It doesn’t take a genius to guess the main culprit for the increase in crime in Seattle. As I’ve noted many times on this blog, the homeless are not held responsible for their criminal activities throughout the city. Read about the many crimes committed by the homeless here.
MyNorthwest.com reports that certain areas of Seattle (SoDo and Georgetown) have reported a 31% increase in crime compared to a 1% increase citywide. The crimes include property damage, commercial burglaries, thefts, and motor-vehicle thefts, including 510 cars broken into.
“According to business owners, the area is developing a sense of lawlessness with garbage piles, graffiti, drug abuse, broken-down RVs, prostitution, and numerous incidents of theft and property damage. It’s impacted the feelings of safety among business owners and customers, as well as those living in RVs, themselves the target of many of the crimes.
“I feel sorry for the people down there who have businesses,” Curley said. “It must be an awful thing to have to deal with that every day.”
In response, police have dedicated a squad from 3 a.m. to noon in the area when most of the crime is occurring, and have dispatched a Community Police Team to perform outreach to those living in RVs.”
Doesn’t matter as there are always taxpayer funds to cover the costs.
FYI: From the brief search I was able to do about this private developer, Homer Williams, it looks like he’s got a questionable history with his developments.
As reported by Oregon Live: Despite promises of a private-sector solution to homelessness, the city-county Joint Office of Homeless Services has agreed to pitch in at least $1 million to make sure a new shelter actually opens.
The 100-bed shelter, built inside a tent-like structure in Northwest Portland at the base of the Broadway Bridge, was billed as the business community’s answer to local government’s inability to get people off the street.
Developer Homer Williams announced the plan with a starting $1.5 million contribution from Columbia Sportswear CEO Tim Boyle. The project quickly began to run behind schedule and over budget.
The “navigation center” model of shelter is a new one for Portland. Williams and former Portland Development Commission director Don Mazziotti wanted to replicate what they saw in San Francisco and other cities that have used this model that combines traditional shelter space with intensive help from service providers to help the people who stay at the shelter get into permanent housing as quickly as possible. It will also have laundry facilities, showers and other amenities.
Through Harbor of Hope, Williams and Mazziotti’s nonprofit, project officials estimated that it would cost $3.5 million to get the shelter built and running for the first year. By December, they began to worry that the $3.5 million would only cover construction.
But warning signs showed up as early as last summer.
Harbor of Hope broke ground in April on land donated by Portland’s urban renewal agency, which will retain ownership. The city waived permit fees, as well.
The cost to clean up the lead, arsenic, fossil fuels and other contaminants on the site ended up higher than expected. Officials reported at the end of July that environmental cleanup was earmarked as $100,000 in the budget. But Harbor of Hope had already spent $600,000 on it.
Harbor of Hope leaders also found that construction costs were going to be more expensive than predicted. By the time the original $3.5 million was raised, the project cost had doubled.
While the mayor’s office had said the city had no plans to finance a shelter that wasn’t feasible, city and county officials have wanted more shelter beds in the Old Town Chinatown area for years. They first saw an empty warehouse on Hoyt Street as an option, but that location would have taken up to $10 million to make usable.
So while Williams and others vowed that Harbor of Hope would not require any taxpayer money, officials saw this shelter as a cheaper option than building or renovating their own.
The Joint Office of Homeless Services agreed to contribute the first year’s operating budget, which will pay for staff, programming and day-to-day needs at the shelter.
“Our elected leaders and service providers don’t get enough credit for their success in adding hundreds of shelter beds across our community,” Williams said in a statement. “It’s difficult and expensive to find and invest in good sites, close to the right services.”
Williams has pitched other ideas in the past that have largely gone nowhere. He gained some traction under former Mayor Charlie Hales with an idea to turn marine Terminal 1 into a homeless shelter campus but lost city council support when it came to who would run the shelter.
He has also proposed a land trade to build workforce housing in industrial-zoned areas and asked Multnomah County to continue to pay the upkeep costs of Wapato Jail instead of selling it immediately so that Harbor of Hope could evaluate whether the nonprofit could make an offer on the building.
But on Harbor of Hope’s 2017 tax forms, the organization was nearly $110,000 in the red, due to a more than $100,000 loan that covered expenses while Williams and others raised little more than $8,000. The year before Harbor of Hope reported nearly $130,000 raised — most of it gone by the end of the year due to travel, salary for Mazziotti and payments to contractors.
There are over 1.5 million people in Alameda County. According to the study cited in this story, “…5,600 people experience homelessness on any given night. Over the next five years we aim to reduce that number to less than 2,200 people. If we achieve this goal no one will have to sleep outside.”
Take a wild guess as to how much money is required to achieve their goal. Then double or triple your number.
From SF Chronicle: Every person sleeping on the streets of Alameda County could be placed into housing or shelters if the county more than triples its spending on key programs, a new report says.
There is no obvious source for the more than $200 million a year needed — on top of more than $100 million already being spent annually — to achieve that goal, officials say. That has prompted talk of a potential tax proposal on the 2020 ballot.
The report is an update to a plan crafted more than a decade ago and adopted by Alameda County and its 14 cities seeking to end homelessness by 2020. The problem has grown since then, and the new report says it can be fixed by 2023 — with additional funding.
“When we wrote the 2007 plan, we said homelessness is a solvable issue. We wanted it to be true, but we weren’t sure. We were just building databases,” said Elaine de Coligny, executive director of Everyone Home, the effort to address homelessness in Alameda County.
“We have a lot more information now than we did a decade ago. We are confident in the solutions and strategies. We just haven’t been doing them at the pace and scale required,” she said.
The county spends about $106 million a year on homeless-related programs and subsidizes 3,000 permanent housing units. The report from Everyone Home, which was started by Oakland, Berkeley and county agencies, says those numbers should be $334 million and 9,000.
Sara Bedford, who is on the leadership board of Everyone Home, said reaching the goal is feasible. “I think we do a disservice if we’re not ambitious and realistic at the same time, and I think the plan does both of those things,” said Bedford, director of the Human Services Department of Oakland. “It’s very doable to achieve a functional zero — that you are housing people almost as quickly as they come into homelessness.”
Short of a San Francisco Proposition C-style tax increase or bond measure, that level of funding isn’t expected anytime soon. East Bay officials are beginning to contemplate putting such an initiative on the 2020 ballot.
Meanwhile, the report says, for every homeless person who found housing in 2017, two more became homeless. More than 12,000 people are homeless at some point each year in Alameda County. On any given night, the figure is 5,600.
The report says that if that number can be cut down to 2,200 people, with the additional funding, then no one would have to sleep outside, because there would be enough shelter and housing to go around.
Another day, another story of a homeless person in Seattle receiving a free pass from the bureaucrats…
Seattle has a homeless crisis that is exasperated by the fact that the bureaucrats do not enforce laws related to loitering, trespassing, public defecation, drug use and prostitution.
Read about the many stories I’ve posted about homeless people in Seattle being allowed to commit criminal activities with no consequences here.
Now another homeless person caught committing criminal activities is being punished with…cheeseburgers!
MyNorthwest.com reports that a business owner called Seattle Police because a homeless man was blocking the doors to his business. The homeless man pulled out pepper spray and pointed it at the business owner in a threatening way.
The business owner called the police and followed the homeless man to keep track of him.
It took Seattle Police 45 minutes to respond.
Police found the homeless man who threatened the business owner in the parking lot of McDonald’s. Seattle Police did not arrest the homeless man. Instead, the business owner watched as one policeman bought the homeless man two cheeseburgers.
According to the business owner, this is not the first time a homeless person has threatened him/his business. An employee of his received a black eye from a homeless person who was trying to break into customer cars and there is also a regular problem of the homeless using drugs and defecating on his property.
Sorry, got no empathy left for those in Seattle. Elections have consequences.
Better than Drudge Report. Check out Whatfinger News, the Internet’s conservative frontpage founded by ex-military!
A homeowner in the Magnolia area of Seattle tried to sell her house this past summer and was stalked by a “squatter” who had mental issues. The squatter claimed the house was his, trespassed on her property and tried to introduce himself as the new homeowner.
The homeowner called into the Dori Monson show to share her story. As reported by MyNorthwest.com:
“Soon after Lisa (name changed) put her Magnolia home on the market in late July, she said that a strange man began intruding on her property and in her home, acting like he lived there; setting up tents on her property, sometimes with another man; taking photos of her yard and neighbor’s yards and putting them on social media; introducing himself to neighbors as the new buyer of the house; and attempting to get into their homes by pretending to be an exterminator.
“We didn’t know what this guy was capable of for a long time, and so we were being as vigilant as we could … You don’t know what type of person you’re dealing with,” she said.
Lisa, who has since sold the house, had said at the time that despite living in terror for a week, police did not go after the Magnolia squatter in a timely fashion; it was not until after her story had been featured on the Dori Monson Show multiple times that police finally gave her a response she felt was appropriate to the situation.
“It took going on the show to get any response,” she said.
That said, she remains very grateful for the diligence and attention shown to her case after that by a Seattle Police Department task force.
“They came by the property every single day … I was really pleased with the response that we ended up getting after the show, so a shoutout to SPD,” she said.
While this was going on, Lisa figured out the man’s address and workplace through some sleuthing of her own. She gave this information to police, who initially said that they could not do anything because he lived out of their jurisdiction, but later were able to go to the man’s house and arrest him.
However, the Magnolia squatter spent just “24 hours and 10 minutes” in jail, according to Lisa. She pressed charges — which resulted in a grand total of a protection order, a $25 bail charge, and 30 hours of community service for the man.
“Only 30 hours of community service, Dori, for all that we endured — 30 hours of community service,” Lisa said.
In court, the man revealed to the judge that he has ADA-recognized bipolar disorder and was in a manic episode at the time of the squatting and stalking. “I empathize with people who are going through difficulties like that,” Lisa said, but “it doesn’t make it okay to terrorize a neighborhood and put everybody through what he did. There have to be consequences, regardless of what’s going on.”
Luckily, the judge did order the man to obtain mental health treatment, which Lisa sincerely hopes will aid him. While she is disappointed that he did not serve a greater sentence for all of the fear and emotional turmoil he caused her, she no longer worries about the effect that this man will have on her life.
“I do think that this person was really sick, and that breaks my heart, but they’re getting away with too much still, and we have to constantly think about our safety in this city … I hope that he’s getting the help that he needs,” she said.”
I’d bet the odds are pretty high that this squatter isn’t going to attend court-mandated mental health treatment program. And that the odds are pretty high will keep hearing about criminal activities in Seattle going unchecked.
Better than Drudge Report. Check out Whatfinger News, the Internet’s conservative frontpage founded by ex-military!
Progressive-run west coast cities have become a magnet for the homeless. The demorats encourage illegal and disgusting behaviors by not enforcing laws. The bureaucrats do nothing to actually solve their homeless problems; they just react to the situations they helped create.
California State University prepared a 2017 “Homeless in Sacramento County” and reported the following statistics:
Since 2015 estimated real growth in nightly homeless increased approximately 30%.
There has been more pronounced growth among homeless who are unsheltered and sleeping outdoors (from 1,111 to 2,052; or 85% increase).
A 50% increase in the number of homeless veterans since 2015.
Chronically homeless are more likely to suffer from PTSD than the most unsheltered homeless group (54% compared to 46%), and more likely to have a mental condition of any type (64% compared to 57%).
The city spent over $3,000,000 in 2016 to address homelessness. Of course the homeless situation has gotten worse. With an increase in the amount of homeless comes more human feces and garbage hence the need to spend more taxpayer dollars to clean up city streets.
From Sacramento Bee: The city of Sacramento will soon hire its first employees dedicated solely to picking up trash at homeless encampments.
The City Council approved Tuesday spending $400,000 to fund the new trash collection crew, as well as several new pieces of trash disposal equipment, including a Gator-style utility vehicle to clean up human waste, a city staff report said.
The crews will dispose of trash that police and organizations collect citywide as well as trash the Downtown Street Teams collect downtown and in the River District, said Jerome Council, a city public works official.
Councilman Larry Carr said he wanted the teams to pick up trash in all areas of the city, causing him to abstain from the vote, Carr said. The motion passed 6-0 Tuesday, with Councilman Eric Guerra absent.
“If we’re going to clean up one place, we should clean up everywhere in the city, not just downtown and the River District,” Carr said. “We put the priorities on these two areas to the detriment of other areas of the city.”
More than 200 homeless people were recently camping outside Providence Place Apartments in South Sacramento, for example, Carr said.
More funding would be needed to expand the teams citywide, Halcon said.
Steinberg said the Tuesday’s action was “very significant.”
“It is not an all or nothing approach here,” Steinberg said. “It’s not just help the people on the streets, but ignore the impact of homelessness. There are times when enforcement is, in fact, appropriate and certainly cleanup and addressing the impact of homelessness on the neighbors and on the businesses is absolutely essential.”
I read about a musician being beaten up by someone with a baseball bat last week in downtown Seattle by a homeless encampment. I wondered if the perp might have been a homeless person. I was right.
Ever since Seattle declared a homeless crisis three years ago, the situation has only gotten worse. And the local politicians had better start doing SOMETHING or more people are going to be hurt and more businesses are going to be destroyed.
From MyNorthwest.com: The 15-year-long owner of South Lake Union’s El Corazon, the nightclub that a musician was leaving last week when he nearly lost his life to a random baseball bat attack by a homeless person, says that the city has allowed the neighborhood to turn into a living nightmare for businesses.
“There are a lot of good, taxpaying small business owners who are trying to do good things, and face a lot of challenges to begin with, but our city in a lot of ways is failing us, and not really providing us the support that we need,” he told KIRO Radio’s Dory Monson.
When Sims first began working at the nightclub 17 years ago, he said it “used to be quiet and sort of a destination venue.” In the past five years, however, he said that homeless service organizations in the neighborhood have acted as a magnet for crime and encampments, changing the entire character and safety level of the surrounding streets.
“I’m not saying that, the people who are providing these services, that their heart isn’t in the right place,” Sims said. “But they sometimes don’t understand how much they are enabling these people to continue the lifestyle … They’re really doing something bad for the entire community by just maintaining the whole problem.”
Sims sees emergency lights at the camp for overdoses and internal fights on a daily basis. The encampments, he said, tend to attract “drug-addicted young kids” who choose a life of crime and violence like the baseball bat attack that left El Corazon performer Ryan Georg having to learn how to speak again plague the neighborhood.
“They’re not people who have fallen on hard times,” Sims said of the campers. “They seem to be more like punk rock kids who seem on a mission to be free from the rules of society and just want to do their drugs and cause problems and not be held accountable, in my experience.”
He and other business owners have tried to make their voices heard to the city government, but he said that the harder they pushed, the “more resistance” they found.
“I constantly seem to be unheard, hitting a wall, or given a bunch of excuses … Everyone seems to give you lip service that they’re going to address the problem, and then when they realize how big the problem is, within a short period of time, they pass it along to someone else,” he said.
This indifferent attitude makes Sims feel like “a hamster in a wheel.”
“You feel like you’ve heard this all before and you can flowchart how it’s all going to happen,” he said.
Meanwhile, the encampment residents “understand the laws of the city” and are “pretty savvy,” Sims said. After getting notices that they needed to move, the campers simply went across the street and re-started the encampment all over again on state Department of Transportation property, where the city had no jurisdiction.
He wants to see local politicians take responsibility to fix the homelessness crisis so that innocent citizens like Georg and his bandmates will not have to live in fear on a walk to their cars (don’t hold your breath that will happen any time soon).
“We should get people in leadership in the city that actually want to address the problem, instead of taking our money, saying they’re going to address the problem, while the problem gets worse,” he said.
And that folks, is why we say “elections have consequences.”
I sense a pattern in west coast, progressive-run cities…
From MyNorthwest.com: A plan is being set in motion Monday to deal with Olympia’s homeless population with what the city is calling a “mitigation site.”
The goal is to end the situation with homeless people living tents all around downtown Olympia by moving them to a designated area.
Thenumber of homeless people living in tents has skyrocketed from about three dozen to well over three hundred in the last three months. Some say it’s gotten out of control, but the city said it’s working to make changes.
“The goal of the mitigation site is to be that first positive step for some of these individuals,” said Homeless Response Coordinator Colin DeForrest. “It’s no longer going to be OK to be in the City of Olympia’s parking lot. We’re going to find a better option for you, and if you don’t want to do that, then Olympia might not be the spot for you.”
The first mitigation site will be at Olympia Ave. NE and Franklin St. NE, which is a current homeless camp. It’ll be a first-come, first-serve site, fitting 80 people. Each person gets a 10-by-10-foot spot and a tent. DeForrest said it’ll be fenced with bathrooms, running water and trash cans.
City officials said they’re spending about $100,000 to make changes and build the site. Construction begins the week of Dec. 3 and there is expected to be more than one mitigation site in the future.
Olympia, like many other cities, has struggled to deal with the issue ever since a court ruling said arresting people for camping in public areas is cruel and unusual punishment especially if there is not shelter available for them.
If you’ve read any of my posts about the homeless crisis in Seattle, you know that the number of homeless is on the rise, drug use is openly permitted by the homeless, and crime and prostitution is on the rise. See the following:
In February 2017, the city of Seattle launched the “Navigation Team,” which is comprised of specially-trained outreach workers paired with Seattle Police Department (SPD) personnel, to connect unsheltered people to housing and critical resources. They work with homeless people to help them get access to urgent and acute treatment services.
In May of this year, the city boasted of an increase in the number of homeless people they successfully moved into permanent housing or shelters. Yet prevention programs saw a decrease in exits to permanent housing.
“The Seattle City Council moved Wednesday to reduce a proposed expansion of the city’s team responsible for overseeing removal of homeless encampments, redirecting the money to wage increases for homeless service workers.
The 6-3 vote was a preliminary action, with the final budget set for adoption Monday. But the proposal, sponsored by Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda, sparked debate among council members and protests from business and neighborhood groups who want a more vigorous response to the city’s estimated 400 unsanctioned tent camps.
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan had proposed expanding the Navigation Team, which includes outreach workers and police, by nine positions in her budgets for 2019 and 2020. City council staff said at least some of the positions already had been hired, using $500,000 allocated by King County over the summer to allow the team to expand to 30.
Mosqueda said her proposal would reduce that expansion to six next year, and seven in 2020, and would use the $724,000 in savings to give wage increases of two percent to more city-contracted human-services workers at nonprofit agenciesthan Durkan’s budget proposed.
Mosqueda’s proposal had begun leaking out earlier in the day, prompting push back. Mike Stewart, CEO of the Ballard Alliance, wrote in an email to the council before the vote that his neighborhood has had to “wait weeks and months for Navigation Team service.”
“If anything, the City should be allocating more funding to the Navigation Team to allow for additional capacity, faster response times and deeper reach into all of the affected neighborhoods across the City,” he wrote.
Mosqueda called the Navigation Team “critical” to the city’s homeless response, but she emphasized that the workers at nonprofits needed to be paid “a fair wage.” Councilmember M. Lorena Gonzalez, who joined Lisa Herbold, Kshama Sawant, Rob Johnson and Mike O’Brien in favor of the proposal on a final vote, objected to “misinformation floating out there. This city council is not interested in eliminating the Nav Team.”
Sawant, however, proposed to eliminate all Navigation Team spending and use the money instead for affordable housing. It was rejected in an 8-1 vote.
Sawant objected to “the supposed but mythical values of the Navigation Team that does nothing but sweep homeless people … We haven’t met a single homeless person who thinks homeless sweeps work.”
Many progressive-run west coast liberal cities and counties have a homeless crisis: San Francisco, Seattle, San Diego, Portland, San Jose, Los Angeles County and King County. See one of the many posts I’ve done about this here:
You can now add the city of Sacramento to that list as well.
From Sacramento Bee: The Sacramento City Council unlocked millions in state homelessness funding Thursday by voting unanimously to declare an emergency shelter crisis for three months.
The declaration was a state mandate necessary for the city to qualify for part of $553 million in one-time funding set aside by the state Legislature in June to address homelessness across California.
The city has joined with Sacramento County and the nonprofit group Sacramento Steps Forward to apply for $20 million from the state to pay for shelters and programs to help the county’s more than 3,000 homeless people. The city will directly administer about $7.7 million of the funding, received over two and a half years, said Emily Halcon, coordinator of the city’s homeless services.
The shelter crisis declaration will be in effect from December to March and the majority of the city money will likely be used to pay for additional homeless shelters to replace the emergency shelter in North Sacramento, now set to close by Dec. 31.
The city plans to use more than $4 million on at least one new 200-bed triage shelter, according to a report prepared by city staff. The city also plans to open other new low-barrier triage shelters, Steinberg said, though locations for new facilities has yet to be decided.
Steinberg said he plans to announce potential locations early next month and expects at least one facility to open by Jan. 1, when the Railroad Drive center will close.
“(This is) not just to replace Railroad Avenue, which we must, or the capacity, which we must, but to dramatically expand it,” Steinberg said.
The Railroad Drive shelter, the first city-operated low-barrier triage facility, was previously scheduled to close at the end of November but private funding is allowing it to operate through the end of December. It is typically at full capacity, like all shelters in the city on any given night, said Halcon.