In the wee hours of this Monday morning, the homeless, with the help of their supporters, moved into Nickelsville, envisioned as a future shanty town, currently a sea of pink tents (donated by the Girl Scouts, according to most reports, although KIRO just said they’re from the Race for the Cure).
Mayor Nickels is not amused, and the city has already posted Nickelsville with a 72 hour eviction notice. The Mayor “reiterated his policy” (of bulldozing homeless encampments and throwing away the poorest of people’s meager belongings), according to KIRO 7.
These are not healthy places. These are not safe places for people to be. It’s just wrong in a city in the richest country, America, for people to be living in encampments in our greenbelts and our parks,” Nickels said.
The mayor said he wants to help those who need shelter to find it.
“We are committed to ending homelessness,” Nickels said.
So why hasn’t he? According to Real Change: “This past January’s “One Night Count” found 2,631 homeless men, women, and children living outside after all available shelters had filled up.”
Where are people supposed to stay?
The Seattle Displacement Coalition has documented that the City continues to lose affordable housing faster than it is created. The overall supply of housing affordable to low-income people is less now than it was at the start of the “10-Year Plan.” According to 2008’s One Night Count, 80 percent of the homeless in King County became homeless when their housing in King County became unaffordable.
What are people supposed to do? People who aren’t upscale condo dwellers? Some have taken matters into their own hands (video from the Seattle Weekly blog):