This scene is about a mile from my house as the crow flies.* Looks like a scene right outta Sunset Magazine, doesn’t it? How do you like the mountain of trash that’s piling up on the side? That’s a nice touch. These are some of the folks our Seattle City Council
and Mayor Ed Murray want to help. They have proposed donating city land for the RVs to park on. Rent-free. Forever.
Now, it’s possible that these RV dwellers are locals who have recently become homeless. It’s possible that they want to change their situation so badly that they’ll work hard and attend whatever program they have to in order to get back on their feet. Of course, it’s also possible that they’re not really homeless at all and they want to keep living in their RVs forever (thank you very much) because they enjoy this inexpensive and highly mobile lifestyle.
Problem is, nobody at City Hall will ever know which of the two categories (really homeless or just tramps) any of these people fall into, because no one city official is ever going to ask them any questions about it. If the RV campers want to look for work, get into a treatment program, or whatever, then great. If not, that’s OK too. Folks can live rent-free in the RV parks as long as they want, with no concerns about being hassled by the police or angry neighbors. Their trash will be picked up regularly and they will even, no doubt, be treated to various kinds of hand-outs from local businesses and church groups. When they get bored at the RV park, the campers can just move on to another town. With any luck, the next place they land will have seen the light like Seattle, and will have created its own constellation of RV safe zones for them to crash. Meanwhile, the mayor and city council can point to the RV parks and claim that they’re doing something about the RV camper problem . . . even if they’re actually making it worse.
P.S. Mayor Murray’s e-mail is Ed.Murray@Seattle.gov. Why don’t you drop him a quick note and send him a copy of this picture and/or a link to this post? Tell him David Preston sent ya. He knows me.
*Google Map view here.