Fix Homelessness How to rebuild human lives

Seattle area soccer league for underprivileged kids cancels season over crime, homelessness

Originally published at The Post Millennial

Aldridge is leveling the blame at elected officials for their “soft on crime” public policies, especially King County Executive, Dow Constantine who has known about the problems for over 4 years.

Seattle area youth soccer league is canceling the remainder of its season and searching for a new location due to the rampant crime plaguing the area.

CEO of the league Dean Aldridge said that last Wednesday someone did doughnuts on their field while it was wet and caused over $100,000 in damage. 

The field is next to the notorious Green River Rd. homeless encampment which is continuing to expand into the nearby woods. This is the latest problem along this part of the street in unincorporated King County. 

According to the King County Sheriff’s Office, 911 for shootings, fires, drug overdoses, fights, and abandoned vehicles have spiked over the last few months.

Aldridge told Jonathan Choe, a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute, “These fields serve our most economically challenged kids.” 

He added, “Gangs are moving in. This is what we’ve been dealing with down here ever since COVID.”

Now, underprivileged youth from Auburn, Kent, and other parts of King County have no place to play and the league is desperately trying to raise money for a new location.

Aldridge told The Ari Hoffman Show on Talk Radio 570 KVI that the problems have been going on for years. “We have been broken into out there. We had a break-in a couple of years ago with $100,000 of equipment stolen. Then we had another break-in.” 

“We had all of our nets cut down… it’s in the thousands of dollars to replace.” 

He added, “And it’s sad. It’s unbelievably saddening, Ari, that when you drive by there, how do you explain that to your children when they see it?” 

“There are gunshots going off all the time. Not only gunshots but stolen cars on the side of the road. Homeless people on the side of the road. People passed out from drugs on the side of the road and kids have to see this. They’re just babies. They’re just kids…There’s nothing humane about letting people live out there like animals.”

Aldridge is leveling the blame at elected officials for their “soft on crime” public policies, especially King County Executive, Dow Constantine who has known about the problems for over 4 years. “These individuals know this is just a free zone where they can shoot their guns, and dump their garbage. I have not heard from Dow. I have not heard from his office.”

Aldridge added, “If his kids or grandchildren were down here playing, I’m sure it would be cleaned up,” noting that Constantine has only allowed crews to go into the encampment for trash removal.

“The county won’t enforce the laws, Kent won’t enforce the laws, Auburn won’t enforce the laws, nobody’s taking ownership,” Aldridge continued.

“We’re a nonprofit, we don’t have the money to endure this… I don’t know how you recover from something like this.”

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.