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homeless

Winston-Salem is among a group of cities nationwide that say they've met the White House goal to end veteran homelessness.

Chewie is one of two posessions Genie took with her when fleeing an abusive husband 9 years ago and becoming homeless for the first time.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Genie is a homeless woman who lives in downtown Seattle with her dog, Chewie. He’s half terrier, half Chihuahua, and he’s named for Chewbacca, the Star Wars character.

Volunteers from the Elks in Seattle and Shoreline pack take away bags for needy vets at a stand down event.
KUOW Photo/Patricia Murphy

At 6 a.m. in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood, a damp fog hangs in the air.

Green Army surplus sleeping bags, backpacks and boots cover the floor in a large room at Seattle Central College. Volunteers will soon give them to homeless veterans to help them live on the streets.

The give-away became necessary because Seattle didn’t reach a national goal to end veteran homelessness in 2015.

Washington state has a plan to fully fund preschool for low-income children by 2020. The current state budget adds more slots. Even so, many thee and four-year-olds remain on a waitlist.

Homeless Camp Evictions On The Rise In Seattle

Dec 21, 2015
A Seattle homeless camp's eviction notice, taken in January 2015.
KUOW Photo/John Ryan

Jeannie Yandel talks to Jason Johnson, deputy director of Seattle's Department of Human Services, about the rise in city 'clean ups' of unauthorized homeless tent encampments on public lands.

Marine Veteran Vincent Romano with a fellow veteran. Romano served between 1967 and 2006.
KUOW Photo/Patricia Murphy

Hundreds of local veterans in need of supplies and services queued up at Seattle Central College Thursday. It’s called a “stand down” and is intended to be a one-stop shop for vets who may be homeless.

A decade ago, Utah set itself an ambitious goal: end chronic homelessness.

As of 2015, the state can just about declare victory: The population of chronically homeless people has dropped by 91 percent.

Syrian refugees Yazan Al-Salkini, 19, center, and brother Nabil, 14, left, hand out water to the homeless in downtown Seattle.
KUOW photo/Liz Jones

The debate about resettling Syrian refugees has some people asking, “Why don’t we use that money on homeless veterans instead?”

We asked homeless veterans in downtown Seattle what they thought.

A homeless camp beneath an Interstate 5 off-ramp in Seattle's SODO district.
KUOW Photo/John Ryan

The number of homeless people in Washington state is rising.

According to new numbers released by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Thursday, more than 19,400 people in Washington lived in shelters or on the streets in January this year.

More than 560,000 people lived on the streets or in homeless shelters in the U.S. earlier this year. That number marks a 2 percent drop from the year before, according to new figures released Thursday by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Still, some question how accurately those numbers depict the problem. There are many ways one can count who is and isn't homeless.

A homeless camp beneath an Interstate 5 off-ramp in Seattle's SODO district.
KUOW Photo/John Ryan

City and county leaders have declared a civil emergency on homelessness in Seattle. But some critics say what's been proposed is not enough.

Sheley Secrest, the local NAACP's chair of economic development, said racial equity should be baked into the new emergency plan or it may not reach certain communities.

Did Tim Eyman win at the ballot box only to lose again in court? Is homelessness an emergency in the city? Will Move Seattle actually move Seattle? And who will save our gum wall?

Bill Radke chews the news with Mike McGinn, Rob McKenna and Joni Balter.

A homeless camp beneath an Interstate 5 off-ramp in Seattle's SODO district.
KUOW Photo/John Ryan

Kim Malcom talks to Daniel Malone, executive director of the Downtown Emergency Service Center, about why Seattle Mayor Ed Murray's emergency plan on homelessness doesn't go far enough.

Doris O'Neal of the YWCA
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Leaders of Seattle and King County declared a state of civil emergency this week – not due to an earthquake or a mudslide, but because of homelessness.

Flickr Photo/Blake Burkhart (Cc-BY-NC-ND)/http://bit.ly/1WmamK7

Ross Reynolds speaks with David Hall, Everett's deputy city prosecutor, about the city's controversial ordinance that treats "aggressive panhandling" as a misdemeanor punishable with jail time. 

Sleepless in Seattle volunteers George Bargoud, Jean (no last name given), Michael Maloy and Amiga Debbie prepared to give out sleeping bags to homeless people in King County.
Courtesy of Eddie Wang

David Hyde speaks with Eddie Wang about a project to get a sleeping bag to every homeless person in King County. 

Navy veteran Donald Lollis said he's been sleeping on the streets for six months. 'They give you an honorable discharge and you just do the best you can. And that's how I've been living.'
KUOW Photo/Posey Gruener

It's 3 a.m. on the first day of a massive free clinic at Seattle Center. Anyone who needs medical, dental or vision care can find help here today — first come, first served. 

An Iraq vet named Ryan Mielcarek addressed the crowd: “By a quick show of hands, do we have any veterans in the audience here today?”

Mielcarek is the South Sound platoon leader with the veteran volunteer group, The Mission Continues. Their goal is to connect with veterans experiencing homelessness, more than 600 in King County according to official estimates.

Seattle City Council District 6 candidates Mike O'Brien and Catherine Weatbrook.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

The candidates for Seattle’s District 6 could not be more Seattle.

Catherine Weatbrook – she used to be a Tubs girl.

Tubs was a shady, windowless establishment in the University District that rented out hot tubs by the hour. It was rumored to be the best place in town to get a urinary tract infection.

The Ballard Urban Rest Stop is having an open house from 4 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Mark Trimmer is happy: He’s finally got someplace to wash himself besides the Ballard Library.

That place is the new Urban Rest Stop, opening this month in Ballard. It’s a place for people living on the streets to wash their clothes and take a shower.

As a doctor who provides medical care to Boston's homeless population, James O'Connell and his colleagues are used to working in unusual locations. "We are basically visiting them in their homes, which are often under bridges, down back alleyways [and] on park benches," O'Connell tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "It's been an education for us over these years."

Ross Reynolds interviews Dr. Sharon  Sutton who is acting as a mentor  for architecture students at the University of Washington as they put together a workshop to design the Ballard homeless camp on Market Street.

Students will meet with people who will live in the camp, neighbors, and other interest parties to figure out how it should look. Sutton says if the Market Street site is going to work for 52 homes, they will have to be more than one story tall, so tents are out. 

Seattle Teens Built This Tiny House For The Homeless

Sep 20, 2015
Sawhorse Revolution designed and built this tiny house, with the intent to donate it to the homeless camp known as Nickelsville. The idea is to have tiny houses rather than tents at this new homeless camp in the Central District.
Courtesy of Alec Gardner

"The Nest," as the students call it, is a serious step up from a tent.

There's no plumbing or electricity, but it's watertight, insulated and has walls and a lock. And it was designed with a homeless person in mind.

Ross Reynolds speaks with Brandy Sincyr, a program assistant with Columbia Legal Services and the author of a report counting homeless students in Washington, about why the group thinks schools have been undercounting their homeless students.

Just a couple of blocks off the 210 Freeway in San Bernardino, Calif., about an hour east of LA, rest a whole row of cheap, rundown motels. Some people stay for a night or two, others just by the hour.

But some rooms house families with kids — and these families aren't just stopping in.

This is home for them, at least for now. They've run out of other options for a roof over their heads.

When You're Homeless 'You Learn Who Your Friends Are'

Aug 6, 2015
Many people in the homeless community hang out in Seattle's University District
KUOW

Rogelia Sanchez and Mimansa Dogra share stories from Seattle's homeless community. Join them as they learn about the impact homelessness has on people's lives.

RadioActive is KUOW's program for youth age 16-20ish. Listen to RadioActive stories, subscribe to the RadioActive podcast and stay in touch on Facebook and Twitter.

A Ballard man snaps a photo Monday night after a public meeting, as he mourns the loss of a tree, cut down recently by the city of Seattle.  The tree was on a vacant lot that may one day host a tent city for the homeless.
KUOW Photo/Feliks Banel

The tree was beloved, they said.

A pretty Korean mountain ash that stood alone on an empty lot for years. It didn’t deserve to be cut down by the city.

This is a tale of two cities. In New Orleans, there are signs of hope that veteran homelessness can be solved. But Los Angeles presents a very different picture.

Under the deafening highway noise of the Pontchartrain Expressway in central city New Orleans, Ronald Engberson, 54, beds down for the night. Engberson got out of the Marines in 1979, plagued even back then by problems with drugs and alcohol. He says that's mostly the reason he's been homeless the past 10 years.

Car camper Jennifer Smith prepares for her move to a woman's shelter. She's one of several homeless men and women who were asked to leave the area near Gasworks Park.  Her RV will be parked safely in a church parking lot in Lake City.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Danny Fletcher lives in a motor home on North Northlake Way near Gas Works Park. He says he feels safer in that than he does sleeping in a shelter.

“It’s more comfy, I have a bedroom, I’ve got a kitchen, I have a living room, and it’s all separate rooms," Fletcher said. "It’s an actual house for me, you know?”

But neighbors have been complaining about campers like this.

Hannah Webb, a resident of Seattle's Tent City 3 in Feb. 2015 on the campus of Seattle Pacific University
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Ross Reynolds talks to Matt Driscoll, columnist for The News Tribune, about why there are no tent cities in Tacoma to serve their homeless population. 

Dawn Brown in a trailer for the documentary 'A New High.'
YouTube

Jeannie Yandel talks with Dawn Brown, a participant in Seattle Union Gospel Mission's program that takes a team of homeless people who are also struggling with addiction up Mount Rainier. Brown's experience is chronicled in a new documentary, "A New High."

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