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> Enforcement of basic car camping and drug possession/use laws has basically gone to zero and as a result there is a sense that Seattle has opened itself up as a "Risk Free Zone" for homelessness.

Again, I find this logic to be extremely confusing. How related is "car camping" to Seattle's homeless? Is there some implication that the majority of them have cars they sleep in? Or am I missing something there?

As for the incentive to follow basic property or drug laws, again, how does that encourage homelessness? I could understand if you argued it encourages crime, but why homelessness?

The only remaining argument is basically "this encourages already homeless people to move to Seattle", which I can see being a problem, but of a different kind. It shares certain aspects with the immigration-related problems: in both cases, it's an effect of a deeper underlying problem that acts as a root cause and should be solved.




Car-camping is the nice way of saying "permanent homeless camps". The idea is that, if we didn't allow homeless camps to grow and spread, then it would be much more difficult to live without a permanent home in Seattle, and thus, you might move to somewhere else.

Car camping is intended to be as shown at [1]; no more than a few days, tidy, and not overflowing with garbage and sewage. These campers are here to do pre-game tailgate parties for the nearby stadium.

However, largely because Seattle doesn't enforce limits on car camping, that same street will soon look like [2]. This is a small permanent homeless camp that will remain at this location for months. The trash pile across the street will grow and attract vermin. Eventually, after weeks of health issues, sometimes fires and other illegality, the city will do a 'sweep'.

These sweeps are problematic on their own, since it is obviously dehumanizing to chase people out of their homes. They're also depressingly impermanent. The [1] location had been recently swept before the Google car came through. It already looks like [2].

[1] https://www.google.com/maps/@47.5848614,-122.3351365,3a,75y,...

[2] https://www.google.com/maps/@47.5720255,-122.3366802,3a,75y,...


> thus, you might move to somewhere else.

This brings us back to CodeMage's first question:

> At a first glance, it looks like a passive aggressive implication that homeless people, if they just tried harder, wouldn't be homeless.

This is effectively what you're arguing. That homeless people just need to try harder. Or you're arguing that you don't care if they're homeless as long as they're not near you.


> How related is "car camping" to Seattle's homeless?

In Seattle, there are a lot of people living in tents, cars, and temporarily-parked RVs. They all get lumped under "homeless" because they don't have permanent addresses or access to municipal services.

> The only remaining argument is basically "this encourages already homeless people to move to Seattle", which I can see being a problem, but of a different kind.

It's really hard to get good data on this, but, yes, there is a widely shared belief that Seattle gets more than it's "fair share" of the country's homeless epidemic because we have a lot of compassionate people, services, and, increasingly, lax law enforcement. Talk to any local and they'll tell you anecdotes about other counties or even states buying people one-way bus tickets to Seattle so that it's not their problem any more. It's hard to tell how much of that is urban legend.


> It's really hard to get good data on this,

Okay sure, but the data we have indicates that it's not true, and yet people like yourself insist that it is. In a world where my options are to a) make my best guess based on imperfect data, or b) make something up that fits my worldview, it seems like the correct thing to do would be a, but you're going with b.

> states buying people one-way bus tickets to Seattle so that it's not their problem any more

Ironically, this is effectively the approach people in this thread are arguing for, except without the bus ticket.


> yet people like yourself insist that it is.

I absolutely did not. Did you read my comment carefully?

> Ironically, this is effectively the approach people in this thread are arguing for, except without the bus ticket.

Another irony: you're lumping all homeless people — criminals and victims — into the same bucket, which is the criticism many homeless advocates have of "NIMBYs". What I think many people in this thread are saying is that repeated offending criminals should be locked up. Some of those people happen to be homeless, but I don't see comments in this thread arguing that non-criminal homeless people should be discarded.


Even if those anecdotes aren't true, isn't the perception of Seattle being a homeless-enabling city likely to make it a self-fulfilling prophecy if it's believed widely enough? Homeless people in Canada definitely try to make it to Vancouver if they can because of the perception of an enabling local government and mild weather.

Shouldn't the city do something to dispel that perception, y'know, such as enforcement of vagrancy laws?


It seems obvious to me: if laws against behaviors that are common among homeless were actually enforced then some subset of the homeless population would try harder to not be homeless, or move to another location.


Ah, the good old 'bus them out of town, let them be someone else's problem' non-solution.


Sorry, where did I say that? I'm talking about not creating incentives for homeless to concentrate in one city.

I'm pretty sure it's better for society overall for the homeless population to be widely distributed than concentrated in one place.


> Sorry, where did I say that?

Here:

> would try harder to [...] move to another location.


That's different than putting homeless on busses to another city.


Okay, so it's "run them out of town" instead, but the effect is the same: you're just passing the problem off to someone else, to dehumanizing effect for the person.


If enforcing property rights and laws that protect public health and safety is "dehumanizing" then I don't know what to tell you.




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