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Agendas & Minutes

FNC to consider position on encampments & homelessness at regular meeting Jan. 28

FNC AGENDA. Monday, January 28, 2019
7 p.m., Doric Temple, 619 N. 36th St., downtown Fremont

Homelessness in Fremont -What Should FNC Do? Policy Positions and Action Options–See details below

1. Introductions. Please be prepared to briefly state your name and connection to Fremont.

2. Announcements: If you have an event, meeting, or other opportunity for community engagement coming up, this is your chance.

3. Discussion about homelessness in Fremont—Possible FNC actions/positions: About 7:20 we will convene a conversation on what actions and/or advocacy positions the Fremont Neighborhood Council should take. Under FNC by-laws, final decisions are made by the board, but the members’ (and other Fremont residents’) opinions are given considerable weight.

An outline of possible decisions is at the end of this agenda notice.

4. If time allows, we will approve minutes and treasurers report.

5. Adjourn by 8:45.

<<<<BACKGROUND & OPTIONS>>>>
Possible Fremont Neighborhood Council actions and positions concerning homelessness in Fremont

Background (included with FNC October 22, 2018 Agenda): Seattle is experiencing a housing crisis. The cost to own or rent housing has increased rapidly in recent years. Inexpensive housing like SROs (single room occupancy hotels/apartments) that used to be common in many cities has become rare in Seattle. Many households and individuals cannot find affordable housing. Starting in the 1980s, the amount of public and private resources allocated to treatment of mentally ill people has declined. At the same time, income and wealth inequality have been getting worse for years. Finally, the U.S. is in the midst of an addiction epidemic involving both illegal (e.g., opioids, meth, heroin) and prescription drugs. Together these and other factors have resulted in a large increase in the number of homeless people living on the streets of Seattle, including many in Fremont and surrounding neighborhoods. While homeless people have been present for decades, the scale of the problem has become worse in the past few years. Homeless camps have appeared on all sides of Fremont and in our midst. Almost any patch of public green space—Bridge Way, Woodland Park, along North Lake Union and the Burke Gilman Trail–tents appear. In response, the City of Seattle has struggled to provide emergency shelter, but the services are too few and many of the homeless do not want to use them. The ‘host’ neighborhoods experience negative impacts from camps of people on public land without services, many occupied by people with drug and related problems and some with behavior issues including criminal activity (which follows opioid addiction among unhoused people). The City has responded in part by “sweeping” homeless camps, but without any way to force people into treatment, the camps simply reappear elsewhere and in the same locations repeatedly. And the homeless themselves are in a constant state of upheaval. Together these activities have created a very unpleasant situation for many people, both housed and homeless. Even among the housed, the dialogue gets irrational and angry very quickly. Solutions are difficult to find.
Results of brainstorming session December 17, 2018

Present:
Toby Thaler
Judie Clarridge
David Ginn
Julia DeBroux
Brandon Uchimura
Marilla Satterwhite
Deb Ching
Linda Clifton
Graeme Richardson
Erik Pihl

Outline of Options (not intended to be exclusive; if you have other ideas, please speak up!)

I. Direct Action by FNC

FNC has a bit of money, and possibly access to more during 2019 from a settlement agreement with SPU concerning the North Transfer Station near Gasworks on North 34th Street.

Possible activities that FNC could fund or contribute to include:

A. Contribute to dinners or other public meals and events. Two such meals were served during the 2018 Holidays at Fremont Baptist Church. Possible benefits:
• Provides food to those in need.
• Provide an opportunity for housed neighbors to interact with homeless people.
• Provides a location and opportunity for service providers to connect with homeless in need.

B. Provide funding for various public health safety activities:
1. Help with security (such as cameras) for areas close to homeless camps experiencing criminal activity
2. Contribute to trash collection, needle collection, port-o-potty

C. Provide a forum for ongoing dialogue
1. Designate a public safety chair to increase FNC capacity


II. FNC Advocacy for Specific Policies and Action by the City and Others

The FNC can adopt positions to advocate to City departments and elected officials. Below is a list of possible positions at a high level; drafting and adoption would follow a decision to move toward specific positions.

A. Support for more effective navigation teams including better interagency communication and coordination. Ask for engagement from the City to inform FNC and community about process, implementation, and effectiveness reporting.

B. Support for more effective needle collection, and other trash pickup.

C. Request more effective policing.

D. Request long term planning to improve Troll area, including potential developed park use on east side of Troll’s Knoll.

E. Demand the City be more effective in provision of services to enable elimination of need for camping on public land by the homeless (and by RVs to park on the street for long periods).

III. Provide Information to the Fremont Community

FNC does not take positions on candidates or other electoral issues. However we do provide a forum for candidate and issue campaigns to present information to the Fremont community.

A. Produce or co-produce with others candidate or issue forum(s) for 2019 council elections.

B. Invite candidates and other campaigns to present at FNC meetings.

C. Provide forum for discussion of issue at FNC Annual General Meeting April 22

D. Addendum:

The City of Seattle and State of Washington have brought suit against Purdue Pharmaceuticals and others for “pushing” opioid drugs like Oxycontin that have contributed to the opioid addiction epidemic in many communities, including Seattle. That lawsuit has been combined with a number of similar actions and is being litigated in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.

The lawsuits ask for damages to governments caused by the need to deal with an opioid/heroin epidemic. The litigation is occurring far away, and the addict community is not a party. It is not clear when a resolution will be obtained by trial or negotiated settlement. FNC could request a presentation by representatives from City Attorney or the State Attorney General to explain the status of this complex litigation, and how it may contribute to ending homelessness in Seattle.

Join/Renew your membership with the Fremont Neighborhood Council �You can now renew your membership online at www.fremontneighborhoodcouncil.org. It’s quick and easy, please take a moment and show your support for your neighborhood!


Fremont Neighborhood Council
fremontneighborhood.org | www.facebook.com/FremontNeighborhoodCouncil
3518 Fremont Ave. N, #111, Seattle, WA 98103

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