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.
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
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