JASON RANTZ

Rantz: Activists act like smoky air hurts homeless, but not fentanyl or meth

Oct 19, 2022, 6:06 PM

smoky air...

(Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images)

(Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images)

King County officials rushed to bring the homeless to an “air-quality center” because it’s unhealthy to breathe the smoky air. Yet, these same officials enable the homeless to live in human waste and to smoke fentanyl or meth. This is backward thinking.

The Bolt Creek Fire continues to bring unhealthy air across the Puget Sound region. Consequently, the King County Regional Homelessness Authority (KCRHA) partnered with the Compass Housing Alliance to open an indoor space. It provides filtered air to bring vulnerable homeless people inside.

“Most of us have the luxury of being able to go inside,” KCRHA’s Anne Martens told KIRO 7. “And there are 40,000 people experiencing homelessness in our county right now. And they don’t have the luxury of being able to go inside.”

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Human waste and fentanyl is fine, smoky air is not

Except they do have the luxury of going inside. But KCRHA works to keep them outside until free studio apartments are offered. The group, along with King County leadership, opposes homeless sweeps, which effectively push the vulnerable homeless indoors. Living outside in the elements, surrounded by human waste and trash without access to plumbing or electricity, is fine. Breathing smoky air? Sound the alarms!

While outside, both the KCRHA and Seattle/King County Public Health enable addicts to continue their deleterious behaviors.

Homeless addicts openly smoke fentanyl and meth on sidewalks, in alleyways, at parks, and in their illegal encampments. Rather than treat the addiction, county officials adopt a “harm reduction model” that gives drug paraphernalia to the addicts and space to smoke consequence-free.

Fentanyl and meth smoke is given the thumbs up without any pressure to quit. But smoky air is a burden requiring urgent shelter space. What a joke.

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They don’t really care about the smoke

Of course, the KCRHA contrives its concern over smoke. This is merely a fire to exploit to pressure lawmakers into funding more free housing. Their worry only extends to exploiting it for political gain.

“I grew up in this area, and I don’t remember nearly as many wildfires as we are having these days,” Martens said. “So if this pace keeps accelerating, then we’re going to really need to look at whether this is the best possible answer, or whether — as this kind of air quality deterioration accelerates — what can we do to accelerate the movement to housing and making sure people can get inside and take care of their health?”

Martens must not be that old. Our current fire season is the mildest we’ve seen in a decade. The two big fires plaguing the state are man-made, not natural. But if they can use climate change to push for more free housing, they’ll take the opportunity.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show on weekday afternoons from 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast. Follow @JasonRantz on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook. Check back frequently for more news and analysis.

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Rantz: Activists act like smoky air hurts homeless, but not fentanyl or meth