Saturday, December 9, 2017

Homeless in Seattle

It seems Seattle ranks third in the country in the total number of homeless people. LA county is number one with more than ten times as many homeless as Seattle. I don't remember what number two is.

In any case, Seattle spends more than $95,000,000 a year in its effort to combat homelessness. In spite of that enormous sum, there are still tents set up all over the city with individuals, couples and entire families living in parks, under bridges, in doorways and everywhere else where there's a space to stretch out after dark. It's horrifying not just for the individuals living on the streets but also for every citizen who travels anywhere in the city. There are near-naked people wandering around, filthy, discarded clothing in the bushes, used needles tossed all around and just about every aspect of the seamy side of life to witness any time of the day. It's disgusting...and unsafe for everyone.

There are an estimated 12,000 homeless people in Seattle. The city has numerous shelters, food kitchens, public drug facilities, etc. scattered all around the city. On any given night, an incredible number of beds available are not even used while the city maintains it needs to add to the number of beds on hand.

I wonder why the city claims to need more housing and beds when those already available are not being utilized. I wonder where that $95,000,000 is going each year? That's about $8,000 per homeless person being spent every single year!

Think about it. Seattle is spending $8,000 per person every year and the city claims it's not enough. Imagine a man and woman with a child living in a tent under a bridge receiving $24,000 a year from the city. Isn't that enough to live on? That's more than I make right now and I have a house and a car.

Where are all the millions going? How much is spent for office management, staffing and so on? Ninety-five million dollars a year! Why not just have a few people administering the funds and just hand over the eight thousand dollars to each homeless person once a year? As to all the drug users, panhandlers and infirms...get them all off the street. There's $8,000 available for every last one of them to handle medical issues, rehab...and incarceration for those repeat offenders of the laws.

Seattle shouldn't be off limits to everyday citizens and $95,000,000 a year, spent wisely, should be enough to maintain a clean, livable city for everyone.

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