This just came in as a comment following last night’s report on the SHARE sleep-out protest in Mayor Nickels‘ neighborhood. The commenter offers insight and proposals that we thought you might want to read, even if you don’t usually look at story comments. It was signed “D Kramer”:
I am formally of tent city 4 and I refused to do this protest because I didn’t agree with it from what was conveyed to me about the city wanting some kind of guarantee if it gave money.
It is invasive to crash out at the mayors home.
I find it a violation as well of one’s privacy when the media is pre-invited in mass to ensure lots of press. One had to choose to either participate in this protest or depart for the duration of the protest. It wasn’t painted out as something you can do or not do. They are getting so desperate to try to get the needed bus fare that civil rights even among their own kind seem marginal.
But you guys need to know – Many of the people at the tent city 4 had or even have some kind of job. Some were barely hanging on before a cut back or lay off or injury or personal crisis. Some point blank can’t work due to disability. Some work for pathetic wages – Low wages that ensure that the local companies maintain their hefty profits.
Sure some – a few –don’t want to work or do much in life- but by far I assure you most of the people at least at TC 4 are trying to get back up on their own feet in their own way. Some are trying to live on about $700 a month disability – some on less than $350 a month GAU. Some have nothing.
I have personally helped several people who were job hunting find interview outfits from the donations, I will always remember the day just two weeks ago when I helped a woman get a pair of woman’s black pants – black shoes and men’s white cotton shirt so she could go to her very first day of work at the old peoples home. It really touched my heart. I wish who ever the kind people were who donated these clothes could have been there to see what a difference their gifts made in a homeless woman’s life just one day later! No middle man – just a person giving a gift that directly helped a homeless person go to work ~~Wow – amazing – thank you wonderful eastside people~!
There is a real need for the bus passes and for additional monies for the budget. While the means are kind of objectionable –the need is actually very very real. Maybe trying to go the normal route for so long the Share people felt was useless. They have a few extremists I do admit.
I suggest the following off the wall solution:
Metro – King county and Share come together for a creative win -win solution to the bus ticket crisis.
Right now Share is violating the potential freedom of religion of its members by its forced church attendance at the churches of its ( Share’s) choice with credit only given to 2-3 person each week for each selected church. The community credit period is every 2 weeks. It is an unneeded stress on the share members and seems a mere power play the way it is implemented.
Not to mention that – Attendance of religious based services should not be required of any organization that is receiving any kind of state funding –of any kind. It is a violation of the seperation of church and state.
Why not let faith and God be a personal choice as God and America intended and use community credit perdiod to really make a difference in the community!
Everyone who rides the buses sees clearly they seem to be hardly cleaning the inside of the buses for quite some time now. This creates a poor image of Seattle – can spread illness ( esp during Flu season) and encourages a feeling of depression on the buses.
What if Metro – City County and Share all got together on board for a project to help make a difference in this! What if Share provided a certain number of volunteers 1-2 times a week that Metro could use to help really clean the inside those buses for a few hours each week? Sure they might take a lot longer than regular workers – but shit they can’t do any worse than the dirty buses we all ride in now!
What if Metro in exchange agreed to give deep discount to Share for volunteer work given and the city picked up the little bill left and they gave a majority of the Share residents in the system over 2 weeks an Orcas bus pass instead of just 2 bus tickets a day. And the city could give 1 month worth of bus ticket money asap with understanding the volunteer thing has to be running in a month.. I think such a notion might go over very well with a foundation such as the Bill and Melinda gates foundation as well if the city refuses to help out with costs associated with setting such a thing up.
Imagine a world for the homeless person trying to get on their feet – where they didn’t have to juggle do they use their bus pass to go to a medical appt – to attend a share meeting or go to church or to take a shower at the wellness center or to look for a job – imagine a world where they could get it all done!
The more that homeless people can get done to rebuild their lives – to find jobs – to get their health in order – and to build social networks in their lives –the quicker they can be more able to fully participate in society.
And for those who have disabilities -I suggest the city or share step up to help these parties get set up for the handicapped passes and get them then set up with Orcas disabled pass pronto – the cost savings would be immense. Every disabled person you don’t have to give daily passes to saves Share money!
Share could also use similar notion maybe using volunteers in some kind of barter exchange for credit maybe toward printing, pest control, and other potentially needed services. Then maybe they could abolish their forced “donations” of an item with receipt valued at least at $25 each month or $30 gift card from each tent city resident during the summer months where they charge people to stay in their free shelters. They say they use these donations to fund their Fall Harvest.
I suspect if they let the community know of the need for items to go to Fall Harvest auction and if they let their amazing homeless artists actually make items and art to donate willingly – they could have the most amazing auction ever!! Some of the people at the tent cities have incredible artistics skills!
Tough times just mean getting more creative with one’s resources. Let’s all work together to get more done for everyone! The city is not the enemy – The homeless are not the enemy.
By the way, in addition to comments on stories and discussions in the WSB Forums section, we are always willing to consider what the print business calls “op-ed” pieces if you want to kick off a discussion about something – inquire at email@example.com – thanks! 12:16 PM P.S. In case you were wondering – the SHARE protesters will NOT be back at the mayor’s house tonight – they have announced plans for a sleep-out outside Councilmember Tim Burgess‘s home in Queen Anne.