Editor’s note: This is in response to the column, “Different perceptions about homelessness and public spaces”, published Nov. 27, 2019)
Mr. Elfers’ article on homelessness and the Enumclaw library brings to my mind the broader issue of homelessness in this entire area.
For a region that bends over backwards to provide services, homelessness is rampant and only seeming to get worse. I have interacted with homeless individuals, been in encampments, and heard from police officers. Some of the situations are legitimate, and resources are offered to those who want them. Other times, however, one finds belligerent individuals in camps filled with needles, garbage, and human waste to the point that it poses a threat to the public.
I don’t think this is entirely due to a lack of affordable housing, mental health problems, etc. It’s partly due to an excess of permissiveness and Seattle building a reputation as a place where one can get away with this sort of thing.
It may come from a compassionate place of wanting to help people, but in the end it is facilitating bad behavior and deteriorating citizens’ quality of life. I would like to see a bit more compassion towards the tax payers who feel unsafe in their own towns. Yes, help those who truly need it, but stop enabling those who don’t.