The Office of Mayor Bruce Harrell released encouraging news on the City’s struggle to move unsheltered people from tents and RVs to shelter. The Mayor reported a 42% decline in tents and a 29% reduction in encampment RVs in the first three months of 2023 compared to December 2022 levels.
More than 600 people accepted offers of shelter in the first quarter of 2023, although that is still only about 50% of those who received offers. According to Deputy Mayor Tiffany Washington, “Folks have just decided they aren’t going to go into congregate shelter . . . . They say, ‘I want a door.’”
Danny Westneat, a columnist for The Seattle Times, noted that the City missed an opportunity to address the “I want a door” desire of people experiencing homelessness by failing to build more tiny homes over the past few years. As Westneat observed, they are cheap to build and “have doors.”
Westneat also reported declining gun violence in most of the largest U.S. cities, and Seattle is no exception. In fact, the first quarter saw a 50% drop in the number of people killed or injured by a gun in Seattle. The first four months of 2023 also saw reductions in aggravated assaults (18%), robberies (30%), and thefts (29%).