We need to provide more...curb space apparently.
Homeless Joy and Jubilation(33 posts)
"Where are we going to put these people?” she asked. “I’m sympathetic. I really want people to have access to the food banks , I really want people to have access to counseling, but I fragrantly want policing for those who are drinking in public. … The seniors must feel safe, that is the underlying thing here."
“I wish I had a place where I could park and be off the street,” Dollemore said. He said, if he could, he would rather have a place where he could stay put and not have to worry about having to constantly move and be hassled.
Try an RV park.
he looks like a total crackpot in that picture.
then goes on to say “There are some real pieces of work out there.”
I'd hate to see who he's referring to!
Can we make a distinction between urban camping and homelessness? Choosing to live in your camper for years is not homelessness, it's gaming the system.
According to the Interfaith Task Group and the Ballard Task Force on Homelessness, many homeless people, particularly in Ballard, are left camping in vehicles and that the homeless camping in vehicles are looking for any kind of light at the end of the tunnel, that there might be an ability to get out. Interestingly they interview an "urban camper" who has lived in a van or RV in Ballard for 15 years now. He says “I wish I had a place where I could park and be off the street,” and if he could, he would rather have a place where he could stay put and not have to worry about having to constantly move and be hassled.
I wonder why he doesn’t try the churches providing car camper lots? I wonder if it’s because he would be required to follow some rules? So he opts not to and is forced to move around. Now doesn’t that just break your heart?
Here's a thought... Why not fix up that completely ridicules, vacant for 10 years mess, that used to be Yankee Diner, and shack the unfortunate people up in there? Seriously, we have all kinds of resources that seem to languish forever (for tax shelter purposes?) while we who live here deal with the wasted space. Use it or lose it I say!
pixlpete - good idea. A large portion of that parking lot is used by the Olympic Health Club for parking with a shuttle service to the club! Every time I see that I have to wonder where the exercise comes into that equation!
so funny VB
I liked the raspberry martinis and pot roast, but that place has been collecting dust for way more than 10 years, I was being generous, more like 18. It is as weird as "Lake Union Café" where I actually worked back in the day. Prime location, huge restaurant, great view, WFT? Been empty for 25 years. Ima no get it.
I believe the Yankee Diner property was divided: The Olympic Athletic Club bought the front (parking lot) and the back, which now has no access is still owned by the Stimson family. I believe the lower part of the building is still a rentable banquette hall. There was an arduous blog here on this subject already. Personally I think the building should get absorbed by the Stimson Marina as a members only club house. No vagrants allowed!!!
Emtpty forever, do something.
Well the obvious answer to your rhetorical question is NO. The car camper who was interviewed is obviously in fragrant violation.
Seriously, this fellow isn't Tom Joad? In 08 when the fan was completely buried in 'stuff' there was a fellow who stayed nights in his late model pick up at the dog park. You could tell most of what he still owned was in his truck. I imagined him to be a contractor or construction worker of some kind. He was Tom Joad.
I have lived in vehicles on several occasions and always voluntarily. To me it was a grand adventure - my Kerouac experience - and I never overstayed my welcome. I believe it is good to help people who have been forced by circumstances to live in a car, but I too have issues with people who simply won't move on to the next step or next place.
The ancient empty forever (15+ years) Yankee Diner is full of needed stuff like shelter, heat, water, bathrooms, kitchen, garbage, etc. Something has to happen, WWJD? Is there no way we can use this derelict resource to help our community?
Corvus, it seems you are actually starting to see that some of these transients are just that and that this is a lifestyle they have chosen. So how do we address this issue? Do we continue to provide them services to continue with this lifestyle? We're wasting money on people like this when it could go to people that actually need and want our help. I say let the city open an unused city-owned piece of property for these guys to park on, make them move there and then aggressively enforce parking violations against those that continue to park in the area.
"I say let the city open an unused city-owned piece of property for these guys to park on, make them move there and then aggressively enforce parking violations against those that continue to park in the area. "
I like it!!
can we call it 'Campsterdam'?
Regarding the Yankee Diner..providing the curb side 'live-aboards' with a nice parking lot close to the water, option to dump black water directly into Salmon Bay, use of sani-cans(with running water for hygiene)in the parking lot or an urban rest stop nearby, close to downtown Ballard businesses to include markets, restaurants and bars, a park and wonderful library! Maybe a shuttle service can be provided for them too. Careful for what you wish for. I prefer the derelict parking lot over derelicts in the parking lot (or anywhere else, for that matter).
The majority of the curb-side 'live-aboards' have reached their final stage of urban evolution. There is no more 'moving up'. They supposedly move every 72 hours if parking enforcement is vigilant, which I doubt because they are probably regarded as low hanging fruit and have no resource to pay tickets. They believe they are entitled and are here to stay with a bit of gentrification thrown in for first dibs.
The bleeding hearts have enabled and continue to promote this vagabond behavior.
Hmmm...the property in question in 2012 was taxed (valued) at $2,004,900 and is privately owned. With marina proximity, don't expect a haven for vagrants any time soon. http://info.kingcounty.gov/Assessor/eRealProperty/Detail.aspx?ParcelNbr=0467000423
I found the journalist's choice of interviewee sort of odd. Was sort of like filming drag queens and gay men in leather chaps at gay pride parades. In any case, look that dude's court records and judge for yourself. L!
The ancient empty forever (15+ years) Yankee Diner is full of needed stuff like shelter, heat, water, bathrooms, kitchen, garbage, etc
FWIW, the Yankee Diner only closed about 5 years ago, it was too bad too, because it was pretty much the last place that you could get a stiff drink, decent food, and a great view on a Saturday night without a 45 minute wait.
Anyway, it's private property, so if you want to house the homeless there, you'll probably have to buy it first.
Norge, I do not, and never have denied that some or many transients are beyond 'help' and have either chosen the life or do not have the capacity to chose any other. However, in a war of generalities I will side with the "bleeding hearts" as they are called. Call it a philosophical hang up or maybe a moral imperative, but when dealing with human suffering the cavalier resort to blanket statements, but humans always have a story to tell and most of them will challenge our preconceived notions. "So how do we address this issue? Do we continue to provide them services to continue with this lifestyle"? Charity is best served on a case by case basis which is an impossible task and even Jesus didn't have that luxury. So what...?
Is it any less realistic to "end homelessness" by denying toilets and free lunches than it is by providing them?
How is the Nimby (for lack of a better word) any more grounded in reality than the Bleeding Heart? There have always been, and will always be transients, and yes, I do mean in history and in our little tiny part of the world. Nobody, probably not even one of our gods, is going to end homelessness any time soon.
Isn't the real goal simply to mitigate the inconvenience and threat posed by transients? Hasn't the city already tried and isn't it currently using pieces of property to house transients? Aren't all the locations hotly contested? This magic piece of property proposed by some bleeding heart will always be next to some nimby's property. We don't want people urinating and defecating in the vestibules on Market so we provide an outhouse (bleeding heart). We don't want so many transients congregating near the outhouse so we remove the outhouse. The two sides have similar intent and cross purposes. All the while the transients bear a heavy burden - in Western Judeo-Christian philosophy they have been placed here to make the stony heart bleed. What a life.
Not so long ago I proposed we round all the homeless up and kill them. I used a metaphor and equated the homeless to pigeons. I hope you understand I was being sardonic. My point is this... we either remove them or find a way to live with them and both are means of mitigating. To remove them we use brute force, manipulation, or denial of what is simply basic humanity, if not human rights. In order to live with them we have to first listen to their story and then attempt to see the humanity buried by so much filth and pollution. We also have to chose to live with them.
Is there another choice I am missing here?
"There have always been, and will always be transients, and yes, I do mean in history and in our little tiny part of the world. Nobody, probably not even one of our gods, is going to end homelessness any time soon."
They come from outside our community to get by on what ever is around like a murder of crows. Either these people have burned bridges with friends and family with the consequence of no support or have pissed away opportunity expecting a helping hand 'from above' later on. There is no room in my life or monies in my wallet in helping these fractured souls, vagabonds and layabouts who have chosen a lifestyle that, during the 'fast' times, was fun and easy but now has turned hard and cold. They have made their bed and it is time for them to lay down on it. This community doesn't owe this element a welcome mat for a freeloading lifestyle.
Very well put, Corvus.
They come from outside our community...
It is the "they" where people go wrong. Clearly there are at least a few different casts or sets within this "they". If you watch the various "murders" or "clutches" of people presumed to be homeless at Ballard Commons it becomes obvious they all have different motives and come from different places. I don't think you can castigate them all as aspiring to the same goal, or being moved by the same motive. Some are clearly down and out, and some are people who prefer to live that way.
The only ones who really get under my skin are the users and people who sell to them.
OingoBoingo - I have it on very good authority that a fair number of the 'homeless' people I see are actually Ballardites who have been here many years and in some cases many generations. For instance, one of the old women who froze to death two winters ago had lived here all her life. I also know of at least two middle to late middle aged men who are mentally impaired that actually have inherited homes, lived here their entire lives, and have simply lost the support structure that once kept them conveniently out of sight.
You say they come from "outside our community to get by on what ever is around like a murder of crows. Either these people have burned bridges with friends and family with the consequence of no support or have pissed away opportunity expecting a helping hand 'from above' later on."
I am sure you are correct about some of them. But you are using some pretty broad strokes here and it shows pretty clearly that you have little understanding or actual experience with the people you condemn. Perhaps you should attend one of the Saturday Soups and actually sit with, talk to, and listen to some of these people. If you are interested I can arrange that for you.
I think the people most of us are annoyed at are folks like the 20-something panhandler who I ran into yesterday. He was asking passersby for change even though he had an unopened six-pack of bottled beer hidden under his jacket. I'm sure it was just that he needed a bottle opener...
"Isn't the real goal simply to mitigate the inconvenience and threat posed by transients?"
Yes it is, and you know how you do that? You deny the handouts that are so prevalent here. When you roll out the red carpet for them it attracts more, and you become overrun with them. That is what Ballard has become. Of there are no handouts they go somewhere else. It is a simple equation.
You say it is a simple equation but there are no figures in your equation. I think that pretty well defines fuzzy math. Also, nobody ever quotes or speaks about anything other than anecdotal evidence. The popular story which is oft repeated is that Ballard is overrun and that the homeless are flocking here in droves because of some red carpet. I'm not saying that isn't true - perhaps it is. The number of homeless people in Seattle doubled from 1998 to 2008 but there isn't any clear reason why other than a poor economy. The numbers from 2008 to 2012 are declining. Again, there doesn't seem to be any clear reason why.
From my perspective, my own anecdotal evidence, within the faces of the homeless population there are some regulars who have been around many years, and some are more infamous than others (Fro-guy for example), but many other faces are gone. Obviously there are some exceptions but the rate of attrition seems to be pretty high.
Is the Commons Park and the library a gathering point with a high density of homeless? Yes. Are the homeless who gather there an inconvenience and threat to other park users? Not always but quite often yes. Is Ballard overrun? I'm not so sure. Is the the outhouse a red carpet? You have to be kidding.
I want to be very, very clear about this so that none of you think I am attacking you -
since there is no hard evidence to support either the broad generalities about where the homeless come from, why they came here, or even how many there are, the only criteria one has when trying to make a personal judgement about how, to whom, and how much charity to be involved with is the character and person who is espousing one version or another of the story and supporting it with their own anecdotal evidence.
That may not sound like much, but you don't have to delve into American history or even the present very much before you realize that many people really are summed up by the preconceptions and bias they chose to make their public face.
"there is no hard evidence to support either the broad generalities about where the homeless come from, why they came here, or even how many there are, "
sounds like a good thesis topic for a MSW candidate.
would certainly be more helpful than the annual count they do to ascertain basic numbers.
These people are not to be condemned, punished or found guilty of homelessness. No need for brown shirts rousting about the camps and RVs with night sticks to 'motivate' these populations. Its the lifestyle. Yes, I have cast a wide net to include those who are 'down on their luck' but that is the face I and many others see.
'Is the Commons Park and the library a gathering point with a high density of homeless? Yes.
Are the homeless who gather there an inconvenience and threat to other park users? Not always but quite often yes.'
So who needs this element hanging around the park with tax paying citizens wanting to enjoy the environs without a possible hassle. Families with kids, I'm sure, avoid the park they are helping to pay for, if there is a concentration of the element. Who wants a member of the element wanting to say 'hi' to your kid or make conversation?
'Is Ballard overrun? I'm not so sure.
I don't know what number of derelicts one would declare to be 'overrun' either but a few strategically placed could create the 'illusion'.
'Is the the outhouse a red carpet? You have to be kidding.'
Indeed, we all know there is no red carpet to the outhouse but there is a yellow brick road to St Luke's food program and free medical services right across the street from the park and Trinity nearby. Soon there will be a completion of the Urban Rest Stop and Urness house which may or may not be a 'draw'.
The homeless view Ballard as an affluent community that has enough fat to be able to live off the drippings with the attendant services of medical, food, transportation, security and hygiene. They may see these services as a basic right without any vetting. No, they do not need open arms and a welcome mat though I may drop in Saturday Soup Day to see for myself.
"Is the the outhouse a red carpet? You have to be kidding."
It was very clear who lobbied for it.
It's also very clear that anyone who lobbied against it is 'kidding'.
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