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They grow here. We’re still eating the pickles from last summer. We had the back of one bed dedicated to them on a 3×8 trellis and ended up harvesting about 20 a day, pickling all we could and still giving bags to friends and neighbors just to get rid of them all.
Bamboo. I’m sure some people are going to disagree with this because they’ve had it grow out of control, but it’s the fastest option for growing a hedge. Rather than waiting 3-4 years for it to grow in or spending $$$$ on mature arborvitae, you can plant it full height and it will fill in by summer if you plant in the late winter. You can often get it inexpensively or free and it stays green year round. The trick is you have to follow the directions for planting and containing it, especially if it’s a running variety. I put mine in 30″ raised beds lined with galvanized flashing for a species with a 24″ root depth. Some of the slow spreaders/clumping varieties I planted directly in the ground with root barrier. Just don’t go and stick a prolific spreader in the ground without a containment strategy. Some varieties roots will spread 3-5 ft/yr and go under sidewalks and fences if you let them go wild.
Most varieties will achieve around 80% of peak height in this climate. You can find species that top out as low as 1 ft up to over 40′ and pretty much anything in between. Containerizing it gives you more control over spread and height. Whisky barrels or those galvanized tubs/troughs are strong enough to hold it. Height will top out lower with the roots constrained, but container growing is more maintenance intensive overall. I prefer the whisky barrels because they’re small enough to tip over when it’s time to prune the roots.
Does the city really offer places for people to park their cars to use, sell or manufacture drugs? If not, what good will it do to reduce the number of people camping on the street?
@CR – a significant number would have to be involuntarily committed or arrested in order to be housed, otherwise they would not agree to it. Once that comes into play the costs of housing skyrocket.
I do think there are some opportunities to better house those suffering from addiction. But that’s a difficult population to house without also providing some security and medical care. JUST housing the addicts might not improve their situation at all on average.
As for the disabled, mentally ill and veterans – I’m not sure what to make of that situation. Supposedly these groups qualify for SSDI or some other form of permanent assistance but they’re still on the streets in surprising numbers.
Since I’ve lived in Seattle and the Ballard area, I’ve noticed there are a bunch of different groups that all share one thing in common – they’re homeless.
There’s the transitional homeless:
– People who went through difficult circumstances
– People who moved here without a job or housing lined up
There seems to be quite a bit of support and acceptance for this group.
There are the ‘street kids’ mostly adults under 25:
– They tend to be visible and enjoy the freedom a 0 responsibility life offers, and enjoy irritating anyone they can
There are the mentally and physically ill:
– Complicated group, not as easy to help as people in a transitional state since they have major obstacles preventing them from caring for themselves wherever the may be living.
– Street living no doubt makes the situation worse the longer they’re living rough without care.
There are the people suffering from severe addictions:
– Significant overlap with the mentally ill, but the main difference is what helps someone who is just physically or mentally ill may actually hurt (enable) a homeless person in this category.
– Property crime is tied to this group, mostly theft.
– If given the choice between a place to live and having drugs, the drugs will be a higher priority.
– Treating the addiction might only get them to the point where they’re physically or mentally ill, still not able to care for themselves. Sometimes this is a result of the addiction itself.
Not a lot of sympathy for this group, and the help currently available seems to be inadequate. The few ‘harm reduction’ programs available like needle exchanges and methadone clinics only deal with specific issues but are not successful in reducing the problem. The existing programs that do have a measurable impact (housing facilities that help people manage their problems) are expensive and unpopular.
Then there are criminals:
– people whose criminal history disqualifies them from most opportunities, sometimes for good reason
– sociopaths who have no innate or imposed reason to behave in a way that doesn’t hurt others
The last group are the ones NOBODY wants around, and in my opinion cause most of the problems for the other homeless – either they victimize the homeless directly or they destroy any sympathy people have.
With this group, there may be no solution aside from continued incarceration. As long as they’re mixed in with the general homeless population, helping the others is nearly impossible.
Has anyone taken an official tour of the tent cities? The SHARE/WHEEL group website says they offer them. I’d agree they don’t look like a “great solution” but they also seem to have a number of advantages over both rough sleeping and real housing.
For one thing, the camp seems much more structured than would be possible if the really violent, addicted and mentally ill folks we see around here were allowed to stay. Some of the more antisocial types wouldn’t last a day in a place where they weren’t allowed to threaten and assault their neighbors and smoke meth – I know, I ended up with one of “those types” living near me and it was constant drama. Police were out visiting him dozens of times before he finally landed in jail for assault and harassment. Just one guy like that would rip a tent city to pieces. From this it’s obvious that whatever is going on in the current tent cities is somehow screening out the most psychotic and antisocial elements. A couple of people with severe personality disorders and raging addictions simply aren’t going to get along with one another even for a short time.
Crownhiller, yes getting people out walking in the neighborhood and observing is probably at least as good as paying an SPD officer to put in 4 more hours after his/her 8 on the public dime.
Citizen patrols are better than nothing, but let’s face it – some, probably quite a bit of the crime like car prowls and package theft is originating within the neighborhood and some of the “neighbors” are tolerating it for one reason or another. The longer it goes on, the more likely it is to get worse. Theft is often a symptom of active drug use. Once people get to the point where they are using so much they can’t hold a job, stealing is a top alternative.
I had a situation where drug activity picked up on my block, and much to my surprise one of the other neighbors wasn’t just tolerating it, but actually helping the junkies/tweakers buy drugs and avoid getting caught by police!04/08/2014 at 12:37 pm in reply to: What's up with all the identity theft reports in North Ballard? #63805
I heard about that – the concentration seems awfully high for it to all be from the Archdioceses.