Category

Homelessness

Category

In the urgent debate around Seattle’s homelessness crisis, many articles (such as this otherwise great one in Crosscut) cite the statistic that 35% of those who are homeless in the Seattle region have some level of substance abuse. It’s often a very central part of the framing, especially by those who wish to portray substance abuse as a relatively low contributor to the problem. Among other things, presenting that statistic at face-value implies that presumably,…

Fears matter, and they often prevent action. Each side of the debate needs to have a cogent, believable answer for the other side’s worst fears. That’s currently missing from the debate. But only then can we make progress. I’m lucky to have very smart, good faith, prominent and well-intentioned friends on both sides of the “Seattle is Dying” debate. They sincerely differ in their perspectives — both on what the severity of the problems are…

Last night, an hour-long program aired without commercial interruption in Seattle on the addiction crisis and homelessness. It’s an important watch. I found it devastating, riveting and motivating, all at once. There is already much being made over the fact that (a) it comes from KOMO News, a station now owned by Sinclair Broadcasting, a large conglomerate which has an unquestionably conservative lens. And that (b) there is direct footage within this broadcast of people…

I was there at that raucous council meeting to repeal the vote, I signed an Open Letter from Tech Leaders Opposed to the Proposed Head Tax, and I was a volunteer signature gatherer and small donor ($275) to the repeal referendum effort. Why did the council vote 7–2 to repeal it, just a few weeks after voting 9–0 to pass it? It is telling that the City Council called for a vote to repeal…

The “Head Tax” isn’t the only major controversy in Seattle politics these days. Seattle City Council is forging ahead with plans for a publicly funded “safe injection” facility. I’m just getting up to speed on the discussion here, and wanted to pull together a post that summarizes where we’ve come from, what we know about such approaches done elsewhere, and where we stand today. I’ll be adding to this list of resources over time. Present View:…

A vexing question at the center of the debate around homelessness policy is: where is the growth in Seattle’s homeless coming from? Specifically, to what extent is the growth due to locals losing their homes and being displaced vs. inbound growth from other regions of the US? Yes, I know it’s not entirely one or the other (and there are certainly myriad causes and situations), but these are the two ideological extremes. So what’s the…

It’s going on three years since Seattle declared a homelessness crisis, but the homeless population in Seattle continues to rise. The amalgam of programs we’ve tried since 2015 hasn’t stemmed the growth in Seattle’s homeless counts; in fact, the numbers have actually accelerated, particularly of those living in vehicles. There is no shortage of recommendations on what not to do, but what should we do? Plenty. Broadly, I would say that the solution to begin to…

I’ve been fairly vocal in my support of the repeal of the Head Tax on social networks like Nextdoor; the first step is to get a referendum on the ballot in November. I think giving the people a chance to repeal the Head Tax is the right idea. Our City Council has gone off the rails with this and it’s time we send a signal. A neighbor on Nextdoor asked a great question of me…