Tag Archives: Teresa Mosqueda

Liberal utopia of Seattle: Homeless & crime on the rise…let’s cut outreach and give raises to human services workers!

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.

Keep in mind that, according to MyNorthwest.com, Seattle is planning to spend $71 million toward homelessness in 2018. That money will go toward 155 contracts across 39 agencies to provide services to people experiencing homelessness.

So I wonder why the city is now planning to decrease the budget of their Navigation Team and increase the pay to contracted human services workers?

The Seattle Times reports that on Wednesday, the Seattle Clown Council voted to reduce the expansion of the Navigation Team and redirect the “savings” to a pay raise for homeless service workers.

From their report:

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 agencies than 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.”

Read the whole story here.

I guess someone (i.e., taxpayers) has to keep that Homeless Industrial Complex alive and well.

DCG

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Seattle to help the homeless safely inject drugs with medical mobile unit

mobile medical unit

King County’s medical mobile unit


Seattle’s homeless crisis is exacerbated by the fact that the local area politicians and government officials believe that enabling an addiction is part of the solution.
Taxpayers are coughing up MILLIONS of dollars to provide assistance to those in need. Yet many of the homeless don’t want help any help.
The inhabitant of the “tent mansion” near Seattle Center has refused help from the city, choosing instead to live on the street, than follow the rules of a shelter. She said, “We don’t want to change our lifestyle to fit their requirements. We intend to stay here. This is the solution to the homeless problem. We want autonomy, right here.”
The Pierce County Sheriff’s Office recently offered to help the homeless at an encampment. They brought in agencies to offer services and help with drug addiction. Out of the 50 campers there only one accepted the assistance.
King County already offers medical mobile units.
Yet Seattle, which recently approved a business “head tax” to solve their homeless crisis, is going ahead with their medical mobile unit. Guess they have to spend their recently-acquired taxpayer dollars somewhere.
From MyNorthwest.com: Seattle council members are looking to get around the dilemma of where to place a safe injection site by making it mobile. The city is now exploring what Human Services Department spokesperson Meg Olberding describes as a “large mobile medical van.”
The van would be akin to the medical RVs the county and city currently use to serve homeless residents. KIRO 7 reports that they will be much larger, however.  The option is referred to as “fixed-mobile.” A medical van would park at a fixed location, but return to a secure location every night.
“It is an option where we would actually lease or go into an agreement regarding a fixed site, and then with that, we would have a mobile van,” said Dr. Jeffrey Duchin, Health Officer for Public Health Seattle-King County. “… this is potentially a very large vehicle that we would then house the consumption activity in.”
The mobile van would offer consumption booths and recovery space. According to Q13, the safe injection van would cost about $350,000; along with $1.8 million to get the van set up, and $2.5 million to operate it. Seattle has already set aside some money for a safe injection program and the van could be paid for from those funds.
“Obviously, there will continue to be concerns about the neighborhood, security of the neighborhood, about other activities happening in the neighborhood, so we would want to make sure we provide a safe area, not only for the neighbors but for the individuals who are using as well,” Duchin told the council.
The mobile option faces a similar issue that a fixed site does — where to park it. One thing is clear, the council doesn’t want to wait much longer. Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda said that she favors purchasing a van. The city would then conduct community outreach for potential locations.
“Every day we don’t move forward, people are at risk for overdose and death, so with that in mind and with this sense of urgency for the third time this year alone that you have heard us express this, I am calling on our mayor and our county as a whole to act with urgency so we can move forward this year,” Mosqueda said. “We have the resources in hand; we have the support from the broad public, and we have data-driven solutions.”
(I have researched the validity of safe injection sites and there is a very mixed reaction as to whether or not they work. One can easily choose the data that supporst their opinion.)
“This is a data-driven, public health harm reduction model that is proven to be effective at saving lives and getting people into treatment,” she said.
The city will spend the next two months considering potential locations to park the van (so much for that “sense of urgency”). Officials favor a private lot, and note that most drug activity happens around SoDo, downtown, and the west side of Capital Hill, according to KIRO 7. The city did consider buying property specifically for the van, but found that it was “cost restrictive” inside Seattle.
Read the whole story here.


Enslaving drug users only perpetuates the cycle. And it keeps the taxpayer money flowing to develop more “solutions.”
DCG

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