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Anne Elk
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PostThu Nov 05, 2020 1:05 pm 
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neek wrote:
Anne Elk wrote:
Why can't something similar be implemented here?

Pack people into huge tents in the middle of a pandemic when lows are dropping below freezing?  San Diego 2018 is not Seattle in 2020.

I still think something like this is workable, and can be scaled at the outset for the kind of distancing that covid requires.  This could still house and provide services to more people than are being served now.  As soon as a decent vaccine is available, then everyone who is sheltered there could get it, and the numbers at these facilities could be increased.  The idea is that this is temporary shelter until social services gets them into more permanent housing.  Did you read the article, Neek? Look at the photos? These structures aren't like "circus" tents - they have hygiene facilities, heat, AC, etc.

Ski wrote:
... dispel the myth about "they come to Seattle for the free stuff", which I find repugnant.

Let me be more specific.  It's absolutely true that the large urban area of Seattle has more resources for the homeless than the surrounding small towns, so yes, I believe a good % of people come into the city from the surrounding territory; which is why a solution has to involve a regional effort.  While the majority of the homeless likely are relatively "local",  I don't think the agencies involved have a handle on where most of them come from.  The Seattle Times and local TV news seem to have no trouble ferreting out people who've come here from elsewhere, including out of state.

Ski wrote:
... this issue should be one addressed at a higher level of our government, as it is clearly nationwide. Trying to address this ad hoc only at the local level obviously isn't working.

^^^This, absolutely; certainly in terms of funding.  Something needs to change at the local level as well, because the level of city disorganization and mismanagement is reprehensible.

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neek
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PostThu Nov 05, 2020 2:47 pm 
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Anne Elk wrote:
I still think something like this is workable, and can be scaled at the outset for the kind of distancing that covid requires.  This could still house and provide services to more people than are being served now.  As soon as a decent vaccine is available, then everyone who is sheltered there could get it, and the numbers at these facilities could be increased.  The idea is that this is temporary shelter until social services gets them into more permanent housing.  Did you read the article, Neek? Look at the photos? These structures aren't like "circus" tents - they have hygiene facilities, heat, AC, etc.

Of course.  First pic in fact was what made me shudder at the thought of transmission.  But more recent articles say they're on top of it, so that's good.

King County showed positive results moving people from shelters to empty hotels.  We have 53% sheltered vs 48% in San Diego County (and a population of 11751 vs 7619).  However, the count did fall over the past year in San Diego, and rise here.  So maybe they're doing something right.  Seems to me like everyone's angry about the situation in Seattle and just wants to blame someone, government being the obvious target.

Chief Joseph wrote:
It's a complex issue and not easily solved.

Yes and very much tied to other social and economic matters which we best not get into here.

I hope we follow Oregon's lead and legalize (er, decriminalize) hard drugs soon.
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Chief Joseph
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PostThu Nov 05, 2020 2:57 pm 
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I agree, the "war on drugs" has never worked, especially the incarceration of so many with marijuana offenses, thus putting a strain on the court and prison systems.

Many illegal activities where a commodity is involved, supply and demand trumps any attempt by the legal system to eradicate said practice. If people are going to do it anyway, imho it's much better to legalize, regulate and tax it. Many are advocates for decriminalization rather than legalization, but in my opinion that won't work because the government wants their cut. Just my .02

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Damian
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PostThu Nov 05, 2020 8:57 pm 
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I appreciate everyone keeping this thread civil.  I felt the topic of homeless folks living in parks is relevant as there are many trails in city parks and green belts.  I have no doubt the number of homeless camps in more conventional hiking areas will be increasing.  We need to talk about this.  Thx all.
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Ski
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PostThu Nov 05, 2020 10:46 pm 
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Damian wrote:
We need to talk about this.

We do, for exactly the reasons you stated, which is why I posted the link.

Thanks.

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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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treeswarper
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PostFri Nov 06, 2020 6:40 am 
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Although I'm not around it much, it has worried me.  I have the feeling that the genie is out of the bottle and there is no solution.  In the olden days, the crazy folks and druggies were kept locked up out of sight.  The homeless were called bums and bums came to Wenatchee each fall and could work picking fruit along with the migrant workers and local teens.  There was housing for the migrant workers, but much of that was condemned later on, and the bums would have camps by the railroad in South Wenatchee.  I don't recall any problems except mom covering my eyes when I saw a bum throwing up, but I was a kid.

Now we seem to be returning to the days of picker cabins except they are called Tiny Houses and quite expensive.

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Sculpin
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PostFri Nov 06, 2020 7:03 am 
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Homelessness is an issue in every country in the world.  In some ways it is a unique problem.

I don't have the stats, but I think it is safe to say that most homeless folks have addiction and mental health issues.  Housing programs have little effect because they demand that residents stop using drugs.  The unique problem is that any set of rules, no matter how lax, result in the punishment of banishing the person from the housing, which is the exact opposite of the goal.

Years ago when I lived in Germany, I read that Germany offered the homeless a private room every night with coin-operated utilities and rubber sheets.  These were small cinder block rooms that could be more or less hosed down.

I am kind of a technocrat, I believe in the benchmarking of all things.  In many cases, the Europeans have better solutions to social issues than we do.  Anyone know about best practices in other countries?  What actually works?  Even with rooms available there were still drunks on the street in Germany, and I have no idea what they do now.

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Randito
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PostFri Nov 06, 2020 8:53 am 
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treeswarper wrote:
In the olden days, the crazy folks and druggies were kept locked up out of sight

Correct, during the Reagan administration policy was changed so that people with less severe mental illness that didn't pose an immediate threat to themselves or others were let out of state mental hospitals.

Partially this was a response to problems in the system as illustrated by films such as "One flew over the Cookoo's nest" , but also it was done as way of cutting federal spending.

Unfortunately however there is a wide gap between "not being a immediate threat" and "being able to keep it together".

If we want to have clean parks where we don't have to deal with people camping there out of desperation-- we might just need to figure out a way to house them as they are.   Even better would be to start treating substance abuse and mental illness as medical conditions and not as moral failures.
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treeswarper
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PostFri Nov 06, 2020 8:59 am 
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Sculpin wrote:
Years ago when I lived in Germany, I read that Germany offered the homeless a private room every night with coin-operated utilities and rubber sheets.  These were small cinder block rooms that could be more or less hosed down.

That kind of sounds like the Picker Cabins/Shacks that the Warshington State Health?  Labor? shut down in the 1970s.  It does sound like a good idea.  Hosing out would be desirable.  Then, you have the battle for a location.  I know I would not like such a thing near my neighborhood.  I'm being honest about that.  I don't think anybody wants it in their neighborhood.

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coldrain108
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PostFri Nov 06, 2020 9:49 am 
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Randito wrote:
Even better would be to start treating substance abuse and mental illness as medical conditions and not as moral failures.

up.gif  up.gif  up.gif  up.gif  up.gif

"Wonder who will water all the children of the garden
When they sigh about the barren lack of rain and
Droop so hungry neath the sky.
William Tell has stretched his bow till it won't stretch
No furthermore and/or it may require a change that hasn't come before."

I traveled a bit in Europe by car in 1990 - so not just going from one Eurail pass tourist trap to the next.  Gypsy camps is what they were referred to.  In Italy there were huge camps, tents and outdoor cooking pits.  They were everywhere.  The big lie is to pin it on one particular demographic to win political points, no where on this planet is there a utopia where everyone can carry the weight of the world on their shoulders.

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Logbear
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PostFri Nov 06, 2020 10:41 am 
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https://www.cnn.com/2020/10/09/americas/direct-giving-homeless-people-vancouver-trnd/index.html
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Anne Elk
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PostFri Nov 06, 2020 2:21 pm 
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This is one of the stories that stuck with me from two years ago, someone who had options, a family who wanted her, who would have taken her to rehab, etc. yet she still chose what she chose, and then the family blamed the city for aiding & abetting her dysfunctionality.

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/homeless/shame-on-seattle-parents-of-homeless-woman-who-died-in-rv-speak-out/

These people are unable or unwilling to take care of themselves. I get the argument about "de-criminalizing" poverty & drug addiction.  But one could also argue that without some kind of "consequences" or limits put on their behavior, many have no incentive to change. Seattle is removing restrictions and limits to all kinds of uncivil, unsafe, unhealthy, and yes, illegal behavior, and the consequence is it's over-running the city.

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Ski
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PostFri Nov 06, 2020 5:24 pm 
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Anne Elk wrote:
"...one could also argue that without some kind of "consequences" or limits put on their behavior, many have no incentive to change..."

It is a valid argument, and I tend to agree with you.
Without going into great detail, I will say only that i know all about addiction, and have watched people I know/knew spiral down into the pit of despair, one of whom I am fairly sure has only just recently gone back to sticking needles in his arms.

This is the part of the problem that poses the greatest conundrum. Just like the young woman in the video, people will only avail themselves to help when they are ready and willing to change their lifestyle, and no amount of federal, state, or local funding, or the efforts of dedicated volunteers and professionals, or incarceration, or being castigated as a social pariah will change that dynamic.

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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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Damian
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PostFri Nov 06, 2020 6:25 pm 
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I'm curious which heroin or meth users are not already experiencing serious consequences for their choices.  Most I know live in the mud under bridges or in the woods with no sanitary provisions and experience sickness most of the cold months.  Many have their fingers and toes rotting off as the winter approaches.  I know two women in their 30's who died outside of kidney failure from heroin use in the past few months.  How do we turn up the gain on these freeloaders?
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Randito
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PostFri Nov 06, 2020 6:50 pm 
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Damian wrote:
How do we turn up the gain on these freeloaders?

IDK -- but a better settlement from Purdue Pharma might have helped rehabilitate folks damaged by that corporation's irresponsible pursuit of profit at the expense of public well being.
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