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Thursday, January 26, 2006

Define Bed

Posted by on January 26 at 17:17 PM

Seattle King County Coalition for the Homeless (SKCCH), a coalition of homeless service providers, will be out on the streets tonight doing their annual count to get a sense of the region’s homeless population. (Last year’s one-night count found about 2,200 people on the streets, in addition to the 4,600 in shelters or transitional housing.)

The count comes at a time when the mayor’s new budget cuts more than $200,000 from emergency shelter bed services like the Downtown Emergency Services Center and St. Martin’s. That’s a loss of between 50-150 beds. Additionally, SHARE/WHEEL (an emergency bed provider that is no longer participating in city services because it doesn’t agree with the city’s federally-mandated homeless computer tracking program) accounts for about 300 emergency beds lost.

Despite the cuts (and the losses), Nickels has pledged that there will be no net loss of shelter beds this year. In a January 5 letter to Nickels, the SKCCH asked Nickels to explain how he planned to live up to the pledge.

Without explaining what services will be funded, Nickels responded in a letter this week saying he’s added $350,000 to the budget to ensure that no beds will be lost.

It isn’t clear, however, if the SKCCH and Nickels are working from the same definition of “shelter bed.” The SKCCH is including emergency beds in its equation. However, as the city begins to enact the 10-year plan to end homelessness, Nickels’s bed count may not include the same number of emergency beds that exist today. Beds that aren’t part of programs that are primarily about moving people out of shelters into stable housing may get short shrift. This could, in fact, result in a net loss in the number of emergency beds that exist.

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good SLOG post Josh. go back and read Nickels' letter though - no loss of beds "IN THIS TRANSITION."

tricky, tricky.

leaky, weak, and agenda driven,


Ah yes -- the homeless issue, the endles flexible rubber ban which gets all the strech in all directions from political tallking heads, but, again must be pushed first into a bureaucratic formula at all cost.

I am disgusted year after year by the blather. Oh, yes ---- there is the ten year plan - one more blue ribbon study, isn't there.

Offered by foks cozy in nice spaces. The problem in in front of our faces -- tens of millions year after year to build - fill the need for 5,000 units of ultra low cost subsidized housing. Basic, studio style, any location. When do we start.?

Ah, yes. the perfect moment for massive building of units just for the homeless has not yet arrrived.

Let's do another study. Yuk

You know what I would love? If the city council appointed a homeless person to fill Compton's slot. That would be some real diversity. Does it bother anyone else that the idea sounds utterly ridiculous?

There is a person that the City Council may appoint to fill Position 9, formerly occupied by corporate bootlicker Jim Compton, who indeed knows homelessness, first hand: Stella Chao. The council should apppoint her, for the true diversity it would offer; finally, someone would be in a position of power who had been "on the ground," to borrow a phrase from the military, someone who knew how hard it is getting in this overpriced, overhyped city, for the working person.
The 10-year Plan to End Homelessness is a complete and absolute joke. The mayor allows developers to tear down affordable housing, thus ensuring that some people end up being homeless. In the 18 unit apartment complex where I live, adjacent to Greenlake, one person moved in at the end of October, because the building he lived in, over in Fremont, was torn down for condos; while another moved in in November, when her rental house was torn down, on Beacon Hill. (Note to Josh, Erica or whomever wrote about "suburban-like Greenlake" recently: NO, not all of Greeenlake is "suburbanesque" most especially those of us caught in the mixed-zoning by I5.)
Does anyone remember when Vulcan - Paul Allen's real estate empire - tore down the stately old Lilian apartments? More recently, subsidized housing then appeared in South Lake Union, as a way for Vulcan to act like good guys (and gals).
I am convinced that the 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness is a complete shell game. The working class are driven out of the city, whilst affordable housing is built in areas the mayor's developer pals want to maximize their investment in. And the "final solution" (with a nod of the hat to Hitler and his cronies) to the homeless problem will come when many people have to hit the streets and are just left to die there.
If you think "it can't happen here," believe me it can.
On a related note, the old Albertson's store closed tonight, just east of Greenlake. Look for a major real estate development there in the coming year, with "affordable housing" consisting of four to five $240,000 condos built by Conner Homes.

You had me, Terry, until you pulled the Godwin. Hitler's not helping your argument.

It's a good one, though. Is there anyplace I can place a bet on the number of homeless who will still be in Seattle after the "10 year plan" is finished? I'll bet it's more than today.

Someone, it may have been you, recently said in this forum what we need is 5,000 SRO units, like we used to have -- cheap studios for single men. The single men will nevereverever be housed any other way. I mean, look at 'em. From each according to his abilities, and all. That's in addition to, not instead of, the family units for the less visible but politically potent moms'n'kids ('n'sometimes dads).

Don't knock Conner Homes, though. They do good work. This ain't their gig.

Yay Terry! Thanks to YOU for being attentive and knowing Stella's personal experience with homelessness.

The City is using the "plan" to justify (on the eve of the one night count) reducing funding for shelter. Let's make MORE (about 300 people) homeless THIS year by cutting shelter $$ for the promise of making fewer people homeless in the long term. DUMB. Never mind that "the plan" does not at all recommend reducing shelter funding in the first year of implementation. Hell KC's 10 year plan first year implementation is accomplished, NOT by reducing shelter $ but by adding millions (I think 2-3). Why is Seattle so gung ho to cut shelter funding rather than adding new dollars for transitional housing?

I called the national 10 year plan office to ask whether they have a policy for jurisdictions about shelter funding. He kinda laughed and said that no one had done so cuz they all thought it was obvious that you don't start reducing funding for shelter unless you can demonstrate that you are moving people out of homelessness.

I agree Terry, that the plan may be misused in Seattle given all the redevelopment incentives given through tax abatement and upzones. BUT, the plan doesn’t HAVE to be a shell game. I know the providers and advocates that are participants in its crafting. This was not their intent. They are yelling. City govt. keeps saying “we need a paradigm shift.” This is code for funding less shelter and more housing. The reality is that we are going to hear tomorrow how many people need shelter – NOW.

And displacement, yes. Upzones galore throughout the city w/o any analysis about the incentive created by doing so (a bldg that is 4 stories and low/mod income can be demo-ed and the property redeveloped to be 20 stories of luxury housing -- WITH city subsidies that will be passed on to other property owners. This makes lots of $$ for the upzoned property owners).

What a mess. Again, tonight on the eve of the one night count. Dozens of people are out tonight counting homeless people who we have no shelter for. Last year, the count found 2,216 people surviving outside without shelter in Seattle, Kent, and North King County. Bets on how many this year?


I think it is time for a targeted housing levy for King County - partioned between county and city - dedicated to the construction of the units we all know need to be built.

Put it on the ballot by citizen effort. Get the building started .... cut through all the blah blah and red tape.

I truely believe the first service a homeless person needs is a roof.

Of course that simple concept does not create staff positions for all the managers, caseworkers, studies, various paid experts. - the complex cottage industry of white collars that thrive when the money flows toward an issue.


More money, and build - build.

King County does desrve credit, under leadership of Ferguson / Sims - they recently bought some motels out on 99 - perfect. New paint, make sure the toilets work - quick and effective it seems to me.

What we need is to take measures to get the panhandlers off the streets, most of which are homeless. We need to find ways for the destitute to subsist fully, then ban panhandling, because as we learned in Arcata, CA, even if you provide every service known to man, many scumbags will go back out to the sidewalks and continue pandering. Give give give, and they'll keep taking.

Any action taken for the homeless must be done with the eventual goal of banning panhandling. Teach them to fish, and then cut them off from their enablers.

The 10-year plan is just like Nickels's plan for Seattle to adopt Kyoto protocols. He talks a good talk, but where's the commitment to it? He helped kill rapid transit in this city and he doesn't look too eager to force local businesses to cut their energy use. How are we supposed to cut our emissions?

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