Rantz: Seattle activist invites homeless to her home, immediately regrets it

Jul 31, 2022, 5:19 PM | Updated: Aug 1, 2022, 8:55 am
(Photo courtesy of Jonathan Choe)...
(Photo courtesy of Jonathan Choe)
(Photo courtesy of Jonathan Choe)

A Seattle activist was upset that the city swept a dangerous encampment. In response, she offered up her own home for the homeless to sleep in. Hours later, she reportedly regretted that decision.

City workers cleared an encampment in SoDo that created dangerous, untenable conditions for both residents and nearby businesses. Activists, socialist city councilwoman Tammy Morales, and staff at The Seattle Times complained this move was taken “during a heatwave.” Apparently, you’re supposed to keep vulnerable people outside to suffer in the scorching heat, rather than bring them into air conditioning, offering them access to electricity and clean, running water.

But one activist was so livid that she showed up to protest the sweep. And when she was asked if she would house any of the homeless, she answered in the affirmative, even giving out her address. But like most activists here, she had no intention of following through. She wants to keep them living outside. Now she’s having an online fit.

Come over to my house

Discovery Institute senior fellow Jonathan Choe spoke to activists protesting the sweep.

Choe witnessed some activists move the homeless to a different part of the neighborhood, allowing them to avoid the offers of immediate shelter, only to stay living on the streets in broken-down RVs. One woman was angry, yelling at him that the homeless aren’t causing any problems.

“What’s the problem? Tell me what the problems are. What are the problems? Actually, there’s no [expletive] research at all in the city showing that crime is related to houseless people,” she claimed.

Except there is. Assaults, rape, murder, and gunfire are rampant at Seattle homeless encampments.

“It is blatantly evident that a significant amount of the city’s crime and disorder is attributable to conditions in homeless encampments,” Seattle City Councilman Andrew Lewis said.

Choe asked the woman if she’d allow the homeless to stay at her place. She said yes and gave out her address on video. Now, she’s reportedly claiming Choe doxxed her.

Actually, don’t come by my house

After Choe posted a video of the woman ranting and inviting the homeless to her home, she had regrets. Choe says the “perpetrator” went on a private Facebook group to complain that she was doxxed by hum.

According to a screenshot posted by Choe, a woman claimed that “Jonathan Choe … got our address and doxxed us publicly for disagreeing with him.” She claims people on his Twitter thread “suggested smashing windows” and asked community members to keep an eye out on the property.

The woman does not look like the same person in the video, though perhaps she lives with the activist. Obviously, Choe didn’t doxx anyone. She knowingly provided her address on video. There were also no threats on the thread when the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH reviewed the original post. It’s unclear if any homeless people showed up to her home.

Bizarre reaction to sweep

Activists do what they can to keep the homeless living outside. It’s why activists will say on camera that they’ll happily invite “neighbors experiencing homelessness” to live with them, only to then complain that someone might take them seriously.

The more people living outside, the easier it may be to lobby for free housing. If it’s not a studio apartment on Capitol Hill, activists won’t settle — as if they’re the ones who are actually suffering. They decry the sweeps as not merely displacing the homeless, but destroying their property. But that property is often garbage or stolen.

Activists exploit the homeless and get to play hero. They portray themselves as fighting for their “houseless neighbors.” They’re not heroes; they’re villains. And they have a lot of help in their efforts to keep people outside.

Seattle Times ran an editorial masquerading as a news story on the recent sweep. It was critical that the Mayor’s office approves a sweep during a heatwave! As if it’s somehow controversial to offer shelter to vulnerable people baking in 90+ degree weather, without access to electricity (unless it’s stolen), indoor plumbing, a bed, security, and a case worker.

The King County Regional Homelessness Authority echoed concerns and decried sweeps. This is a big piece of the homeless industrial complex. They have plenty of job security so long as people remain homeless. It’s why they’re so ineffective.

A strategy in the making

Mayor Bruce Harrell appropriately responded to contrived criticism at a recent event that he’s bringing people into cooling centers and putting them on the path to treatment, and eventually, self-sufficiency. His strategy is the right one, though he’s not moving fast enough, allowing encampments to pop up blocks away from the sweeps.

If we want to get this growing homeless problem under control, Harrell needs to authorize more than one-off encampment sweeps. Nearly every homeless person in this city has had multiple contacts with city workers offering them shelter and resources. They say no because the only consequences are temporary inconveniences.

The inconveniences shouldn’t be temporary. The homeless are not owed a studio on Capitol Hill. Taxpayers, however, are owed a clean, livable, and safe city.

The city must constantly sweep. If an encampment moves a few blocks away, they should sweep that encampment as well. We need to be relentless in our goals to get people inside and into treatment.

We should also do a better job of partnering with city businesses to offer tax incentives to hire homeless people with skills, who aren’t dealing with a health issue or addiction. If “our houseless neighbors” are just like you and me — “they’re our neighbors, our friends, our family; just down on their luck!” — then this should be an easy way for them to get back on their feet.

The city offers shelter and resources. Many of these people are mentally ill or dealing with an addiction. We have resources for them. Others are choosing to live outside or in broken-down RVs. If they continue to say no to our offers, that’s on them — not us.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3–6 pm on KTTH 770 AM (HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here. Follow @JasonRantz on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Check back frequently for more news and analysis.

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Rantz: Seattle activist invites homeless to her home, immediately regrets it