Any cop who works in a Democrat-run city or one of its suburbs knows so-called homeless people can generate a considerable number of 911 calls. According to KVI Radio 570 AM, Seattle alone currently has an estimated 400 homeless camps around the city. Not 400 people, 400 separate multi-tent/tarp encampments! Homelessness and crime are constant companions—for both suspects and victims.
In fact, a few years ago, just one encampment located in a stretch under Interstate 5 had an estimated 400 people living in what is known as The Jungle.
I prefer to use the term transient because, while homeless may qualify technically as one literal descriptor, can you call a person who refuses repeated offers of help and shelter a true victim of homelessness? Liberals have specifically transitioned from words such as vagrant, transient or street person (which are all more accurate) to homeless because that word confers victim status.
The reality is many people, especially couples, prefer the streets. This is how warped the situation has become: Since the left has expanded the definition of who should be included in what it means to be homeless, many transients-turned-victims have donned their irresponsibility as if it were armor.
One street person named Sean told Colleen O’Brien of KIRO Radio, “They [Seattle’s Navigation Team—city folks who offer help to transients] are not doing anything. They’re not even giving us snacks or hand warmers when they show up. They are like, ‘We got these services.’ What services? You are going to talk to me while I gather my stuff. Then I’m going to leave and you are going to tear everything down—and I’m going to wait a while and come back.”
The expectation of city services and the contempt for a lack of them is remarkable. These adults are acting like little kids whose parents have turned them out unfairly. Where in those remarks is any sign of taking responsibility for oneself? Perhaps if the city enforced laws that should apply to everyone equally, like not camping on a public sidewalk, it would force people to become responsible for themselves. How did the left get to be the sole arbiters of what is valid compassion, anyway?
The way these people exist, whether in California, Oregon, or Washington, sure doesn’t look compassionate to me. It especially shows no compassion at all for the law-abiding, tax-paying residents surrounded by these growing areas of blight allowed, even encouraged, by Democrat-governed cities to exist. And liberals not holding these people responsible for breaking laws the rest of us have to follow shows no respect for them as adult human beings.
Political leaders refuse to consider any ideas that don’t come from a liberal perspective. They’d rather condemn those with whom they disagree as haters who just want people to die. Even the transients they ostensibly try to assist acknowledge the city has no idea what it’s doing. Its perennial go-to solution is to raise your taxes and spend more of your money.
All this while the problem gets worse—as it has for decades despite throwing money at the problem. I think it’s just too nifty a social problem to have at election time, so the left just ain’t that interested in any real solutions. I have a simple one: enforce the law equally. You know, like the Constitution tells us we should.
Sean’s companion Jordan said, “I believe that the people in charge don’t even know what they need to be doing to help us.” And it’s not just people on the streets. It’s coming from folks who propose we keep taxing and spending. According to the Seattle Times regarding former Seattle Mayor Ed Murray last year: “‘I don’t have the answer,’ Murray said, speaking about The Jungle and Seattle’s overall homelessness crisis. ‘We’re actually making this up as we go along.’” So inspiring.
This is not at all limited to the west coast. News about transient camps spreading in cities across America is standard fare these days. But, naturally, regions with warmer temperate climates are hit hardest. But it’s not only the weather attracting transients but also, perhaps even more attractive, an area’s political climate: The forecast for the Puget Sound region today shows a steady leftist rain, broken up by progressive thunderstorms and liberal lightning, with absolutely no sign of sunshine anywhere in sight.
Transient camps are composed of makeshift hovels transients construct in “low barrier” jurisdictions across the US. Low barrier refers to the lack of laws prohibiting or discouraging street drug and alcohol use. According to KIRO Radio 710 AM talk show host Dori Monson, King County, its neighbor to the north, Snohomish County, and to the south, Pierce County, qualify. In fact, one sign that these camps infest an area is when you can simply click a link on your computer or smartphone that brings up a map of transient camp locations around a city.
Monson, in an article on Mynorthwest.com, writes, “Homeless people from all around the United States have come to set up camp under I-5 in Eastlake [a Seattle neighborhood]. Why? Because they know the Puget Sound area is the lowest-barrier area in the country for drug addicts. Snohomish County has legalized carrying any drug—heroin, meth, anything—if it’s in a small enough amount.”
Both King and Snohomish Counties have announced they are dismissing thousands of drug possession cases due to a lack of resources. Many beneficiaries of this policy live on the streets, in parks, and in so-called tent cities.
In describing the situation further, Monson writes, “In King County, people are shooting up heroin on downtown benches, and the police have been told to de-police the issue [emphasis mine]. In Pierce County, it’s the same— rampant homelessness, rampant crime attached to it. What we have is a lack of political leadership.”
Monson planned a unique but fitting response to a couple from Kansas who built what is now known as the “homeless mansion” on the sidewalk across from the Space Needle. He, with the help of some listeners, built a “homeless” office on the sidewalk just outside the studios where he works. He figured, since the city apparently had a hands-off policy toward such sidewalk structures, people should be free to construct their own monstrosity on any sidewalk in the city.
Monson wondered if the couple, rather than simply homeless, were engaging in “performance art.” He wrote, “Last night, under all the scrutiny, they fired up a barbecue. And what were they cooking in the tent on the sidewalk? Steak and shrimp.” He says this convinced him it was performance art. As you’ll see below, the woman will later tell another talk show host she and her husband receive Food Stamps (EBT).
During that interview on KVI Radio 570 AM, “Melissa,” one of the two people living in the homeless mansion, told host John Carlson that she has a master’s degree in social work. She also told him she was finding it difficult to replace the I.D. she’d lost and to get a job. She said she and her husband want to leave Seattle to go back to Kansas to work on a friend’s farm. Last I heard, Carlson raised money from listeners to fund the couple’s bus fare to Kansas. I haven’t heard if they’ve accepted the offer.
As far as Monson’s own sidewalk-dwelling endeavor, it didn’t last long before Seattle police officers showed up and told Monson he’d have to remove his new “office” from the sidewalk. Still, the city also gave notice to the “mansion” dwellers under the Space Needle. Monson said he believes his sidewalk structure prompted the city to act on the homeless mansion. In a video clip, Monson said getting arrested was on his “bucket list,” but he wasn’t quite ready to go to jail over this issue.