Happening now: Council committee takes up ‘Nickelsville’ site

2:10 PM: If you click the “play” button above, it’ll take you to the live feed from City Hall, where the City Council’s Housing, Human Services, Health, and Culture Committee is starting its meeting, with the agenda including an item on the “Nickelsville” site. More to come.

2:18 PM: Public comment is beginning. Those who speak can address anything coming up on the agenda. The first two speakers voiced support for SHARE, the organization that runs shelters around the city. The third, Trace De Garmo, is speaking specifically to Nickelsville: “If you want to speed up our move now, please temporarily provide us with water and electricity hookups.” He says they want two religiously controlled sites, for up to two years, to house up to 200 people. The committee’s chair, Councilmember Nick Licata, is questioning him to verify that Nickelsville has not yet found such sites. The next person says Nickelsville found out about the 7 councilmembers’ “close it by September 1st” letter when media crews started showing up later Monday. She is reading its official response letter – see it here, or here:

Nickelsville response to City Council

The next person says shutting Nickelsville down “would be doing a great disservice” to the city as well as to the encampment itself; followed by another person who says “Nickelsville is badly needed” because of the shelter shortage, and mentions Nickelsville’s vision of being an “eco-village.” Dorli Rainey, speaking next, tells the council, “What you are doing is splitting families.” The next speaker says he is ashamed of having to turn people away from shelters.

A representative of the Low-Income Housing Institute next tells the council they are considering making land available for an encampment. She is followed by a woman who says she supports homeless people but has seen problems with SHARE and has tried to talk with the city – which contracts with SHARE – about it, but contends no one will do anything about it.

2:47 PM: Another commenter points out the police presence at City Hall and is contentiously accusing the council of being unfair to the homeless people who have spoken. Minutes later, public comment ends, and the chambers are all but clearing, though Licata reminds everyone that the Nickelsville-related item is coming up third on the agenda.

3:04 PM: The committee is now discussing the Nickelsville-related item – which isn’t up for a vote, but more a decision on which way they want to proceed. Outside City Hall, the pro-encampment protest has begun; Emily Heffter from The Seattle Times (WSB partner) tweeted this photo showing demonstrators on the steps.

Back inside, Licata is saying that the Monday letter from seven of his Council colleagues did not seem to him to be “anti-encampment.” One of the signers, Councilmember Sally Bagshaw, is agreeing. She says she believes Nickelsville residents “have created community.” She wonders if the proposal to expand possible encampment sites could also include property owned by nonprofits. The philosophical conversation continues.

3:21 PM: Licata says he wants to talk now about specifics about “what we’ll be facing in the next couple months” – specifically, the mayor’s response that if the council wants the camp cleared by September 1st, he will follow their directive to evict anyone who’s left then. And he envisions that not everyone will have left, “so we’re going to be faced with not a good photo op.”

3:44 PM: They’re still trying to shape what the rules would be. Licata notes that Nickelsville has 125 people now. Should legislation, they’re discussing, put a limit on the number of sites? Councilmember Bruce Harrell says, what about people who choose to live in tents? Licata assistant Lisa Herbold says it’s not like they have an option to go into long-term housing, because it has waiting lists: “The function of a tent city is not an alternative to long-term housing, it’s someplace you go while you wait for long-term housing.”

4:04 PM: The document accompanying this agenda, by the way, is here. Option 2, the committee agrees, possibly leaving Nickelsville at the current site, “is off the table.”

48 Replies to "Happening now: Council committee takes up 'Nickelsville' site"

  • BrassyMomma June 12, 2013 (2:21 pm)

    We have soooo many empty condos and sooo many people who live with their children who only have Tent City – can we at least accommodate families temporarily – for two years?

  • stephanie June 12, 2013 (3:01 pm)

    You know, if I could win a bunch of money I would do something like that. Things like that are done across the country. Great idea!

  • Paul June 12, 2013 (3:22 pm)

    Oy. Here we go. The sense of entitlement just amazes me.

  • Sally June 12, 2013 (3:46 pm)

    The sense of entitlement is baffling! I have water, electricity and police protection because I pay for it, and am a tax paying law abiding citizen. The only contribution you’re making is to the downfall of society. Move on. If this is the presentence Seattle is going to set, we’ll be the homeless Mecca. Note that one of the signers of the NV letter is the same person that told the Times “he could probably find work, but lives at Nickelsville by choice and intends to stay.” nice.

  • Aaarg June 12, 2013 (4:05 pm)

    alright….if were going to allow it in some form or another why not just rotate 1 tent city through the city parks. you could have it on say a 2 mo cycle. that way all the nieghborhoods in seattle get a chance to play host.

    …and if all the housing authority people are sitting right there waiting for a decision on a seperate issue, why arent they part of the disscussion?????

  • Diane June 12, 2013 (4:27 pm)

    we do not have a lot of empty condos; we do still have lots of empty office and retail space

  • GenHillOne June 12, 2013 (4:29 pm)

    So one of the guys they voted to respond on their behalf, including some touting of a desire for long-term housing, is this guy? – “Keever said he could probably find work, but lives at Nickelsville by choice and intends to stay.” Genius.


  • JoB June 12, 2013 (4:29 pm)

    I want to thank WSB for posting this. I ended up napping instead of making it to this meeting and thought i would have to settle for the short attention span versions on our nightly newscasts covering the demonstrations. I am grateful for the solid information provided here.

    it is good to know that the deadline for Nickelsville wasn’t accompanied by the death of encampment legislation.

  • Bronx June 12, 2013 (4:31 pm)

    You know Paul, tell that to the 2 working parents who lost their job due to no fault of there own and spend their retirement trying to survive and keep their home for a year or more.
    Tell them their entitled. I am no bleeding heart but this a brave new world we live in these past few years.

  • JoB June 12, 2013 (4:55 pm)

    I’ts not my place to share Mr Keever and his wife’s story, but suffice it to say that there is much more to their story than just someone who doesn’t want to work.
    the advantage of meeting many of the campers in person is that you get to see and hear a lot more than the sound bites chosen by reporters to represent them.
    the whole truth doesn’t make very good soundbites.

  • worn out June 12, 2013 (5:00 pm)

    This feels more like Nickelsville has become a protest to prove a point more than it is a legitimate homeless camp. The issue is, many of us are just getting by ourselves and we have figure out how to put a roof over our heads for ourselves and our kids on limited means. We pay taxes, we take pride in being a contributing member of society. Some of us also have psychological or substance issues…but we moved past them, found a place to live and got a job. I get the one paycheck away story – but I don’t get the wanting to stay this way part. I just don’t get it. My story, having come from the bottom up is…WANT something more. Don’t expect me to pay for you to have it, but WANT it and go get it for yourself. It is here – you just have to look. It won’t come looking for you. I am with the 7 council members on this one. Nickelsville has obviously someone’s political point – it lost my support.

  • JanS June 12, 2013 (5:01 pm)

    Licata assistant Lisa Herbold says it’s not like they have an option to go into long-term housing, because it has waiting lists”

    this, despite the fact that there are some who think there is ample housing out there for people who want it…

  • West Seattle Hipster June 12, 2013 (5:12 pm)

    From the same article GenHillOne referenced:

    “Council members said they’ll budget up to $500,000 to help the residents resettle.”

    With 125 people living in the illegal encampment, that averages out to $4,000 per person. Who says crime doesn’t pay?

    The sense of entitlement is lamentable.

  • JoB June 12, 2013 (5:32 pm)

    worn out

    “This feels more like Nickelsville has become a protest to prove a point more than it is a legitimate homeless camp”

    sadly this has been one of the truths about Nickelsville from the beginning…
    but not because the individuals who live there don’t want a more for themselves.
    it is my personal opinion that the SHARE consultant who runs Nickelsville and controls the majority of shelter beds in this county uses Nickelsville as a political tool to wave under the city council’s nose to gain benefits for other SHARE programs.
    I have worked with more than one group of individuals over the last couple of years who wanted to clean up the camp and welcome social services at Nickelsville.
    Each time, a substantial group of “new” campers (established residents of other SHARE shelters) checked into camp and manufactured reasons to evict them.
    Those who rocked the boat and tried to create lives for themselves found themselves at the side of the road with all of their belongings and no place to go.
    i too was once homeless and i too turned my life around.. but i also grew of age in a time when it was actually possible to work your way through college and have had the support of family and friends along the way.
    these aren’t those times… and many of those who find themselves homeless have failures in their past that have alienated them from family and friends…
    I have never advocated for keeping Nickelsville where it is…
    but i do advocate for finding better temporary housing solutions that allow those who want to transition their lives a fighting chance to do so.
    and i advocate for well run safe tent cities for those who end up with no other option but the brutality of the streets.
    all in all, it’s a much better solution than having them on our streets.

  • flimflam June 12, 2013 (5:33 pm)

    wow. so we have half a million dollars laying around to help nicklesville folks resettle? holy crap! so if I quit my job and hang out for a bit, can I have $4k?

  • Dump June 12, 2013 (6:05 pm)

    It is a dump. Treat it like a dump. Bring in the bulldozers. Let the rats scurry where they may…

  • Lifetime WS. June 12, 2013 (6:28 pm)

    Worn out said it all.

  • JoB June 12, 2013 (6:32 pm)

    it never fails to amaze me how people i know to be personally kind and caring can turn that off at the touch of the “they” switch…
    as though there were some magical mystical right wrong divide and suddenly anyone who doesn’t fit their perception of that is on the wrong side..
    along with everyone who disagrees with their judgement call
    i will defend anyone’s right to speak about their point of view
    but have to ask..
    if you can’t make your point without name calling..
    shouldn’t you be asking yourself if you have a point worth sharing?

  • Mom June 12, 2013 (7:00 pm)

    Bothell had tent city 3 one time mercer island is tightening permit process. SHARE AND NICKLESVILLE. Non profits have more questions than answers. The homeless at city council were like puppets with a puppet master.

  • Paul June 12, 2013 (7:08 pm)

    Just to be clear my comment in the sense of entitlement is a reflection of the letter sent from NV. I work hard and pay my taxes as I am sure that many in at NV do too. But, let me tell you NV is no more entitled to live on public land than I am entitled to setup a business on public land without a valid lease. The idea that a group can squat on city owned property with impunity is a dangerous presendance.

    Enforce the laws we have them change the ones that need it.

    With regulard to this being a brave new world, I am having a bit of trouble relating your comment to the future imagined by Aldous Huxley-I am assuming that was you invocation. I am truely interested in what your take is.

  • miws June 12, 2013 (7:12 pm)

    if you can’t make your point without name calling..
    shouldn’t you be asking yourself if you have a point worth sharing?



    That says it all, and why I can’t give credence to such comments. Not because I may disagree with part, or all of what the person is saying, but because they choose not to say it without insults or condescension.



  • Mke June 12, 2013 (7:21 pm)

    Still tons of jobs, cheap living and cheap eats in Grant County. Farmers having to let crops die due to low numbers of people looking for jobs there.

  • smokeycretin9 June 12, 2013 (7:25 pm)

    I hear Magnolia has not hosted Tent City yet.

  • Guy Olson June 12, 2013 (7:33 pm)

    George Carlin said it best: “everyone wants to save the planet…. Save yourselves”. It’s sad how all the people who’ve “worked so hard” could quickly become homeless.

  • Danny June 12, 2013 (7:55 pm)


    The situation you describe, does not describe any inhabitants of Nicklesville. These people are ALL homeless by choice and will never conform to societal standards. They filter up the hill into the highland park neighborhood bringing illegal activity with them. And the residents of the neighborhood, you pay taxes and purchased homes, are sick of this S.

  • Lifetime WS. June 12, 2013 (9:14 pm)

    These People will never get it together as long as there are Bleeders out there to take care of them. ( co dependence ).

  • Ex-Westwood Resident June 12, 2013 (9:24 pm)

    To expand on MKE’s info…
    Let get the city to take some of that $500,000 and charter 4-5 buses.
    Take them to NV (and other ‘tent cities’) announce that these busses will take you to a job that will pay you.
    Let them set up tents there and stay for as long as there is food to be harvested.
    Then send the bus back for hem.
    I’d like to see how many takers there would be…but I believe you would only need about 2 or 3 mini-vans instead of busses.

  • Aaarg June 12, 2013 (9:50 pm)

    I say survival of the fittest with the Vasholes!

  • JoB June 12, 2013 (9:58 pm)

    unfortunately that letter is just more of the street theater that is the politics of Nickeslville.
    “Mom” has it right.. watch the street theater in action and what you see are puppets with a puppet master..
    which makes Ex-Westwood Resident’s comment all the more poignant…
    a bus with an undisclosed location is how the residents from Nickelsville moved from the Fire Station in Lakewood which had bathrooms and showers and was indoors to the containment pond that became Nickelsville…
    they didn’t move because the city wouldn’t renew them for another year..
    they moved because Scott refused the city’s offer and put them on a bus to a “better” place…
    this is all far more complicated than a bunch of people with entitlement issues …
    one thing is certain.. no matter how many people would like to put them on a bus to nowhere… they still live in our city and on our streets and we can either find viable solutions or step over them in doorways…
    it really is our choice

  • hammerhead June 12, 2013 (9:59 pm)

    @Danny, Yes I drive up and down Meyer’s Way. I am documenting every car and reporting it to the police.

    So I decided to walk down the paths to see what/is going on down there. (sidebar, actually found a very friendly bunny and rescued it) Well upon further walking, I saw hanging planters, YEP, I even have pictures. Started to hear hammering, yes, that is right. So I continue along the path, well saw a human so I high tailed it out of there.

    Get this they had a sign: beware, no trespassing. REALLY.

    I saw a flatbed truck yesterday with stuff on it, it was covered. I also so a bed and an office chair, took pictures of that too.

    We can’t change people’s minds, if they want to be homeless you can NOT “save” that.

    NO matter what, we will be stuck with this issue, it has already spread everywhere it will not get any better.


  • Del Martini June 12, 2013 (10:00 pm)

    Councilman Nick Licata as quoted in the meeting in the event that not everyone will voluntarily leave Nickelsville at the shutdown deadline;
    “So we’re going to be faced with not a good photo op.”
    This is exactly the problem with the Licata’s in this city. Who cares about the photo op! In fact, the photo op ought to provide city officials an opportunity to make a point that zoning laws are being enforced as they should be and that unpermitted use, illegal squatting or building structures on public land is not going to be tolerated.

  • Kayleigh June 13, 2013 (5:33 am)

    So many “experts” in homelessness who have likely never been homeless, worked in social justice, or read actual facts and research on the issue. But you just know, in your hearts, don’t you? You just know that you’re superior, that it would never happen to you. Everything you have, you worked for. Everything everybody else has is an entitled scam on the system, right?
    Pathetic. Seattle’s sense of spirituality rarely transcends “Yo, dude, so I saw this band you never heard of,” or “Pass the weed.”

  • rico June 13, 2013 (6:51 am)

    Look here, a whole story on an industry seeking employees. Get off the public land people.


  • JoB June 13, 2013 (8:40 am)

    i am glad you found the bunny. if it is the same one it appeared a few weeks ago.. just about the time someone would dump their easter mistake:( i am told it is very friendly with humans but it has never come out to play while i was there:(
    the flatbed likely belongs to one of our local junk collectors who visits someone who lives in those woods…
    so let me get this right.. you saw a flower basket and heard evidence of someone building (or tearing down) something and you hightailed it out of there before the humans involved could ….. what?
    and on a side note.. have you reported my car yet?
    it visits down there… I am sure the police would want to know just what nefarious activity i am up to ;-> ;->

  • JoB June 13, 2013 (8:44 am)

    Del Martini

    we are in agreement that for at least the past couple of years the city government has worried more about appearances.. how things would look in a photo op…
    than about the welfare of it’s citizens…
    I fear however that form over substance is a long standing political tradition that predates my notice.

  • Jiggers June 13, 2013 (9:57 am)

    Na..na..na..na..na.na..na..na.. hey..hey..hey.. goodbye!!(repeat)

  • hp resident June 13, 2013 (12:38 pm)

    The day after NV snuck onto their current site two year ago, McGinn could have removed them and placed them back into the fire station the city had provided, with hardly any PR blowback. He could have stared right into the camera and said they left a place that was warm with running water and toilets, it’s inhumane for the NV camp leaders to put their residents in this situation with no utilities or services to help them find permanent housing and jobs. But, at that time he was starting to experience backlash from Lake City and thought, pheww, I don’t have to worry about NV any more. Boy, was he wrong.

  • goodbye Nicklesville June 13, 2013 (4:10 pm)

    I completely agree with Ex-Westwood Resident, Seattle needs to spend the $ to take these people to jobs! I don’t know why JoB wouldn’t agree with that idea since her “name” is JoB! If there are all of these farmers needing help, it seems like the perfect albeit temporary situation. That way they can save up the money and get a room somewhere where they are off the streets. People often forget that there are plenty of Craigslist ads for rooms for rent. Not necessarily apts. which may require 1st and last months rent! My mom often rents out a spare room in her condo to people down on their luck. But she does require that the person has a job and pays her a couple hundred a month.

    It also drives me crazy when people say they can’t find shelters because of animals that they have, sorry having an animal isn’t a right it is a privilege and if you can’t afford shelter then in my opinion you shouldn’t have an animal either. There are plenty of animal rescue groups to care for those animals. If shelters won’t take couples then split up, find JOBS and then get back together when you are both back on your feet. I know for a fact that I would be working 2-3 jobs per day to put a roof over my head. Done it before, will do it again!

  • JoB June 13, 2013 (5:44 pm)

    goodbye Nickeslville..
    so you want to take every chronically ill person in Nickelsville and put them on a bus to somewhere anywhere there is work they can’t do?
    because that’s the ASSumption, isn’t it.. that if they are homeless it’s because they won’t work.. not because they can’t.
    you want to put people who are disabled and on the subsidized housing lists for Seattle and send them somewhere anywhere so they get to start at the bottom of the lists again?
    because that the ASSumption, isn’t it. If they have an income and don’t live in housing it’s because they want to spend their money on drinks or drugs.
    you want to take the mentally ill away from their mental health providers?
    because that’s the ASSumption isn’t it.. that we take care of our mentally ill and that they all have a safe place to stay.
    you want to take those who depend upon their daily dose at the methadone clinic away from that dose so they go back to the easy access of street drugs?
    because that’s the ASSumption isn’t it.. even those who are willing to fight their addiction are a burden on society.
    would you do that to people you know?
    probably not.. especially if your mom is the kind of person who rents out a room in her condo to people in need.
    you want to take those who already are working temp jobs… and take them away from that job to put them in another job where they can still live in a tent?
    because that’s the other ASSumption, isn’t it. Anyone who really wants to live inside makes enough money to do so … because someone will always rent them a room.
    there are people Nickeslville who work, don’t make enough money to secure safe housing, don’t qualify for subsidized housing and can’t find a landlord willing to let them pool their resources to rent together.
    you want the guys waiting for their seasonal fishing boats to leave town before they catch their boats?
    because that is the other ASSumption, those who live rough have no job and no intention to get one.
    The reality is that this city’s homeless population swells between fishing seasons with men waiting to catch the next boat out.
    Another ASSumption is that if fisherman don’t have money it’s because they drank, drugged and whored it away… not that they sent it home to families they support.
    it drives me crazy when people decide that everyone should be loaded onto a bus to where-ever they think there is seasonal work…
    and away from the jobs and services that can help them back into the mainstream.
    because they would rather believe ASSumptions than investigate the truth.
    these are people you are talking about.
    It’s true that some of them fit your ASSumptions.
    Some of them aren’t very nice people.
    But then, some of the people who post here aren’t either.

  • Dave June 13, 2013 (6:07 pm)

    The federal agency that works on solving homelessness has written a letter to Mayor Mike McGinn supporting the end of Nickelsville.


  • West Seattle Hipster June 13, 2013 (7:05 pm)

    Speaking of assumptions, are the folks who oppose this illegal encampment not “nice people”?

    Just because someone has an opposing viewpoint does not make them a bad person.

    I will be curious to see if the illegal campers follow the number 1 rule of any good camper; “When you leave a campsite, leave it better than you found it.”

  • JoB June 13, 2013 (7:47 pm)

    West Seattle Hipster

    people who call other people names simply because they can are not nice people…

    you can disagree without being mean.

  • goodbye Nicklesville June 13, 2013 (8:00 pm)


    Once again it sounds like you are making the ASSumptions. I never said any of the things that you remarked to me. I am just trying to say that if I was down and out, I would do everything in my power to get back on my feet. I would give up any animals, live without my husband/partner and work as freaking hard as I could! Military families often live without their spouses for LONG periods of time. It isn’t easy, but being homeless isn’t easy either! The people you have mentioned are the few exceptions to the rule, most of the people I have seen and/or met from Nicklesville are well able to work and get jobs, but like the man mentioned above many (not all) don’t want them. Or many are on drugs and can’t get jobs. Sorry, I cannot and will not find pity for drug addicts. I also know plenty of seasonal fisherpeople who go up to Alaska and make very good money fishing for 3 months. Enough to live on for the rest of the year. Another great job idea! My good friend put himself through college by working on fishing boats and he was able to support himself through the year.

    Seattle is definitely drawing a large homeless population because of the services we give. I am all for helping people get back onto their feet, for a LIMITED amount of time. But after that, people need to do it on their own. You are not born in this country being owed anything.

    I will never have a bleeding heart for people who do not choose to help themselves and want the government to do it for them. Being an addict does not make me feel sorry for them either. I am not saying that ALL homeless people are addicts! But I do know many of the people living at Nicklesville are. Some have shown it by driving into my neighborhood high on meth. I also drive by daily and see tons of people walking out of Nicklesville smoking cigarettes even. Last I checked cigarettes are freaking expensive! Give up cigarettes and you have more money, this is not rocket science.

    I’m sure that these fine people are super glad that they have an advocate in you JoB! Too bad you took a nap today instead of attending the meeting, I’m sure they missed your bleeding heart and endless support!

  • miws June 13, 2013 (9:24 pm)

    goodbye Nicklesville, one question; what is your opinion of Veterans, whose addictions are related to being physically and/or emotionally injured while serving our Country?



  • JoB June 13, 2013 (10:29 pm)

    goodbye Nickelsville..
    i took a nap the day of the hearing because recovery from rotator cuff surgery has been complicated by my chronic illness…
    and even though i bathed and dressed to go to that meeting,
    i didn’t have the strength to get out of the door.
    the chronic illness part is the part you should pay attention to because it tells you why i have empathy for those who are disabled.
    i am one of those people who understand exactly what it is like to not be able to work for a living.
    I am permanently disabled and have collected less than $800 a month social security disability for the past 20 years.
    an amount that would leave me living in Nickelsville if i wasn’t married to someone who supports me.
    you might think that the small amount of my disability check means that i didn’t work much.. but the truth is that I collect such a small amount because i tried to continue working… doing part time consulting work when i couldn’t do more and waited till the very last day i qualified for any benefits at all to file.
    The irony is that in spite of still attempting to work, I was so disabled that my application for benefits was immediately accepted.
    If I am a bleeding heart i got that was by walking a mile in some mighty uncomfortable shoes.
    there but for the grace of god go I…
    and you if you only knew it…
    it’s pretty easy to make drive by assessments or base your opinions on what you see in the news or the one or two homeless people you stop long enough to talk at … but you won’t get the truth that way.
    you get the truth by engaging people in conversation and listening to them.
    there are a large number of disabled people living in Nickelsville and in our greenbelts. Some of them have filed and are waiting for determinations… a process that can take years.. some of them collect disability but are waiting for subsidized housing… another process that can take years. I know about them because they have shared their stories with me
    that’s what my bleeding heart does.
    it treats people like people and listens.
    next time you drive by try to take a better look at those cigarettes… most homeless people smoke roll your owns with the most vile tobacco available… they’re cheaper.. a whole lot cheaper. it’s not as easy to quit as you think

  • Mke June 13, 2013 (11:01 pm)

    I need to remind my friends they live in ‘nowhere’. Nowhere seems to provide a lot of food, electricity, and more for the city slickers here. Nowhere also provides BMW with carbon fiber. Nowhere is home to one of the most elite car manufacturers in the world (there’s something virtually nobody knows about). If only nowhere didn’t have that nasty nuclear waste super fund site. Damn that nowhere.

  • roundthesound June 14, 2013 (11:29 am)

    “a bus with an undisclosed location is how the residents from Nickelsville moved from the Fire Station in Lakewood which had bathrooms and showers and was indoors to the containment pond that became Nickelsville…”

    They just got on a bus without knowing where they were going? When do you start making decisions in your own best interest and take a little responsibility for your own life instead of letting yourself become a pawn in someone’s political statement?

  • miws June 14, 2013 (1:29 pm)

    They just got on a bus without knowing where they were going? When do you start making decisions in your own best interest and take a little responsibility for your own life instead of letting yourself become a pawn in someone’s political statement?


    When you are desperate, and perhaps not in the right frame of mind to make logical decisions, and want to have the relative security of a community, when the only other alternative may be living on the streets, and be the only one that can defend you.


    And no, addiction doesn’t need to be involved. It can happen to any average, intelligent person, that normally makes sensible decisions.


    Maybe in that moment of desperation you are easily blind to the fact that you are being/to be used as a pawn.


    Maybe once your eyes are opened a bit, down the road, you are still so desperate to be part of a relatively safe community, that you just “play along”, to ensure your ability to stay in that community, as you are working to get your life back in order, by filling out job apps, or trying to connect with services and agencies that can help you receive benefits.



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