Re: Tent City II in Seattle

Theodore Latham (tedrico@hotmail.com)
Wed, 10 Jun 1998 17:09:39 PDT


Anitra,

    What you're trying to do for the homeless occupants of the Jungle 
sounds wonderful! However, not much can be said, about the Seattle 
Mayor's office and their sense of reasoning! I, like you, hope they do 
eventually come to their senses and realize that SHARE's established 
tent program is really the best course of action, and then offer every 
measure of assistance towards helping you all acheive your goal! Being 
bulldozed is no fun! I know this from a similiar experience behind the 
Andre House in Phoenix, AZ 2 summers ago! All that does is, as you say, 
scatter the homeless, particularly the women and children, which makes 
them more vulnerable to being raped, abducted, or molested as a result 
of being forced to sleep in unfamiliar territory. Nuff Said!

Regards,

Tedrico Latham

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Anitra Freeman <anitra@speakeasy.org> wrote:
>
>I know it's been quiet on the Western Front.  I'm busy again.  Here's 
an
>update:
>
>Locally, in Seattle WA, the City has been stepping up pressure to 
"sweep"
>the encampments, especially the largest central (and most visible)
>encampment, the "Jungle".  Recent murders among homeless women have 
been
>capitalized on, not to increase real safety programs, but to justify
>clearing the Jungle -- effectively making those who have to sleep 
outside
>even more isolated and vulnerable by scattering them.
>
>I'm preaching to the converted.  To cut to the chase, SHARE has been
>talking with the Mayor's office for months about setting up a model
>encampment, and the City has been making soothing noises and dragging 
its
>feet.  They promised us that they would let us know before they 
actually
>cleared the Jungle, and we promised them that we would talk to them 
before
>we actually set up tents.  We wrote a letter last week saying that we 
have
>waited on them long enough; our people will be in additional danger 
when
>the Jungle is bulldozed, so as soon as the City clears the Jungle we 
will
>set up our encampment, with or without the City's cooperation.
>
>Today at 2PM SHARE/WHEEL meets with the Mayor's office, fulfilling our 
part
>of the bargain to talk with them before we set up tents.  The tents and
>supplies are assembled, a site is selected, and word has gone out for
>participants to meet at 4th & James downtown to go out to the 
encampment
>site and set up. (The site location won't be publically announced until 
we
>are actually there.)
>
>It is always possible that the Heavens will open, a great Light will
>descend, and the Mayor's office will say, "Well, yeah, until we have 
enough
>housing and shelter we *need* encampments, so here's 100 tents and 
sleeping
>bags and official permits, and what else can we do to help?"  In which 
case
>my next post will be all about the wonderful new cooperative encampment
>program in Seattle.
>
>Hopefully, that will be a post, eventually, somewhere down the road.   
But
>it is more likely to take a period of building pressure, with an open
>encampment as visible proof that clean safe encampments are possible 
with
>community support, and that the homeless community is doing more for 
itself
>than the Mayor's office that has vowed to "have every homeless woman 
and
>child off the streets by Christmas."
>
>Last night I helped get tents, blankets, food and hygiene supplies 
ready to
>go.  I'm heading back to the SHARE office now to help get the word out 
to
>more people on the street.  It's raining today, but I expect that both 
the
>Mayor's office and SHARE are going ahead.
>
>I'll keep you posted.
>
>Write On!
>-- Anitra
>http://www.scn.org/~alf1701/ "Effective Activism on the Internet"
>-- help in designing and promoting your website and
>survival in the electron tunnels of email lists
>
>
>


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