JASON RANTZ

Orting does what Seattle can’t on homelessness

Nov 9, 2021, 1:01 PM | Updated: Nov 11, 2021, 9:39 am
bridge housing, tiny houses, tiny home, homeless camps,...
A resident walks past a row of tiny houses at a homeless encampment in Seattle. (AP File Photo/Elaine Thompson)
(AP File Photo/Elaine Thompson)

In Orting, Washington, there is a tiny home village program meant for homeless veterans, and early indications seem to suggest that it’s been really successful.

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“I can’t tell you the last time I had my own place,” said a U.S. Army vet named Jimmy. “I don’t think in my whole life I’ve ever had my own place.”

Jimmy was homeless before getting into Orting’s tiny home village, and a big part of why he was living on the streets was his alcoholism. He is one of 25 veterans living at Orting Veterans Village.

Jimmy told FOX 13 that he credits his success to the community in helping him stay sober. He has now been sober for eight months thanks to that community support. He treated the addiction, the underlying cause, and now he’s on the right path, and is starting to reconnect with friends and family who before wanted nothing to do with him due to his alcoholism.

As Jason Rantz notes, Jimmy had success because he was held accountable. He had a group of people who were supporting him, not coddling him. People who didn’t enable him to continue going down a path of destructive behavior. This is, for the most part, the opposite of what happens in Seattle, Rantz says. In Seattle, homeless individuals can get into a tiny home or hotel room and get off the street, but then can continue their addictions and are not held accountable the way they should be.

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“They get endless paths after endless paths, but unless you get some accountability, there is never going to be that off ramp to homelessness,” Rantz said.

In just a few months, the program in Orting has been more successful than most programs in Seattle, which have been going on for a lot longer. It won’t work for everyone, Rantz notes, but the good results should be highlighted and could inspire change.

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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Orting does what Seattle can’t on homelessness