ship canal encampment
Fix Homelessness How to rebuild human lives

“Children Should be Protected” Says Seattle Parent on Upcoming Protest for Encampment Resolution

View at Twitter

Protest Preview

Parents, neighbors, and supporters will be mobilizing Friday in #Seattle‘s Wallingford neighborhood. They are trying to put more pressure on elected officials who have allowed the Ship Canal Bridge encampment to remain in place despite murders, fires, and on going drug use across the street from John Stanford International School. All elected officials have been invited. @GovInslee @wsdot @WAStateCommerce @MayorofSeattle @SeattleCouncil @KCCouncil @CMSaraNelson @CMTMosqueda @D5Juarez @kcexec

Organizers say, “Advocating for our children’s safety is not advocating against the needs of the unsheltered.” GAME PLAN: Meet at 8:15am in the school parking lot, march past the encampment, then rally on walkway overlooking I-5. Parent Eli Hosher says he will be bringing donuts for the homeless and wants to engage them in conversations.

Hosher is also calling out @KC_RHA CEO Marc Dones for being on vacation during this critical time. Everyone is getting blasted. Listen! #Seattle

Governor’s Surprise Visit

After hearing about the protest, Gov. Jay Inslee (@GovInslee) tried to appease parents concerns and made an impromptu visit to the school near the notorious Ship Canal Bridge encampment across the street. While a timeline for removal is still unclear, some felt hopeful it would lead to real change. But other parents say it’s time for even more aggressive action to get the attention of @WSDOT officials. It involves busing the homeless.

“They’ll stop passing the buck as soon as you put it in their neighborhood.”- James Sabbatini, Parent

Me and the Governor

I was able to grab @GovInslee for a brief one on one outside John Stanford Int. School. There is no doubt he wants to solve homelessness in WA. But he believes “housing first” is the answer, a no strings attached approach to giving away apts to get people off the streets. But once that happens, no requirements for drug addiction or mental health treatment. Only when people are ready.

The Gov is proposing a $4 billion dollar bond to build his way out of this crisis. While housing is part of the solution, this is not a housing crisis. It’s primarily an addiction and mental health crisis that needs intervention, treatment, and requirements.

Also, the “housing first” strategy only works with actual housing units. Proponents refuse to use congregate shelters. In other words, it will not meet the current demand in a timely manner. WA has already thrown hundreds of millions of dollars at this problem, but it’s getting worse. There’s gotta be accountability, metrics, and a timeline. But what that looks like remains to be seen.

Homelessness is a broad spectrum. “Housing first” may work for the individual who genuinely wants to take the next step off the streets and just needs to find a stable situation. But I have seen first hand, homeless fentanyl users enter these free apts to simply feed their addiction behind closed doors. Is this what we are settling for?

Appreciate the Gov. standing in for a couple questions. I finally asked him what he thinks about @WSDOT and @KC_RHA‘s performance so far, but he took off in his SUV before giving me a straight answer. @MayorofSeattle @kcexec @WAStateCommerce

Major Protest

Parents at John Stanford Int. School in #Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood are sick and tired of waiting for @KC_RHA CEO Marc Dones, @WSDOT, and @GovInslee to remove the dangerous Ship Canal Bridge Encampment. They have also asked @MayorofSeattle to step in and take control but still no action. So they’re holding a protest on March 17 to say enough is enough. Organizers say, “Advocating for our children’s safety is not advocating against the needs of the unsheltered.” Parents are calling out FAILED public policy.

Sign of the Times

Parents going all in and calling out failed policies on homelessness. #Seattle @GovInslee @kcexec @MayorofSeattle @wsdot @KC_RHA @SeattleCouncil @KCCouncil @CMTMosqueda @CMSaraNelson @D5Juarez @WAStateCommerce

Jonathan Choe

Journalist and Senior Fellow, Center on Wealth and Poverty
Jonathan Choe is a journalist and Senior Fellow with Discovery Institute's Center on Wealth and Poverty, covering homelessness issues for its Fix Homelessness initiative. Prior to joining Discovery, Choe spent several years as one of the lead reporters at KOMO-TV, consistently the top rated television station in Seattle. His in depth stories on crime and deep dive investigations into the homeless crisis led to measurable results in the community, including changes in public policy. Choe has more than two decades of experience in television news behind the scenes and in front of the camera for ABC, NBC, FOX, CBS, and Tribune. He has also been nominated and honored with multiple industry awards including an Emmy. Choe spent several years teaching classes on emerging media and entrepreneurship to under privileged youth in inner city Chicago. As an independent journalist, Choe also contributes regularly to the Mill Creek View and Lynnwood Times and has reported on exclusive stories in the past year for Daily Wire and The Postmillennial.