Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Homeless and housing activists in Seattle continue to roll...

Philip Dawdy, with the Seattle Weekly may be one of the only mainstream journalists in the country to question the 10-year plan to end homelessness, and continue to bring attention to people on the streets. Today he reported that, “The fracas between the city and SHARE/WHEEL resulted from seemingly simple federal requirements forcing the city to collect personal data on homeless people and the group's insistence that turning over such data would violate the civil rights of the homeless. On April 12, the group and the city reached a brokered agreement after six hours of negotiation and months of public disagreement. Under the agreement, SHARE/WHEEL will turn over required data to the city once a month with the proviso that if individual homeless people refuse to provide data, the city won't cut funding for SHARE/WHEEL.

Rhodes of SHARE/WHEEL says the group's willingness to stick with a threat to erect more tent cities in the absence of shelter funding made the difference. "We're willing to stick together rather than lose our shelters," he says.”

You can read the article here:
  • Weekly article

  • The news comes only a month after affordable housing advocates won a major victory in the “Downtown for All!” campaign, which successfully lobbied for the city to force developers to give $18.94 per square foot built downtown to go towards affordable housing.

    In a separate article this week in the Weekly, Dawdy also reported, “It's one of those things chock-full of screwy symbolism that you just cannot let pass: In June, the city's Human Services Department, which administers homeless programs among a slew of other social services, will move from its present down-at-the-heels Alaska Building offices on Second Avenue to the heights of the Seattle Municipal Tower, where city staff will literally oversee homeless programs from the 60th floor—in the glassed-over cap just two stories from the top. That will make Al Poole, HSD's director of survival services, the highest-situated government official in the city — hell, the entire state. Above Poole's perch are two investment firms. His boss, Patricia McInturff, will be two floors below him. Judging from the staggering views of Mount Rainier and the Olympics up there, the survival services staff ought to survive quite well — and perhaps think of themselves on a Mount Olympus from which they can toss thunderbolts at those who fail to get on board the 10-year plan to end homelessness.”



    Dan Newth said...

    Jacose say your writing has improved tremendously. Personally I think your heart was always there even if your commas meandered.

    You Rock Israel.

    Dan Newth said...

    Jacose said your writing has improved tremendously. Personally I think your heart was always there even if your commas meandered.

    You Rock Israel.

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