That Didn’t Take Long Tuesday afternoon, 12th Ave & Jackson St was clear. The open air drug use was gone. No more sales of stolen merchandise. Actually saw a clean sidewalk. But by sunset, it was back to business as usual at this notorious intersection in Seattle’s Little Saigon neighborhood. The common denominator, no more cops on patrol at night. Btw, a lot of the hustlers now use baby strollers to transport stolen merch and drugs. They say it puts people at ease and cops are less likely to check. Why didn’t I think of that? The one lone bright spot, volunteers with Mosaic Church feeding some of the fellas and providing supplies. They come out here every Tuesday night.
In July, walking around the fifty blocks of the Tenderloin, San Francisco’s fentanyl epicenter, I often saw notes like this one posted on lampposts: “Mimi—5’, 100 lbs.—we miss you terribly. Please call any family member. Please call 202 [number].” The Mimis are often hidden in tents, but even for a first-time visitor like me, the dealers and their deals were highly visible. Dealers, often teenagers in clean Nikes, walked alongside potential buyers. They did not just stand at particular corners, as a great streaming television series based in Baltimore, The Wire, showed: These dealers floated up and down a block. Police say they are independent contractors, trying to establish their own clientele, and earning $300 or more on an average Read More ›
Watch the clip here. Jonathan Choe joins host Jesse Watters on Fox News to react to Seattle residents who say they aren’t aware of the city’s drug or crime crisis.
Long Journey Home The last time we saw 32 year old Kaylee Gordon, she was high on drugs, covered in dirt, and being put on a stretcher in downtown Seattle. Today she is safely back home in Wyoming and is on the road to recovery. Gordon met her niece and nephew for the first time. She also knows her entire family loves her and there is no more reason to run. They just sent me these photos and wanted me to thank everyone involved in this incredible search and intervention that saved her life. Especially, Seattle Police (@SeattlePD,) street preacher Matthew Meneicke, and homeless outreach workers Kristine Mooreland (@kmmoreland) and Andrea Suarez (@weheartseattle.) Gordon also had a chance to review Read More ›
A year ago, Kaylee Gordon was setting up camp deep in the woods of West Seattle. “I feel safe in this spot,” she told me. At the time, Kaylee was hopeful that her future contained a career in music. “It’s always been my passion, it’s my life,” she said. She sang, played guitar, and told me this season of homelessness was just a speed bump along her journey. “So, this isn’t really in character for me,” Kaylee told me, saying that her beloved dog and her guitar were enough to get by. This week, over a year later, she was spotted in Belltown entering Dan’s convenience store on Third Avenue. Without shoes, dirty, and disheveled security guard Giovanni English tried Read More ›
In Case There Was Any Doubt It’s no longer a secret. Every reasonable Seattle resident should assume drug dealers are taking advantage of homeless encampments with these so called “trap tents” embedded across the city. We Heart Seattle’s (@weheartseattle) Andrea Suarez (@weheartfounder) just exposed another one at the corner of 6th Ave & Yesler Way in downtown Seattle. There is literally a walk up window where you can buy fentanyl pills for a buck. I have been watching this camp expand for more than two years but never got a look inside until now. This open air drug market is being brazenly operated on Washington State Department of Transportation (@WSDOT) property and is just a block away from the notorious Read More ›
This column is the second in a series. To read part one, click here. I’ll come back to the sights and sounds of the Orange County Rescue Mission, but after four days there I flew to San Francisco and walked around that city. The old song notwithstanding, few Americans these days leave their hearts there. Tourists still visit Fisherman’s Wharf and ride the cable cars, but books with titles like San Fransicko hit hard, and videos of addicts in SF’s Tenderloin neighborhood are stomach-churning. What’s happening in San Francisco is both better and worse than those dramatic presentations. The Noe Valley neighborhood, for instance, features Victorian houses, small markets, and cafes. Nearby Bernal Heights (sometimes referred to as “maternal heights”) Read More ›