Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Seattle Homeless Encampment

The City of Seattle has made it known it wants to build a PERMANENT encampment for homeless men and women on city property and open up city parks and other public buildings for use as shelters.

Would you like to live next to such a place or have a business across the street from a tent city of homeless men and women?  Ask the residents who have lived near "Nickelsville", Seattle's roaming tent city for the homeless named after the former mayor who attempted to actually enforce trespassing laws on city property.

The decision to find a PERMANENT site for the homeless camp is called "controversial" by government leaders.  REALLY?  I urge any person to visit any city park in Seattle today and see what conditions are like.  Take in the sights of drunks and drug addicts passed out in the middle of the day, sleeping on the grass.  Enjoy the smells of people who defecate on themselves and do not bathe for days and weeks at a time.  Be sure to do all this during daylight hours because at night you risk your life just walking down the street near the park.

What will be the end result if this madness becomes reality and a permanent site is found for homeless men and women to pitch tents, cook meals, and otherwise build a community?

Angry residents.  LOTS OF ANGRY RESIDENTS.

A tent city built for 100 people will soon have 300 and calls will be made for a larger space on more city land.

Property values for the legitimate residents of the area that actually bought homes there will decline.

Crime will increase in the area.

There will be more vagrants, drug addicts, unregistered sex offenders, prostitutes, unmedicated mental patients, and other "homeless" people flocking to Seattle since the word on the street, like Groucho's secret word, is "permissive."

The problem is this situation is not homelessness.  There are many people who literally have fallen on hard times and need help.  However, these are NOT the residents of Nickelsville.  The professional homeless political class that resides there take pride in their homelessness, rather than taking positive steps to end it.

If the City of Seattle really wants to tackle the problem of homelessness and all the lawlessness it causes on its streets, it needs to do two things:

1.  Enforce vagrancy and trespassing laws that will discourage runaways, transients, drunks, addicts, and others from flocking to Seattle in the first place;

2.  Target the available public services to those people who actually need real help, who want to change their lives and get off the streets, not feed and house petty street criminals who have decided to live as permanent parasites on society.

The urban problem of homelessness is insatiable.  You could devote the entire GDP of the United States to the problem and in the end you would have more homeless than ever before.

As Ronald Reagan so accurately put it years ago:

"We fought a war on poverty in the 1960s.  Poverty won."