overdose on third
Fix Homelessness How to rebuild human lives

Drug Crisis, Overdoses in Full View on Seattle’s Third Avenue

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Nothing Has Changed

I spent hours in downtown #Seattle on Saturday to see the illicit activity ebb and flow. This is the first weekend since Mayor Bruce Harrell (@mayorofseattle) announced his Downtown Activation Plan to clean up this mess. Most of the action is still concentrated at 3rd Ave & Pike St. near the Ross Store (@Ross_Stores.) But police emphasis patrols are now scattering drug addicts and dealers to other streets. The vestibules of empty store fronts remain popular spots to do fentanyl. Folks continue to use public transportation (@SoundTransit, @KingCountyMetro) to move stolen merchandise back and forth on to the streets. The black market is thriving and it’s a free for all. I also witnessed two men being saved from drug overdoses which is now a daily occurrence in the city. But the most jarring thing I saw was an infant in a crib/stroller, right next to a guy smoking meth. The dad was just standing there with his kid in all this insanity until I approached him.

Otherwise, the windows at the former Starbucks (@starbucks) in West Lake Center are now plastered with #Kraken Stanley Cup Playoff run posters. Fans were taking selfies with addicts sitting in the background smoking “blues.” Not enough police to keep up with enforcement on the weekends. So who’s up for coming out with me on Sunday night to walk the streets? Bring your camera. CM Andrew Lewis (@CMAndrewJLewis) has a standing offer to come along. Still no response. LOL. His district is a disaster. Once again, nothing has changed in this part of the Emerald City. We are now learning to live this harsh reality. It’s being normalized. I’ll have another update coming up from 3rd Ave. and Cherry St near City Hall and Little Saigon in the #Chinatown-ID. It’s a mess on those streets as well. @downtownseattle @GovInslee @kcexec @seattlecouncil @KCCouncil @KC_RHA @CMSaraNelson @CMTMosqueda @D5Juarez

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.