Regarding the recent article about homelessness in Edmonds, I know that lady who was sleeping on the bench for months. My parents live a few blocks away from the Edmonds Station of the Interurban Trail. My friend Robert Gariepy and I would take her food occasionally and cold drinks on hot days. I’m glad that the city finally was able to find a safe option that worked for her. We were worried about her, she used to huddle on the hard metal bench at night with carts around her to try to give her some privacy and protection while she was sleeping. It must be terrifying for an older woman to be sleeping outside alone on the streets.
I don’t know why people in Edmonds are acting like homelessness is a “new” problem. There have always been homeless people here, you’re just seeing them now. For example, Bob used to car camp in his white van on the corner down my street off Highway 99. Literally, for years. He was a great guy, he would keep an eye out for my dad, who has dementia, and would shovel the sidewalks when it snowed. My parents and other families with houses nearby used to take Bob hot food all the time.
I don’t know why it is so difficult for the city or the county to simply pay landlords to house homeless children and their families, as well as homeless senior citizens, once they have been vetted for housing programs. Section 8 has an eight- to 10- year backlog. The cities need to stop expecting state government to solve the homelessness crisis, it’s not going to happen.
Unhoused people experiencing substance abuse and mental health issues can be given long-term motel vouchers with appropriate security on the property, just like was done during the pandemic. This isn’t rocket science.