KTTH OPINION

Max Gross: Wenatchee mayor claims homeless being bused in

Jul 12, 2023, 5:45 PM | Updated: Jul 13, 2023, 10:44 am

wenatchee mayor homeless...

Wenatchee City Hall (Photo courtesy of the City of Wenatchee)

(Photo courtesy of the City of Wenatchee)

The Mayor of Wenatchee said homeless people are being bussed to his city, and he’s got proof. 

Mayor Frank Kuntz noticed his city’s homelessness problem growing. Suddenly, RVs and tents were popping up around town. His suspicions were confirmed after the county’s latest Point in Time count saw an increase in the city’s homeless population. 

Roughly three dozen new people were found on the streets of Wenatchee. In many major cities, this wouldn’t be significant, but it does make a difference in Wenatchee, a city of just 35,000 with few resources to spare. 

Homelessness worsened quickly

The Wenatchee homelessness crisis grew almost overnight. 

Column from Jason Rantz: MLB All-Star Week couldn’t mask Seattle’s crime surge

“Friday at 5 p.m., we didn’t have a problem,” Kuntz told The Jason Rantz Show on AM 770 KTTH. “And Monday morning at 8 a.m., all of a sudden, there were somewhere between 20-30 folks that were sort of new to our homeless community.”

The mayor said the newcomers told the local homeless population they were from another city in Eastern Washington. A listener to the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH said there’s a rumor around town that two buses of homeless people were recently spotted. The mayor thinks he knows why his city has become a target. 

“I think we have done a very good job of (outreach),” Kuntz said. “We’re doing what we can, but to get an influx like that was disappointing.” 

Homeless parking lots have been proposed as a solution to ease some of the area homelessness. But in many cities in Western Washington, they have been known sources of problems like crime and drug use. However, things have been different at two sites in Wenatchee, where rules are enforced.  

“You’ll see everybody living in campers or living out of their car or living out of the motorhomes. It’s all in those two safe parks, and you know, they’re getting services,” Kuntz said. “So, I think I think we have found a little bit of the secret sauce here.” 

Success made Wenatchee a target 

Due to Wenatchee’s relative success in dealing with the homeless, they have become a target of other communities. Kuntz says there have been incidents where homeless people have been dropped off from other municipalities. Kuntz said the perpetrators were “caught red-handed” and returned.  

Kuntz does not think any city is behind this newest drop-off.  

More from Max Gross: Law enforcement fears crime spike among youths during summer

“I think this is probably a city that has nonprofits that are operating in this field and probably had one of the nonprofit shelters shut down and basically sent them this direction,” he explained. 

Though Kuntz won’t say it directly, Spokane is the suspected source of the newly arrived homeless. And while Kuntz credits the Wenatchee Rescue Mission for effectively serving the homeless community with compassion, the city should not be burdened by the homelessness problems of other comminutes.  

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.

Jason Rantz on AM 770 KTTH
  • listen to jason rantzTune in to AM 770 KTTH weekdays at 3-7pm toThe Jason Rantz Show.

Jason Rantz Show

KTTH Opinion

A closeup of Annette and her facial injuries from a recent carjacking superimposed over a photo of ...

Jason Rantz

Rantz: Homeless man brutally beat and carjacked Tacoma woman, victim says

An 18-year-old homeless man, with a record, is accused of a brutal carjacking and assault of an innocent woman in Tacoma.

16 hours ago

Trump assassination attempt...

Jason Rantz

Rantz: Mukilteo Council member Trump’s ‘rhetoric caused one of his supporters to be killed’

Mukilteo council president Louis Harris said he has "no sympathy" for Donald Trump as he blames rhetoric for the assassination attempt.

2 days ago

Photo: An edition of The Stranger, a newspaper in Seattle....

Jason Rantz

Rantz: After assassination attempt, Ashley Nerbovig of The Stranger promoted political violence against Donald Trump

Seattle reporter Ashley Nerbovig of The Stranger posted "make america aim again" after the failed assassination attempt against Donald Trump.

3 days ago

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is covered by U.S. Secret Service a...

Jason Rantz

Rantz: After failed Donald Trump assassination attempt, will you stop claiming he’s Hitler?

It's hard to ignore the fact that the failed assassination attempt of Donald Trump comes after endless claims of democracy being in peril.

4 days ago

Seattle media bias...

Jason Rantz

Rantz: Seattle media bias on full display as Fox 13 promotes activists blocking traffic

Fox 13 churned outa glorified press release for activists blocking traffic for a cause they may champion. This blatant Seattle media bias.

4 days ago

Crisis Care Centers...

Jason Rantz

Rantz: King County will sneak ‘harm reduction’ supplies into Crisis Care Centers levy to enable addicts

King County officials don't seem eager for you to realize they're spending taxpayer dollars on drug paraphernalia to treat addicts with their Crisis Care Centers levy.

6 days ago

Max Gross: Wenatchee mayor claims homeless being bused in