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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

June 10, 2013 at 7:32 AM

Group for homeless is criticized

SHARE teaches homeless important values

Heather Kuykendall, 29, does some cleaning during her security shift at Tent City 3 in Shoreline. The security shifts are among requirements that campers must fulfill. Some campers say activism also is a stringent requirement. (Bettina Hansen / The Seattle Times)

Heather Kuykendall, 29, does some cleaning during her security shift at Tent City 3 in Shoreline. The security shifts are among requirements that campers must fulfill. Some campers say activism also is a stringent requirement. (Bettina Hansen / The Seattle Times)

I have been a social worker in downtown Seattle for more than 36 years [“Homeless group’s tough tactics draw criticism,” page one, June 3]. I have seen the homeless population grow in ways that could not have been anticipated three and a half decades ago.Feckless policies at all levels of government, a rapidly changing work environment and a chaotic for-profit medical system have all contributed to the burgeoning ranks of the homeless.

In my experience, one of the most dedicated and effective local organizations addressing this tragic situation is SHARE, the Seattle Housing and Resource Effort. The recent portrayal of SHARE in The Seattle Times was biased and unfair

In addition to getting the most out of its allotted funding, SHARE teaches its participants a sense of political awareness and empowerment. Many would prefer the poor and homeless to be silent and invisible, but SHARE encourages its members to stand up, be heard and be recognized. It calls for the political order to adequately address the systemic disaster that is homelessness.

Perhaps one day the impoverished of this nation will get organized on a truly broad basis and agitate loudly for economic justice. If that day ever comes, SHARE will have been responsible for showing the way.

Joe Martin, Seattle

Comments | Topics: homelessness, politics, Seattle Housing and Resource Effort

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