in his patrol vehicle, to get the city to act.”
We Heart Seattle, a volunteer organization that Andrea Suarez founded in 2008, already cleaned up much of Denny Park.
By removing thousands of pounds of trash and finding homes for more than 20 people, Suarez and her volunteers accomplished more in a few weeks than the city has in years.
“This is a state of emergency humanitarian crisis. All hands on deck. Where is everybody? The pandemic? Oh, we can’t go out and do outreach work for a year,” says Suarez. “I mean, what a joke. So the difference is boots on the ground every day. We’re treating this as it should be, as a humanitarian crisis.”
According to locals, police won’t clear homeless encampments until the situation reaches a breaking point.
“To get them dispersed or to clear them, SPD told me just a couple days ago that their only option is to wait for something more violent to happen before they can get that order signed,” said one Seattle resident. “So, I just don’t understand the logic in waiting for a murder.”
A February proposal that would have doubled the number of shelter beds was voted down because it also gave police increased power to arrest homeless individuals if they refused a shelter spot. Opponents say it is unconstitutional to punish someone for sleeping outside if they have no other option.
The bill was introduced by State Senator Phil Fortunato (R). It would have also have required homeless shelters to prohibit drug use on their premises and/or require residents to seek help for addiction. Fortunato says he will reintroduce the proposal as a series of amendments, but expects Democrats to “vote them all down.”
In the meantime, Seattle’s Downtown Emergency Service Center (DESC) is responding to the crisis by using taxpayer funds to offer homeless addicts easier ways to get high.
According to flyers at the DESC’s Navigation Center, they encourage addicts to try smoking heroin as an alternative to injecting. The facility also offers “booty bumping kits” for addicts to inject drugs rectally. According to the DESC, this method is “a good choice if your veins are hard to hit” and causes “less damage to skin and veins.”
When asked about the controversial flyers, DESC officials said they were just trying to meet the needs of the homeless and reduce the spread of disease. “The efforts we make are focused on reducing risks to people engaged in risky behaviors, and helping people make use of treatment that can be helpful to them,” said DESC executive director Daniel Malone.
The only thing these so-called “harm reduction” methods actually accomplish is longer addiction – which leads to more crime and overdose.
Seattle’s leadership continues to insists there is nowhere else for homeless people to live. Critics say the city would rather push funding to build low-income housing than direct homeless people to existing shelters.
Author’s Note: If Seattle is really that fed up with the homelessness crisis, perhaps they should elect a Republican leader to fix the problem. There is no reason for what is happening in Seattle and other Democratic-led cities in this country.