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homeless

Everyone expects Congress to change the Affordable Care Act, but no one knows exactly how.

The uncertainty has one group of people, the homeless, especially concerned. Many received health coverage for the first time under Obamacare; now they're worried it will disappear.

Joseph Funn, homeless for almost 20 years, says his body took a beating while he lived on the street.

Now, he sees nurse practitioner Amber Richert fairly regularly at the Health Care for the Homeless clinic in Baltimore.

WIR week in review vance barnett podlodowski radke
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Protesters take to Sea-Tac and airports around the country – and Washington state goes to court – over President Trump's executive order restricting travel to the U.S. from seven majority-Muslim nations.

Seattle votes to take its money elsewhere over the Dakota Access Pipeline and floats a new approach to homeless encampments around the city. 

The City of Seattle has rules about when homeless camps can be cleared out (called the Multi-Departmental Administrative Rules). But since they’re nearly a decade old, city and community leaders have called for an update.


Can Washington State End Youth Homelessness?

Jan 24, 2017

Lawmakers, community leaders, and advocates in Washington state told the press Tuesday they want to be the first in the nation to completely end homelessness for teens and young adults.

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

Homeless advocates and two homeless individuals are suing the City of Seattle and the Washington State Department of Transportation over how they treat people's possessions when they clear out homeless encampments.

Larry Hubbel, Joni Balter, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee at Seattle University
Courtesy of Sophie Egan

Back in 2005 Seattle announced a 10-year plan to end homelessness. That plan failed.

The One Night Count of unsheltered homeless people in King County made in 2006 totaled 1,946. That total increased to 4,505 in 2016.

What to do? Seattle’s Mayor Ed Murray and San Francisco’s Mayor Ed Lee grapple with that question on a daily basis. Both are keenly aware of the reality of homelessness, and serious about finding solutions. 

Homelessness is a matter of life and death, and state funding is vital. That was the message Tuesday as advocates for the homeless appeared before a legislative committee in Olympia.

housingweb.jpg
Anna Boiko-Weyrauch

Dave Tomson and his dog Dennis slept between cardboard walls under Interstate 5 in Seattle one night recently. Tomson is a block away from city hall – in fact you can see it from the corner.

He picked this spot so he could stay dry.

“It was raining and I’m not made out of sugar, but I don’t like to be cold and wet,” Tomson said. “Call me crazy.”

Tomson is homeless, like more than 4,000 other people in the city. He’s lived on the streets for five years after he went to jail and lost his job, he said.

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

It's cold for everyone this week in the Northwest - especially those who are homeless. An estimated 4,500 people are without shelter in King County alone, according to last year's one-night count.

SHARE Tent Camp 3
Paige Browning / KUOW

The University of Washington is marking some firsts in its involvement with the homeless community.

The Seattle campus is hosting a tent camp for the next three months. On top of that, UW is offering a class on homelessness for health science students.


Wednesday is the longest night of the year, and in many U.S. cities it will also be one of the coldest. Even so, more than a half-million Americans will be sleeping outside or in homeless shelters.

This week, activists are holding vigils around the country to remember the thousands of homeless people who died this year, many of them prematurely.

If you look at the list of the 46 homeless individuals who died this year in Washington D.C., you'll notice that almost all of them were in their 40s or 50s — people like Shawn Simmons, age 44, and Bernadette Byrd, age 53.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray in the KUOW studios.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Bill Radke speaks with Seattle Mayor Ed Murray about current issues facing the city including being a sanctuary city for immigrants, tackling a West Coast homeless problem, ensuring affordable housing, preserving the culture in neighborhoods facing rapid gentrification  and bringing a new sports team (and arena) to the city. 

There are eight tiny houses in Othello Village. The non-profit group Low Income Housing Institute is raising to build more for the Southeast Seattle encampment.
KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

The city of Seattle says it will open three new temporary camps for homeless people. Two of those sites will have tiny houses. The other will have tents, according to a statement Thursday from the Human Services Department.

The number of public school students in Oregon considered homeless has increased for the third year in a row. That's according to an annual report released by the state Department of Education.

Eric Jordan and Lisa Hooper are trying to make their camp Rainier Avenue S more tidy and clean. But they feel constrained by the state, which won't let them bring in garbage cans or porta-potties and regularly promises to evict them.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Seattle and other west coast cities are bucking the national homeless trend — and not for the better.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced the numbers from its annual point-in-time count Thursday. The number of homeless people in the U.S. is down 14 percent compared to the year 2010.

King County Executive Dow Constantine celebrates the Sound Transit Board's approval of a ST3 package for the fall ballot.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

King County Executive Dow Constantine says he will defy President-elect Donald Trump on immigration policy, even if it means federal funding cuts.

For Kurt McGill, voting was easy. When registering to vote, he used the Bread of Life mission's address, which holds his mail. Not everyone finds it so simple, though.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Most people receive their election ballots in the mail at their homes. But how does voting work for people who don't have homes? 


Social workers Bradly Smith and Jackie St. Louis check in on Tonja Warner, who is homeless. Smith and St. Louis walk with cops on their beat and connect people they encounter with services.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Bill Radke speaks with Seattle Mayor Ed Murray about the state of emergency on homelessness and what we've done in the year since it was declared.

Seattle's Hooverville, 1939
Courtesy of MOHAI, Seattle P-I Collection.

Bill Radke sits down with Crosscut's Knute Berger to talk about Hoovervilles, the shantytowns that sprang up during the Great Depression, and how they can inform our current debates over homelessness.

Policing and homeless services are high profile items in Seattle's proposed budget. A program that helps drug users touches on both. Now, the fate of the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion program is stirring up debate.

Through LEAD, police connect low level drug and prostitution suspects to community services, instead of arresting them.

'Week in Review' panel Erica C. Barnett, Bill Radke and Jonathan Martin.
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

How will Donald Trump's campaign troubles affect down-ballot Republicans in Washington? Should Seattle allow camping on public land? What are the arguments for and against extreme risk protection orders? Do Seattle's hotel workers need more protections? And is Seattle about to get walloped by the storm of the century?

Kara Bernstine, who is homeless, said she knows the Jungle homeless encampment isn't perfectly safe, but it felt safer than other places in the city. Click on this photo to see more images of the Jungle.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

The Jungle has been Seattle’s largest and most persistent homeless camp. Its origins can be traced back to the 1930s.

Earlier this year, about 400 people were living in tents under the three mile stretch of Interstate 5.


Bill Radke speaks with City Councilmembers Tim Burgess and Mike O'Brien about proposed legislation that could allow camping on public lands within the city. 

Musician Yirim Seck.
YouTube

Seattle musician Yirim Seck straddles two cultures. It’s been a tricky balancing act.

Seck’s father is Senegalese; his mother is from Arkansas. They met and fell in love in New York, then moved to Seattle.


Wilson Vincent Koech says the man killed by police Monday was humble and never carried weapons. Koech is one of several campers who rushed to the man's defense after the shooting.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

The man a police officer shot Tuesday during the big sweep of Seattle's Jungle homeless camp has died. Campers who knew him say the police account doesn't ring true.


Scene at the Jungle on Tuesday after an officer-involved shooting was reported on Tuesday early afternoon.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Seattle police officers shot a man on Tuesday afternoon in the Jungle, just as workers started a sweep of the notorious homeless camp under Interstate 5. The man was transported to Harborview Medical Center in critical condition and has died, according to AP. 

Darrel Sutton, after camping in Seattle's Jungle homeless camp for more than a year, moves with help from Union Gospel Mission workers in October 2016.
KUOW photo/Joshua McNichols

Homeless outreach workers and crews from the city of Seattle and the state of Washington are sweeping people out of the homeless camp along Interstate 5 known as the Jungle.

Protesters were there to oppose the sweeps. Some said they planned to gather Tuesday night at Mayor Ed Murray’s house on Capitol Hill and offer him food as a peace offering and try to get him to talk about homelessness.

Hosford-Abernethy neighborhood in Portland, Oregon.
Flickr Photo/Dan (CC BY NC 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/6oY8ZW

Bill Radke speaks with Oregon Public Broadcasting reporter Amelia Templeton about Portland's failed experiment to allow homeless individuals to camp on public land. The Seattle City Council is considering a similar proposal. 

Kevin Boggs in his tent in the Jungle. He moved into the Jungle on Dec. 1 last winter after moving down from Lake City where his tent had been repeatedly ransacked.
KUOW Photo/Mike Kane

Kevin Boggs is trying to find a way out of the Jungle, the large homeless camp under Interstate 5 in Seattle. But it's not that easy. Listen to some of his story to hear what he's doing in his search for stable housing. 

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