Forum Replies Created
02/12/2017 at 8:54 pm in reply to: Do you think Ballard is worst now than it was 20 years ago? #85108
I began work in Ballard in the 60s, bought a home here in the 70s when homes were affordable. Plenty of parking in downtown Ballard then. Ate lunch at Vera’s and breakfast at Mannings. Rode my bike down Shilshole and got a tire caught in the RR track. It’s been 40 years and you can still do that on that stretch of what should be the Burke-Gilman Missing Link. :-(
The increase in density in the Urban Village has been breathtaking as has been the increase in rents. Federal funding for low income housing pretty much flat-lined in the late 70s and 80s and the number of homeless people grew as SROs were demolished to make way for new construction. Used to be it was fisherfolk many of whom were homeless in the off season waiting for the season to start. Now it’s all kinds. All of that I attribute to the economy which has worked well for some and not so well for far too many.
All that said, there are many fine folks in Ballard, kind and generous. They make all those other changes tolerable.
Here’s a website where you can check to see what tickets may have been issued:
Glad to see this forum is still alive and that some of the more rational people are posting. I left because of all the nastiness, ad hominem attacks, and stereotyping.
Hi VB! Hope you are well.
CR – Can you tell us where/from whom you learned this?
Thanks!07/17/2015 at 12:17 pm in reply to: One (and only?) community meeting on Ballard homeless encampments #81646
FYI – The Ballard Taskforce meeting next week is NOT intended as a substitute for the public meeting(s) mandated by the encampment ordinance. It is simply to help inform the discussion by giving us a chance to hear from the encampment organizers and service provider. There will be time to ask questions of the organizers during the meeting.
What we heard from Alan Durning and Faith Pettis at Sightline yesterday was that the HALA recommends changing the zoning on 6% of the 65% zoned residential in Seattle. In the remaining approximately 60% of the City that is zoned residential they have recommended easing the regulations on accessory dwelling units (“mother-in-law” apartments and small detached dwelling units on the same property) but not changing the zoning.
The Mayor still has to come out with his recommendations and the Council will consider and no doubt make their own changes before enacting legislation. There will be opportunity to weigh in and influence that process as it continues.
When asked about those people earning 0-30% of AMI, they said the other committee (don’t have the name) will address that group in its recommendations. The HALA’s recommendations will be in addition to what the other committee recommends.
Does anyone have information about what the other committee is called and what it will recommend?07/05/2015 at 9:15 pm in reply to: Mayor Murray puts 2 out of 3 new homeless encampments in Ballard/Interbay #81379
The kerfuffle at Nickelsville lasted about a week and things were worked out amongst the residents and their sponsors. Here’s a brief description of what happened from the website http://www.nickelsville.works/
Nickelsville Hits a Bump in the Road
posted Feb 21, 2015, 12:35 PM by Nickelsville Works
You’ve probably read and heard in the media that back on January 29th Nickelsville Staffperson Scott Morrow was given a vote of “no confidence.” Essentially, what happened was that one of the elected camp leaders failed to enforce Nickelsville rules against verbal threats and harassment made by her partner. In addition, a number of Nickelsville “old timers” got into housing in December. While that’s good news for them, it left the camp with a large population of new-comers who were easily intimidated by this strong-willed couple. When Scott asked to take the leadership out to breakfast to discuss solving the rule enforcement issue he received the boot the next day. The camp was given five days to name a new sponsor, but was apparently unable to find support. Neither our religious sponsor, Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, nor the property owner, Coho Realty, were comfortable working with the new leadership and were on the brink of terminating their contract. The following Saturday documents were quietly circulated among Nickelodeons to bar the individuals at fault for not enforcing the camp rules and a separate document reinstating Scott as their Staff person and he came back.
This is the kind of information that you can’t get in the Seattle Times – their actual printed newspaper reported Scott got canned, but not that he got rehired (although they did put that news on their obscure online political blog.)
Since this drama all parties have sat down and figured out ways to avoid the problems that led to this in the first place – thank you Coho Realty, Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, and the Low Income Housing Institute!
If the good conversations are on Next Door Media, how does one get on there?
When I search for “Next Door Media” all I find are links that take me back to this site.
YES! I agree that the Missing Link needs to be completed. I think it is unconscionable that a few businesses have been allowed to prevent the approved, designed and fully funded project from moving forward.
It seems obvious to me that the main concern of those businesses was the loss of free parking along Shilshole if the trail were built along the RR right of way. Somehow I doubt the loss of free parking was included as one of the reasons for the repeated appeals.
There’s no doubt that parking is at a premium in Ballard but I lay the reason for that at the feet of developers and the City for not being willing to pay for the infrastructure, including necessary parking, that comes along with more people arriving in our community.
Conversely, the potential loss of parking on NW 57th was one of the reasons used to oppose the Ballard Urban Rest Stop. Somehow I doubt that was the real reason for the appeals. Folks are afraid to say that the real reason for opposing social services is that they are opposed to poor people especially those who are homeless in proximity to where they live. That would be more honest.
Catherine – Thanks for rolling up your sleeves and looking into some of these ideas for us.
Regarding “activating the park”, I suggest contacting Mike Stewart, ED of the Ballard Chamber (email@example.com) for information about those plans and how to get involved. Getting involved is key to the success of any community effort.
If you are in the Ballard area, The Bridge Care Center has a clothing bank and welcomes contributions. Here’s more about the services they provide:
The Bridge Care Center
5710 22nd Ave NW Bldg B
Seattle, WA 98107
Hours of Operation
Tuesday: 12pm – 4pm
Thursday: 10am – 2pm
Saturday (1st & 3rd): 10am – 2 pm
I like the idea of designated lots where vehicle residents can park their vehicles. Such lots would need to be managed with access to basic utilities (toilets, waste disposal, water) and with access to services that could assist people in finding permanent housing. Eugene, OR and Santa Barbara, CA have modeled this approach for us and it seems to be working pretty well for them.
Some of us have been asking the City for just such lots on City or private property but we continue get the response that only religious institutions can provide such spaces. This is an “easy out” for the City because existing Federal and State law enables religious institutions to do just that thus requiring no further action on the part of the City. These mostly church lots are the ones that are utilized by the Road to Housing Program but they are few in number and inadequate to meet the need.
Bottom line, however, as has been said many times, there is not enough low-income and affordable housing to meet the need. For a City that is considered to be progressive in its values Seattle sure likes to do things on the cheap.
Right. Like people who live in housing that has no off-street parking park on the street.
As long as they move their vehicle every 72 hours it’s perfectly legal to use the City streets to park.
What is clear CR is that you equate obeying the law to “gaming the system”.
The City of Seattle does require that programs receiving city funding collect data on how their services are being used. The 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness in King County has failed to meet its goal of ending homelessness even though data has been collected over that period of time. One has to ask why did it fail and how can the data that has been collected be used to make services more effective?
In addition to asking how services can be improved, I think we must ask why there is not enough affordable housing in Seattle to meet the need.
I’m not clear how moving a vehicle every 72 hours so as to avoid getting a ticket is “gaming the system”. It could also be interpreted as obeying the law.
“They can do that by just moving a foot or two but essentially staying in the same place and monopolizing a parking spot.”
— Vehicles must be moved off the block in order to comply with the 72 hour ordinance.
“they pay off tickets for car-campers who break the rules”
— Early on, the Scofflaw Mitigation Project did have funds donated to help people pay for tickets if it was determined they were indigent and unable to pay. For a couple of years, however, there have been no donations and no money to pay for anything.
— I cannot speak for what St Luke’s does to help vehicle residents. That question should be put to the Vicar at St Luke’s.
A major reason we see vehicles reappear in the same area is that there is no housing affordable to someone who has low or no income. Being homeless and trying to survive by living in your vehicle is not a crime.
Nearly one third of people considered to be “unsheltered” live in a vehicle. Beyond the far too limited “Road to Housing” program, people living in vehicles have very little recourse than to continue to survive living in a vehicle and trying to keep from accumulating parking tickets they cannot pay.
“Perhaps a car camping flash mob in front of the Mayor’s house? City Council?”
— Good idea but the focus should be on demanding that more low income housing be built and preventing what low income housing still exists in Seattle be replaced by any developer wishing to redevelop a property.
Bottom line is there simply is not enough housing that people can afford and people on the verge of being homeless are being pushed out as a result of rising rents.
teigyr – If you are concerned about the person you describe, you might ask our Community Police Team officer Mike Kruzan to check out the situation. His number is 206-233-3733.
Also, if you think the vehicle is being lived in and perhaps has overstayed its welcome (more than 72 hours), you can report it to the Customer Service Bureau. The CSB has a fairly new system that records these calls and refers them to Parking Enforcement for follow up.
Vehicle residents do move around in order to avoid getting ticketed. That said, nearly one third of the homeless people considered “unsheltered” are living in a vehicle. Those numbers are increasing and homelessness is not going away any time soon. We need to do better.
According to the stats published by the Committee to End Homelessness in King County (CEHKC):
87% come from King County
10% come from another County
3% come from another state
So, 97% come from within Washington State and 87% come from King County.
They also break down the numbers by zip code (see Page 5 of the above report.)
“Small organizations, churches, are not intended to address the systematic problem of homelessness. That is the duty of the city and county councils and executive leadership, mayors and county exec. But no one is doing what is necessary to fully implement the kind of service system needed to address chronic homelessness and the needs of the most vulnerable. The renewal of tent cities is a prime example of the intransigence of local leaders and government and the service providers funded to house the homeless.”
“We need a plan that holds providers and city/county leaders accountable for solutions that actually reduce homelessness.”
I absolutely agree with the above. Activists have been yelling about this for a long time. Religious congregations do a lot to help people who are homeless and in need. Unfortunately, I think too often government has shoved off its responsibility onto churches. What funding government has provided to service providers and religious congregations willing to take on the task of helping the most vulnerable is woefully inadequate. In the meantime, people who need help are not getting it and people are dying on our streets. This is disgraceful.
Carping at service providers is not helpful, however. I can guarantee you that if funding were available to build more supportive housing, it would be done. If funding were available to provided needed services, it would be done.
Keeping people alive, safe, in community supporting each other while they wait for government to do its job and housing to become available is a good thing. The addition of three new managed tent encampments is a good thing but providing shelter for 300 people when there are nearly 3,000 on our streets without shelter just points out that what government is doing is not enough. That these encampments are needed is obvious however once again even these are not enough. That is not the fault of the service providers. Government enables these partial solutions and then goes away to congratulate themselves. This is disgraceful.
Regarding government funding for encampments: This recent Seattle City budget does include some funding for encampments. Up until this year, however, tent encampments have not received any funding from the City.
For example, Tent City 3 which has operated on the west side, mostly in Seattle, for years has never received any government funding. It has survived through donations and the support of religious congregations willing to host the encampment for a few months at a time.
Tent City 4 which has generally operated on the east side has not received any government funding either with the exception of a couple of years when it got some funding from FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Administration. That funding has ceased and TC4 is on its own again relying on support from the community to survive.
Nickelsville has never received any government funding either or support from government for that matter. Quite the contrary. What it has survived on has been support and donations from caring members of the community. I am aware of at least one instance at Nickelville when there was drug dealing and violence within the camp and residents called for assistance from the police to help to oust the troublemakers. They were told by the police that they could not be helped because they were not a permitted encampment. So much for government support.
When Nickelsville had a problem with flooding and rodents because of where it was situated in a low-lying area with poor drainage, the Health Department did come in and inspect the camp. Mitigation of any problems, however, was done only by camp residents and volunteers and donations from the community.
I encourage people with questions about these encampments to visit, take a tour, and talk with residents. See how the camps are run, what their governing structure is and how it works to help people get back on their feet.
For those who did not have time to read the SLOG article, here’s a summary of what happened.
— The city council voted to allow three new regulated homeless encampments in commercial and industrial parts of the city.
— Each encampment must provide access to social services and collect demographic data.
— An amendment was passed that directs the city to study allowing encampments in all zones including residential. Note it’s just a study, and another council vote would be necessary later to actually change the law and allow those regulated encampments in residential zones.
For the record, LIHI did not abandon Nickelsville. There was a kerfuffle/coup around camp leadership at which point LIHI, the sponsoring church and the property owner threatened to pull their support. That was eventually ironed out through a democratic vote and Nickelsville is going strong at their new location of 10th & Dearborn.
Managed encampments do keep people safe. The location where the woman, Margaret Pitka, was shot and killed was an unregulated, unmanaged encampment.
Here’s an article which summarizes what actually happened at City Council yesterday. The legislation in question was about the City allowing three new organized tent encampments with access to social services.
City Council Gets Chance to Help Homeless People—and Does It!
Note: The ordinance does not affect encampments already being hosted by religious organizations. Those are already permitted under Federal and State law.
Organized encampments have proven to make homeless people safer and often have been a positive experience for communities where they have been located. According to a recent DPD memo, “Transitional encampments have met with resistance in some neighborhoods where they are believed to be incompatible with neighborhood and families, particularly if anticipated for a long time. While this may be the perception, information from HSD, Police, and Fire Departments indicate that encampments have generally operated safely and caused few problems to surrounding neighbors.”
No one thinks encampments are a solution to homelessness, they are not. What they are are a way to keep people safe in community. Too many homeless people have died on our streets without adequate shelter. There have been 16 deaths already this year
I posted a response at 9:30am. Let’s see how long it takes for the post to show up.