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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

June 9, 2009 at 3:09 PM

Homeless encampment

Seattle can do better

I would love to see state and local officials decide to support the Nickelsville homeless camp in its latest location rather than once more try to force it to disband [“Campers return to South Park site,” page one, June 8].

This would be a decided change of policy for Mayor Greg Nickels, but a person can hope! Nickelsville is an organized, important effort by homeless people themselves to solve a growing problem that the city has abdicated any responsibility for.

I was one of the 25 Nickelsville residents and supporters arrested for trespassing last September. The city dropped the charges against us on May 29.

It’s way past time to replace punitive and ineffective sweeps and arrests with a posture of active support for the homeless. Seattle government needs to replace the units of low-income housing lost in recent years to the profit-making schemes of developers, increase the amount of ongoing shelter space available, and help the Nickelodeons settle into a permanent home.

— Andrea Bauer, Seattle

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