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Seattle mayoral candidate seeks compassionate spaces for homeless

A homeless camp in South Lake Union. (Jason Rantz, KTTH)

Lance Randall is a former city economic development employee who is now running for mayor of Seattle, and hopes to create spaces for homeless individuals to go where they can have their basic needs met. He believes the current approach isn’t working.

“I think the biggest issue right now is trying to help the the men and women who are experiencing homelessness in the city. I think we really need to step up our game and try to figure out a way to help them get out of this situation,” Randall told the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH.

“I think that the pandemic has worsened things for them, and I also think the downturn in the economy has made it worse,” he added. “So I think that what we need to do is come together as a city and put our heads together, go with some strategy that’s going to help these people — our brothers and our sisters, our friends and families — get out of this situation so that we can help them normalize their lives again.”

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Randall finds the current setup to be inhumane, and hopes to move ahead with a program called the Dignity Project to help address homelessness issues.

“I think it’s very inhumane to have them living on the streets and in makeshift structures and in RVs — many of [the RVs] don’t work, don’t have heat. Some were concerned about their health, their safety, and their ability to stay alive. So I think what we have to do is we have to create a very safe place for them to provide everything that they need, and this is going to require participation from a lot of people around the city, it’s going to require participation from our service providers, our elected officials, people in the neighborhood organizations, and just people in general around the city,” he said.

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“With the Dignity Project, it focuses on three main areas. It’s focused on finding a safe place for the individuals who were sleeping in makeshift tents and RVs on the streets, and finding a place that’s big enough where we can provide parking for the RVs,” he explained. “And we should provide the tents for the individuals that are trying to create housing for themselves on the streets.”

In a sense, he hopes to centralize these types of setups so Seattle homeless people have a compassionate place to go, with more services and basic amenities available.

“If we provide a place for them big enough where we can set the tents up for them, then instead of sweeping as a normal experience, what we can do is compassionately encourage them to come to this place where we have the tents already set up for them, outfitted with cots and heaters and everything they need inside,” he said.

“But also it is this place where the service providers will also have tents, larger tents, that would be closer to them so that they get their treatment easily, get whatever services that they need. It’s right there.”

To learn more about Randall’s campaign, head here.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3 – 6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.

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