Seattle homeless forum panel agrees: status quo isn't working

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Two conservatives, one liberal and one faith-based homeless outreach coordinator sit down to talk about what's wrong with Seattle's approach to ending homelessness. (photo: UW College Republicans).{ }

Seattle's approach to homeless and heroin drug addicted people clearly isn't working but that's about the only thing that a panel of people working on homelessness issues can agree on during a campus forum at The University of Washington.

The forum "Addressing Homelessness in Seattle" was hosted by the UW College Republicans and featured State Representative Nicole Macri (D-Seattle), outreach director for The Union Gospel Mission Ryan Gamaunt, former Seattle mayoral candidate Harley Lever and former Seattle city council candidate David Preston.

Rep. Macri suggested more coordination between city, county and state officials, including more money allocated to services to treat homeless addicts.

Lever and Preston asserted that "the Seattle process", activist groups and the policy of allowing illegal homeless camps to gather without being shutdown extends the problem.

All of the panelists agreed that drug addiction is the most difficult problem to over-come for getting homeless people in Seattle into any kind of temporary or permanent shelter and that was underscored by the observations of Gamaunt's work at The Union Gospel Mission.

This audio recording is the 90-minute dialogue from a variety of perspectives and personal stories about what mainly drug addicted homeless people are doing in Seattle and why the city council and city officials are often times so slow to show results in cutting the homeless population.

Offbeat News