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homeless

Marquan Ellis was evicted from his home in Las Vegas, Nevada when he was 18.

His mother battled with a drug and gambling addiction while he stayed at his godmother's house. But he couldn't stay there forever.

He found his way to the Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth where he enrolled in the independent living program.

Davis Shoulders, center, dances as Rise Up! Action Band member Adrienne Kerr plays the saxophone on Wednesday, November 1, 2017, during a rally at City Hall in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Activists packed Seattle City Hall Wednesday night to testify in front of lawmakers and demand an end to the removal of unauthorized homeless camps.  

Many of those who spoke also support a proposed business tax that would raise funds to help combat homelessness.

Councilmember Tim Burgess speaks after accepting a nomination from council member Lorena Gonzalez to become the intern mayor of Seattle, during a city council meeting on Monday, September 18, 2017, at City Hall in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Seattle mayor Tim Burgess is speaking out against a proposed business tax that would raise extra funds to combat homelessness.

City council members are considering including the tax, known as an ‘employee hours tax’ or a ‘head tax’, in the 2018 budget.

But Burgess said this week that would be a mistake.

A homeless encampment in Seattle's Rainier Valley, taken March 2016.
KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

People from several Seattle organizations plan to camp at Seattle City Hall Wednesday night. They plan to roll out sleeping bags and blankets on the outside plaza and inside the City Hall doors. 

The homeless encampment known as the Jungle was he scene of a Jan. 26, 2016 shooting that killed two and wounded three.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

Bill Radke talks to Seattle City Councilmember Mike O'Brien about a proposed head tax that would require high earning businesses in Seattle to pay $100 per employee. The funds raised would go towards programs that help people experiencing homelessness.  

Donna Smith, center, laughs with Dr. Brad McPhee before getting a filling during the Seattle/King County Clinic on Thursday, October 26, 2017, at Key Arena. Smith drove from Vancouver, Washington, and waited in line starting at 10 p.m. on Wednesday night.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Lines started forming around Seattle’s Key Arena Wednesday night for an annual four-day free health care clinic that began early Thursday morning.

Donna Smith drove from Vancouver, Washington, to get a filling. She arrived shortly before 10 p.m. to wait in line.

Colleen Echohawk, executive director of the Chief Seattle Club.
KUOW Photo/Katherine Banwell


Many Native people who are homeless in Seattle say they feel invisible.

“We are a city that’s named after a great chief of Suquamish-Duwamish descent, and we don’t always know and feel that in this city,” said Colleen Echohawk-Hayashi, executive director of the Chief Seattle Club. “I think that we have an issue where we don’t really want to engage in it.”

Matthew and Mariah Hicks attend Lowell Elementary School in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood, where they are just two of the school's many homeless students.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Lowell Elementary School sits across from million-dollar houses on a quiet street in Capitol Hill. But this school serves some of the poorest children in the city.

A homeless encampment in Seattle's Rainier Valley, taken March 2016.
KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

Seattle City Council members are considering a tax on big business to fund services for homelessness.

This kind of tax is often known as a “head tax” or “employee hours tax.” And it’s actually nothing new for Seattle. The city had something like it for transportation funding, until it was repealed in 2009.

Tiffany Hicks places her hand on her newborn son Elijah as he sleeps on Sunday, September 3, 2017, in their room at Mary's Place in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Tiffany Hicks rode a Greyhound bus for four and a half days to get to Seattle. Her brother had recently moved here and said there were jobs. 

KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Seattle has a shortage of housing. But all over town, houses stand vacant. Either they’re in foreclosure, or they’re waiting to be torn down for development. Some people think vacant homes are an underused resource.

One man steals them.


Justin Robinson, left, and the man who bought his apartment building, Dan Robins.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

When an old apartment building goes on the market, all of a sudden, everybody starts doing the math.  


San Diego has started washing its downtown streets with bleach in an effort to combat an outbreak of hepatitis A that has killed at least 15 people and infected nearly 400.

The infectious disease has largely infected homeless people in the coastal California city, and part of the issue is an apparent shortage of public restrooms in areas where the population congregates.

Drawings made using dirt swept from the street are featured in Tatiana Garmendia's installation, 'No Hiding Place Down Here.'
Courtesy Tatiana Garmendia

Something we see throughout Seattle are unsanctioned homeless encampments: tents, tarps, and makeshift shelters. And now there's one more as you enter Seattle's Municipal Tower downtown.

As Seattle and Portland struggle with how to accommodate homeless residents, Spokane is catching flack for it’s “tough-love” approach to homeless camping.




Bill Radke speaks with Rex Hohlbein, the creator of the BLOCK Project, a plan to house the homeless with a tiny home on every residential block of the city. It's a way, Hohlbein believes, to break down stereotypes and connect the homeless more with their community.

Radke also speaks with Kim Sherman, who owns the first backyard that will have a tiny home. She explains why she wanted to do it, her initial concerns and how she believes others can be convinced that this is the right thing to do.

Why more Native Americans are homeless in Seattle

Aug 18, 2017
Colleen Echohawk, executive director of the Chief Seattle Club.
KUOW Photo/Katherine Banwell

The number of Native Americans on King County streets is greater than ever. A recent survey found that there are more American Indians and Alaska Natives than a year ago.

Colleen Echohawk said there are many reasons for that, but the most important is that Natives are nervous about trusting the current system of finding houses for them.

KUOW PHOTO/BOND HUBERMAN

Seattle is reportedly within range of a North Korean nuclear missile, and there's a war of words between President Trump and Kim Jong-Un. Should we be afraid?

Puget Sound is still tucked in beneath a smoky haze from British Columbia wildfires. But has it really "ruined summer?"

Homeless RV
Flickr Photo/A. Kwanten (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/Bv6MSo

Homeless people living in cars and RVs on Seattle streets may soon be exempt from some penalties for parking violations.

A new draft ordinance, unveiled by City Councilmember Mike O’Brien Thursday, aims to reduce ticketing and towing for vehicles that double as homes.

Bill Radke speaks with professor Sara Rankin of Seattle University and Scott Lindsay, former public safety advisor to the mayor of Seattle, about legislation being crafted that may aim to end ticketing of cars that double as residences for their owners, which is up to 40 percent of all homeless in the city. 

Football
Flickr Photo/Eierschneider (CC BY 2.0)/http://bit.ly/1Ok5MYl

Bill Radke speaks with Seatle Times staff reporter Claudia Rowe about her investigation into how football and basketball teams at Seattle Public Schools use a law to protect homeless students as a way to get around eligibility requirements for student athletes.

The King County Council decided to put a proposed property tax increase before voters this November. The levy renews funding for veterans and now also, seniors.

Police and city staff arrived in the morning of Friday, March 11, 2016 to force out the remaining 16 residents atat the former Nickelsville camp on South Dearborn Street.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Whoever is elected as the next mayor of Seattle will inherit a growing homelessness crisis.

Perhaps the most visible markers of this crisis are the tents that line the freeways and nestle in the city’s green spaces.

Debbie Perrine finds a corner table and sets down her tray of food. It’s lunchtime at the Longview Salvation Army food pantry.

When she’s not here, she’s usually quilting or reading a book at the library. Sometimes she has a doctor’s appointment downtown.

But when the sun starts to go down, she packs everything up and heads toward the river. Like many homeless men and women in rural or suburban parts of the Pacific Northwest, she has few options for getting indoors — and in her case, the list of available shelters is shrinking.

The new 24 hour homeless shelter accommodates people with pets, partners, belongings and addiction issues
KUOW Photo/Kate Walters

On a frigid day last year, I walked into Seattle’s largest homeless camp. As my breath turned to fog, I wondered why anyone would choose to live in a tent under the freeway. Why not go to a shelter?


Linda Johnson, 33, a single mother of three, holds her 4-month-old daughter, Zimera, while sitting in her car that she often times sleeps in, on Thursday, June 29, 2017, in Bremerton.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Linda Johnson, 33, has three children and a four-door sedan with diapers stashed in the back.


Tacoma, Washington at night
Flickr Photo/mSeattle (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/57wbSD

Bill Radke speaks with Tacoma Deputy Mayor Robert Thoms about why he sponsored legislation to ban tents and camping from all public land in the city of Tacoma. 

Homeless RV
Flickr Photo/A. Kwanten (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/Bv6MSo

Robert Loomis had a good job and had just signed a mortgage on a new home then he started having chest pains. This is his story.

The entrance to a homeless shelter on Third Avenue in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/John Ryan

For the first time in more than a decade, the City of Seattle will bid a large chunk of its homelessness services contracts.

This marks a shift in the city’s approach to homelessness services. The system in Seattle, involving hundreds of programs and providers, has been called disjointed and inefficient in the past.


A view of Seattle's future: Income tax and apartment construction?
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

A new poll shows the majority of Seattle residents would support a tax on the wealthy. That's one revelation in an exclusive KUOW/KING Survey USA poll.  

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