LETTER: Seattle homeless/insufficient shelters/misrepresentation (fwd)

P. Myers (mpwr@u.washington.edu)
Wed, 10 Jun 1998 20:22:11 -0700 (PDT)


the letter I recently sent to Seattle officials ...email addresses noted
below.

Pat Myers
___________

To: ken.bounds@ci.seattle.wa.us, 

Mayors.Office@ci.seattle.wa.us,

nick.licata@ci.seattle.wa.us


I am writing to protest the bulldozing of the Jungle when insufficient
beds exist for homeless in Seattle.

Moreover, the Parks Representative on the News At Noon, who stated that
"this is a life choice" egregiously misrepresented homeless.  What might
have evolved into a productive discourse, interrogating the insufficient
number of beds available, and the  --  good  --  reasons homeless find
shelters dehumanizing and marginalizing, and how this conferred identity
is maintained in the public mind (in part by remarks such as mentioned
above)...such issues might have been explored, to the learning of
all involved, including homed citizenry.  Instead, we were spoon fed more
"for their own good" and "lifestyle choice" remarks.

A rare opportunity existed to raise the level of conversation about
homelessness.  Everyone interviewed failed utterly to do more than
replicate old stereotypes.  Homeless deserve an apology.

I encourage Mayor Schell to speak with representatives of SHARE.

Bulldozing the Jungle will only further fragment a population already
marginalized and voiceless...a population that needs to build
community...a population that has nothing for which to be ashamed, and of
which the public need not fear.

Pat Myers