Some Homeless People Skeptical About SODO Homeless Camp
Posted: March 2, 2011
Forget the neighborhood business concerns. Not even all homeless people are happy about the proposal for a new homeless camp along Airport Way in SODO.
Skepticism about the SODO proposal were expressed in a recent issue of Real Change, a newspaper that provides a voice for homeless people.
First, some background.
The city is proposing to staff the SODO camp with case managers and it would be run by some type of public or private management agency. Incoming homeless people would undergo assessments to identify their health or social needs and the case managers would be tasked with helping the residents find alternative or permanent housing 12 to 15 months after the people first enter the camp.
But, according to Real Change, those measures don’t sit well with at least some of the people now living at the city’s present homeless camp that is located in an old fire station in Lake City.
According to Real Change reporter Cydney Gillis, the Lake City residents don’t want to work with case managers. They don’t want to be assessed for service needs. They don’t want to be encouraged to find housing and they don’t want to live somewhere run by an agency - public, private or otherwise.
They instead want to live in a camp run by themselves where they can get the basics like a bed and food in a secure setting.
According to Gillis, one of the Lake City residents said he and his fellow residents won’t move to SODO if they “have to sacrifice the freedom and independence they currently enjoy.”
“I don’t think they (city officials) quite understand what we’ve got going here,” the man said. “We’re self-managed. We use a democratic form of meeting and parliamentary procedure. Everybody has a vote.” And, he added, “I don’t want to be under anybody’s thumb.”
Many local businesses in SODO are opposed to the proposed camp and question its utility given the lack of retail or other services in the surrounding neighborhood, as well as the noise caused by Interstate 5 and nearby rail yards. They argue the city homeless camp should remain in Lake City where many people in the local neighborhood have no concerns about the facility.
The proposed SODO camp still requires City Council approval of a zoning change and use permits.
(In case you haven't heard)
Overnight Closures of I-90 and 520 Bridges
Both I-90 and 520 will take turns closing all lanes in one direction over night for the next week. You might want to check traffic before you leave if you plan on traveling over the bridges between 7:00PM and 4:00AM. (www.wsdot.wa.gov/traffic/seattle/) More information can be found on WSDOT page:
Argo Bridge is Closing Soon
Airport Way South Viaduct over Argo Railroad Yard Rehabilitation Project is under way. Starting around April 1st the bridge will close for 12-14 months. All vehicles will detour to 4th Ave S. and bicycles to 1st Ave S in order to cross over the Railroad yard. For more info go to: www.seattle.gov/transportation/bridgerehab_airportargo.htm
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