Declaration of a State of Emergency in 2010 by and for Homeless People in Seattle & King County

Here is the declaration that was presented at a press conference on Monday at Nickelsville (a long-term outdoor encampment)-
it lists how to help those outside survive, and end homelessness in 8 points. our support with voice and action is needed to change the status of the non-housed in our city (& everywhere actually), PLEASE READ ON and help by spreading the word!>>>

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Declaration of a State of Emergency in 2010 by and for Homeless People
in Seattle & King County

Four years into Seattle/King County’s Ten Year Plan to End
Homelessness, our numbers are at an all time high. Our shelters are
overcrowded, noisy, at times infested with bed bugs, and often consist
of little more than a mat on a floor. We have no place to store our
possessions, and so must carry them with us. Pushed onto the street in
the early morning hours, we are hidden from sight and forced to stay
on the move. We are unwelcome in your public spaces, and are harassed
by your police and private security when we stop to rest.

At least a third of us sleep outside, where we are subject to trespass
and arrest. Our belongings are routinely stolen and destroyed by
government workers who are “just doing their jobs.” When we camp in
cars, we are targeted for citations and our vehicles are towed and
impounded. When we come together to form safe, dignified communities,
we are threatened with arrest and our supporters are bullied with
threats and fines.

We die, on average, at 48 years of age. Nine of us have died by
suicide this year.

We are the working poor who have been set up to fail. Our low wages,
work insecurity, lack of healthcare, overcrowded and unaffordable
housing, and unreliable transportation leave us vulnerable to economic
disaster.

We are the expendable, the dehumanized, the written off, and the
devalued. We are the sick, the disabled, the mentally ill, and the
addicted. We are the too poor, too uneducated, too old, and too
unemployable to matter. We are the human wreckage of a broken system
that denies its responsibility and blames us for our existence.

IT SHOULDN’T BE LIKE THIS. Homeless people deserve and are entitled to
the same protections as our housed brothers and sisters: a right to
health and housing, freedom from violence and stereotyping, the
ability to keep our families and loved ones together, and the tools to
move ahead and thrive.

In 2010, worse will come. King County, at the close of this year,
reduced human services funding by 46%. Youth shelter funding was
eliminated. Food banks funding was slashed to zero at a time of record
demand. The state budget crisis promises disaster. General Assistance
for the Unemployable, the State Housing Trust Fund, drug treatment
funding, and Basic Health Care are all to be eliminated.

OUR STATE OF EMERGENCY MUST BE RECOGNIZED. The Ten Year Plan to End
Homelessness is a fraud. The true causes of homelessness – rent
increases, gentrification, evictions, and the failure of the market to
provide affordable housing – aren’t dealt with, measured, or touched.
For every unit of affordable housing produced under the plan, three to
four have been lost to market forces.

Top leadership of the Plan has tokenized the participation of homeless
people, and has fallen deaf to our pleas for safety, shelter, and
community. The percentage of homeless people who are sheltered should
be a plan benchmark.

We can no longer wait for the expanded survival services we need today
while our “leaders” promise housing in the future.

HELP US TO SURVIVE AND SOLVE HOMELESSNESS:

1. EXPAND SURVIVAL SERVICES. Since the Ten Year Plan began,
homelessness has grown while emergency shelter supply has held steady
and funding for day centers has declined. Stop pretending and meet the
need with clean, simple decent shelter.
2. SUPPORT SELF-HELP HOMELESS GROUPS (like SHARE). When we run our own
shelters, we cost-effectively offer maximum dignity and community to
residents. Stable city funding will help us built community-wide
solutions to meet the growing need.
3. PROVIDE A PERMANENT SITE FOR NICKELSVILLE. We need a site big
enough for a non-moving eco village of up to 1,000. There are over
seventy sites in Seattle that will work and only one is needed.
4. COMPLETE THE HOMELESS REMEMBRANCE PROJECT to honor people who have
died while homeless. The Tree of Life in Victor Steinbrueck Park and
Leaves of Remembrance in sidewalks throughout the County will serve as
reminders to us all that homeless lives have value.
5. STOP THE CRIMINALIZATION. Citations for trespass violations,
panhandling, and sitting on sidewalks clog our courts and punish the
poor with fines and jail time while denying us due process under law.
6. EXPAND TREATMENT. Drug and alcohol treatment services save lives
and money. Punitive policies undermine public health goals and deepen
the misery and isolation that often underlies addiction.
7. PROVIDE TRANSPORTATION. As downtown gentrification has pushed more
services outside the free ride zone, access to bus transportation has
become a barrier to overcoming homelessness. Homeless people should
receive free bus passes.
8. SUPPORT AFFORDABLE HOUSING. Strategies to cost-effectively increase
supply must be prioritized over big-ticket infrastructure projects and
sports arenas. Encourage market solutions that don’t let excellent get
in the way of good. We need housing. Now.

This Declaration was written by people from, and is supported by the
SHARE, WHEEL, Nickelsville and Real Change Communities.

REAL CHANGE is Seattle’s 15-year-old Street Newspaper and a cross-
class Organizing Project to unite people in working for social
justice.
2129 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA 98121
Web: realchangenews.org Email: organizer@realchangenews.or

WHEEL (Women’s Housing, Equality and Enhancement League) is an
organizing effort of homeless and formerly homeless women.
P.O. Box 2548, Seattle WA 98118-0334
Web: sharewheel.org Email: wheelorg.@yahoo.com
Homeless remembrance project http://www.homeless project.org

SHARE (Seattle Housing and Resource Effort) is an organization of
homeless and formerly homeless men and women working together to
survive and solve homelessness.
P.O. Boz 2548, Seattle WA 98118 (206) 448-7889
Web: http://www.sharewheel.org
NICKELSVILLE is presently a small organized encampment seeking to
become an eco-village of up to 1,000 homeless men, women and families
located on a permanent site with services.
(206) 450-9136
Web Nickelsvilleseattle.org Email: Scott@nickelsvilleseattle.org

Help Rescue & Recovery of Prostituted Children in Seattle

with 300-500 prostituted children in King County, WA right now, this is a very tangible way that we can help this very real problem and help the children who are victims of such an atrocity. please read and help by donating if you are able… this would be such a great program to be running… a huge help in making an impact on the issue of child prostitution an sex trafficking locally! thanks for your help an support!!

A Residential Recovery Program for Prostituted Children in King County

January 2010

There are between 300 and 500 prostituted children in King County today, some as young as 11. Prostituted children are subject to severe physical and psychological abuse from pimps and “johns”. They often experience mental illness and substance abuse problems. Recovery from the resulting trauma requires extensive and highly specialized services provided in a safe setting. There are no services specifically designed for these children today—in Seattle, in King County, or anywhere in the state of Washington. In fact, few such programs exist in the country.

After years of planning, many community partners are coming together to raise money to support a two year pilot program that will house and provide services to approximately 20 youth per year between the ages of 14 and 17. Services will be delivered in a highly structured environment, with activities designed to meet both the individual and collective needs of participants. Specialized prostitution recovery services will be provided including counseling for traumatic stress and trauma recovery, survivor support groups, health education, medical care, life skills training, support for GED or high school completion, help preparing for enrollment in post-secondary education, job readiness training, employment placement and internships. Lastly, participants will be given safety, security and opportunities to have fun, engage in age-appropriate activities and begin to reclaim their youth.

This program will be professionally evaluated to ensure that the services are working to help children heal from the trauma they have experienced, achieve their goals and reach their potential.

The City of Seattle’s Human Services Department will contract with YouthCare, a local 501(c) 3 nonprofit agency located in Seattle, Washington to provide the services. YouthCare has extensive experience as a provider of services to troubled youth.

Our goal is to launch this program in the spring of 2010. To make this dream a reality, please make a tax deductible donation:

Send a check to: City of Seattle Prostituted Children Rescue Fund, c/o Human Services Department, PO Box 34215, Seattle, WA 98124-4215, or

Donate by credit card: Call the City of Seattle’s Treasury Department at (206) 684-3911 and ask that your contribution be deposited in the Prostituted Children Rescue Fund

Thank you for your kind support of this important project.

Quote of the Week-Threats from a Human Trafficker

“If I kill a dog, I will get in trouble. If I kill you, I won’t get in any trouble. No one knows you are here. You don’t exist.”

– Threats made by a human trafficker to Flor, a 37-year-old survivor of modern American slavery, who came to the U.S. to earn money after losing a child to starvation in Mexico. She was forced to work 17 to 19 hours a day for no pay in a sewing sweatshop. “People feel if you come in illegally, anything that happens to you is your fault,” said Lisette Arsuaga, with the Los Angeles-based Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking. “Slavery is not an immigration issue. It’s a civil rights issue. There’s no justification for making someone a slave.” (Source: Kansas City Star) (via Sojourners)

Quote of the week – ‘we shall not be moved’ – great song “Stand Up” by the flobots!

A great song…powerful lyrics, that we all need to listen to… couldn’t have written it better myself!
here are some of the lyrics:

“stand up-we shall not be moved
except by a child with no socks and shoes
if you’ve got more to give, then you’ve got to prove,
put your hands up and i’ll copy you”

“…under god, but we kill like the son of Sam,
but if you feel like i feel about the Son of Man,
we will overcome!”

“… we shall not be moved,
except by a child with no socks and shoes,
except by a woman dying from a loss of food
except by a freedom fighter dying on a cross for you
We shall not be moved
Except by a system thats rotten through
Neglecting the victims and ordering the cops to shoot
High treason now we need to prosecute”

And whoever made the video to the song, did a great job! check out the video!

Quote of the Week-Justice for Women

“The truth is that male religious leaders have had – and still have – an option to interpret holy teachings either to exalt or subjugate women. They have, for their own selfish ends, overwhelmingly chosen the latter. Their continuing choice provides the foundation or justification for much of the pervasive persecution and abuse of women throughout the world.”
-Jimmy Carter (from his speech about leaving the Southern Baptist Convention)

you can read the complete speech HERE, on my friend Eugene Cho’s blogpost on the subject!

quotes of the day – will we learn to love in community?

“Resistance to oppression is often based on a love that leads us to value ourselves, and leads us to hope for more than the established cultural system is willing to grant … such love is far more energizing than guilt, duty, or self-sacrifice. … Solidarity does not require self-sacrifice, but an enlargement of the self to include community with others.”

– Sharon Welch,
The Feminist Ethic of Risk

‘love only functions when we value ourselves enough to engage wholly in community… and that, a community inclusive of those whom society deems hard to love. love is hard to learn, but it’s the most valuable lesson of all… through it all of creation is altered…without it, our lives truly become meaningless’.
— j. greer

“there is no us and them, only us!”
“we love people face to face…”
“we do mostly nothing special…”
— ken loyd
ken loyd’s blog

are we ready to love? a lot of times it sucks, but it’s always amazing!

Indigenous Liturgy:Richard Twiss on worship in the context of who God made us to be

Vodpod videos no longer available.