Watching the growth of “The Jungle” in Seattle over the years, followed by the sudden displacement of a long standing residential zone for the homeless, I can’t help but wonder where all these people are supposed to go. According to an article written in the Seattle Post Intelligencer, February 17, 2016, “a January 2016 assessment counted 201 tents and estimated more than 400 homeless people lived in the encampment”, while noting “the assessment group counted 201 tents during the walk through, and figures each tent is home to two people. But Scoggins and others noted that return trips at night revealed many more tents than were seen during the day, so it 's likely that the number of people living in the area is much higher than counted.” (DeMay, Feb.2016)
When addressing the topic of homeless people, it is not uncommon for society to use terms such as “undesirables”, or make unsubstantiated claims about how people suffering from homelessness are all drug addicts and criminals. This inaccurate belief implies that homeless people are “undeserving poor” (Wilson, 1994), the belief that a person has lived a life unworthy of basic human rights o...
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...mportant to remember that there are many contributing factors that cause homelessness, although many homeless people suffer from mental illness, drug or alcohol addiction, these problems are sometimes created by circumstances that led to homelessness rather than being the root cause of their homelessness. When people lack resources or need assistance to recover from whatever circumstances caused them to fall short of a minimum necessary to have a decent living or “guaranteed minimum”, service providers should be trained to treat them with the level of respect and dignity they would like to be treated with themselves. The cost of homelessness on society is far greater than the cost of helping those in need. Homelessness in Seattle is not due to lacking resources, rather it is due to resources not being accessible to specific populations being viewed as “undeserving”.
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