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Seattle’s Encampments Reveal Need for SCOTUS Ruling

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Spotlighting Seattle Encampments

As homelessness hits all-time highs across the country, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments Monday about enforcement of laws regulating camping on public property. The case will determine how cities nationwide are allowed to respond. We Heart Seattle’s Andrea Suarez and I went out to spotlight multiple encampments in Seattle’s park system where virtually everyone rejected offers for shelter and services. That’s because illegal drugs, mental illness, and broken relationships are fueling this crisis.

Robert Marbut Weighs In

“Homelessness rulings by the 9th Circuit have been disastrous and devastating to communities up and down the west coast,” said Discovery Institute Senior Fellow, Robert Marbut, former Executive Director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness under both the Trump and Biden administrations.

“The overturning of Grants Pass v. Johnson by the Supreme Court would be a great first step in taking back our lost inner cities,” said Marbut. “This in turn would clear the way for critical reforms like passing Housing PLUS into law which would re-purpose funding for much needed treatment of substance use disorders and untreated mental illness for people experiencing homelessness.”

Even With Shelter Available

Homeless man Steve Irwin is the reason why cities must be allowed to clear dangerous encampments. Even with shelter beds available, he continues to reject all help being offered.

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.