JASON RANTZ

Seattle activists angry City is helping the homeless

May 24, 2016, 5:53 AM
seattle homeless...
Even as homelessness declined slightly nationwide in 2015, it increased in urban areas, including Seattle, New York and Los Angeles. (AP Photo)
(AP Photo)

A Seattle coalition is upset that the City of Seattle is cleaning up and sweeping through “The Jungle” in South Seattle.

Protesters took the streets, and Seattle City Council chambers, to express their anger. At one point, council member Bruce Harrell threatened to remove one unhinged protester screaming in the chambers, angry that they weren’t able to completely take over the day’s agenda (they chose not to show up for the public comment section of the meeting).

Related: City, state give Seattle’s ‘Jungle’ residents a deadline to leave

A “representative for the Jungle” then spoke to the council. His name is Andrew Collins and he offered a list of demands to the city, which included an end to homeless sweeps and, laughably, the right to live rent-free in “unused buildings, public or private.”

These protesters are living in another reality.

Think about what they’re protesting against. Human beings are living in human waste and garbage in stacks taller than many people. They’re living in the cold. Some are living with untreated mental disorders and others with untreated addiction. These activists would like to see these people stay in this spot.

The city’s position? They’re going to work in conjunction with an amazing organization, Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission, to offer outreach and resources to those who are in desperate need of some help. This shouldn’t be protested; this should be embraced and encouraged.

It is compassionate to help people in need; it is cruel to let it go on and pretend we can (or should) illegally commandeer private and public property to let the homeless live. They’re not even demanding services that get to the root causes of homelessness!

Don’t like what the city is doing? Too bad. These activists need some tough love and we need to stop enabling them to share their feelings on the matter. They’ve failed for the last decade at helping solve the problem. It’s time for a different approach.

Jason Rantz on AM 770 KTTH
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Seattle activists angry City is helping the homeless