🤔 10 big questions on homelessness, answered

🤔 10 big questions on homelessness, answered

HALO THERE. What was a random video game superhero doing downtown? Possibly taking a break from PAX — the big gaming conference that hit the city this weekend. Thanks for tagging #theevergrey, Bryan!


At a one-night count taken in January, 12,112 people were living homeless in King County. It’s one of the biggest, toughest issues we’re dealing with, and y’all have lots of questions. So many, in fact, that when we partnered with seven of our fellow local media outlets to ask what you most wanted to know, you sent in 400 of them.

You cast your votes for the questions you wanted answered, and we and our partners reported them out. Feeling curious? Here are the ten questions we’ve all answered so far…

“How do homeless families with young kids make it work?”
Asked by: Hannah Lidman via The Evergrey
Answered by: Kari O’Driscoll of ParentMap
Among their struggles: planning for school when you don’t know where you’re going to be and serving good meals when you don’t have a kitchen.

“What are other cities doing that works and why aren’t we as effective?”
Asked by: Heather Redman via The Evergrey
Answered by: Monica Nickelsburg of GeekWire
Monica takes a close look at Columbus, Ohio, and lands on some fascinating insights. One thing Seattle could probably use more of: “strong, coordinated leadership.”

“Does Seattle get an influx of homeless people from outside areas attracted to better services?”
Asked by: Craig Danz via The Evergrey
Answered by: Ana Sofia Knauf of The Evergrey (Part 1 and 2)
There’s no evidence of an “influx,” and though word has spread about Seattle’s advocacy organizations and services, the demand is high and the wait lists are long.

“How much of the problem is residential zoning? I’m often hearing that as a core problem increasing housing prices by reducing availability.”
Asked by: Billy Shih via The Evergrey
Answered by: Ashley Archibald of Real Change
Zoning around Seattle is among the most regulated in the country, and there’s evidence that that makes it tricky to build more housing and keep prices down.

“Who is doing what to reduce new entrants to the homeless population?”
Asked by: Rick Davis via SeattlePI
Answered by: Kate Walters of KUOW
Seattle and King County do have programs to stop people from becoming homeless in the first place. But we’re spending just a fraction on them of what we spend on homelessness overall.

“How do the unhoused think we should address our housing challenges? What would they tell homeowners? Renters? Politicians? Businesses?”
Asked by: Brian Hsi via The Evergrey
Answered by: Ana Sofia Knauf of The Evergrey
We asked some incredible people who’ve been through things most of us can only imagine, and recorded their thoughts in their own voices.

“Why is every article about [homelessness] so slanted? Where are the stories about the negative impact [homeless people] have on the rest of the city?”
Asked by: Anonymous
Answered by: Neal McNamara of Seattle Patch
Neal looked at more than 300 headlines about homelessness from media outlets around Puget Sound. Perceptions of bias and “slant” can get dicey, and this is a thought-provoking read.

“How much does it cost the city when people are homeless? Good to know how much not fixing the problem costs as well as fixing it.”
Asked by: Anonymous
Answered by: Manola Secaira of Crosscut
Depending on how you do the math, the answer could be $195 million, or as much as $1 billion. In any case, it’s expensive.

“What percentage of homeless in the greater Seattle area were actually residents with jobs, prior to becoming homeless?”
Asked by: Gail Leese via Seattle Patch
Answered by: Monica Nickelsburg at GeekWire
We don’t have data to answer that exact question, but among the things we do know: Losing a job was the most common reason our neighbors gave for what led them to become homeless.

“Do many people who are retired or aging end up homeless? Can people afford nursing homes?”
Asked by: Camilla via Real Change
Answered by: Ashley Archibald of Real Change
Yes, and in many cases, no. And with a life expectancy of 50, many folks who live homeless can’t access benefits for the elderly.

Curious about the other 390 questions locals asked about homelessness? Check out our chat about them on Facebook Live here. Big thanks to all of you for asking deep down honest questions, and to GeekWire, Crosscut, ParentMap, SeattlePI, Real Change, KUOW, and Seattle Patch for joining us in answering them.


Go Storm! Our Seattle Storm just made it to the 2018 WNBA finals after an amazing win against the Phoenix Mercury last night. Forward Breanna Stewart is now the WNBA’s MVP, and Game 1 of the finals against the Washington Mystics is Friday night. Meanwhile, Tacoma native and Denver Nuggets point guard Isaiah Thomas got some WNBA love with a love letter to the league he wrote this week. “If you don’t respect women’s basketball, you’re a joke,” he wrote. “Let’s have this be one hoop community, period.”  🏀 (The Players’ Tribune)

Parched. If your rain gear’s been gathering dust in the closet, here’s why: We just had our driest May-August stretch ever recorded. Getting déjà vu? That might be because last summer was also the driest we’d ever recorded — and the warmest. 🔥 (KING 5)

Don’t turn right off Kent-Des Moines Road. Or you might join the 24,000 people who got caught last year by one very busy red-light camera in southern King County. It charged a whopping $3.3 million in fines in 2017. And this in a town where the total population is just 31,000. 😱 (The Seattle Times)

Bezos be clubbin’. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was spotted in an interesting place over Labor Day weekend — the legendary LIV Nightclub at the Fontainebleu in Miami. That city’s one of 20 finalists to host the company’s second headquarters — better known as “HQ2” — and the richest person in the world was about to hit another milestone: Amazon just became the second public company in the U.S. to be worth a whopping $1 trillion. (The Next Miami, USA Today)

Get out of Seattle. Not to move out, mind you. Just to visit. From the Mount Rainier Railroad in Elbe to the pumpkin cannons in Lake Stevens (yup), here are 20 destinations around the state where you can have a ball this fall. (Seattle Met)

And today in delightful, a woman who’s remodeling her house in West Seattle found something interesting when she tore up the stairs — a time-capsule-style letter and photo from a family who lived there thirty years ago. And the guy who came by later to start up the new A/C heating system? He’s the kid in the photo, all grown up. (West Seattle Blog)


✊  TODAY: Hear some real talk about confidence building from a queer woman of color in tech at this Impact Hub Lunch + Learn (Pioneer Square)

🎉  Saturday – Sunday: See large-scale art installations, peruse a street fair, and learn how design affects our lives at Seattle Design Fest (Pioneer Square)

📣 Tuesday Sept. 11: Write up some epic anecdotes with help from a storytelling and podcasting pro (Pioneer Square)

🏡  Wednesday, Sept. 12: Learn how to buy a home with a little help from your friends at this Impact Hub Lunch + Learn (Pioneer Square)

🍸  Thursday, Sept. 13: Be a mezcal master and sample the goods at this mixology event from the MEX AM Northwest Festival (Capitol Hill)



🗣  Hear from an Obama staffer, a UW scientist, and The Evergrey’s own Mónica Guzmán (Capitol Hill)
🎟  See a “sizzling burlesque tribute” to infamous spy Mata Hari (Downtown)
💡  Learn to build up your confidence from a queer woman of color in tech at this Evergrey partner event (Pioneer Square)


🎶  Visit Game of Thrones’ Westeros with an orchestra (Queen Anne)
🎟  Check out a mash-up of magic, comedy, and acrobatics — through Sept. 8 (Fremont)
🗣  Hear what your neighbors “gleaned from teachers or the streets” (Fremont)


👋  Mingle with the witchcraft community at this night market (Ballard)
🎶  Hear tributes to Erykah Badu and Sade (Capitol Hill)
🍴  Bring your stretchy pants to an Italian food festival — through Sept. 9 (Georgetown)
🎶  Honor Aretha Franklin with KEXP’s DJ Riz (Beacon Hill)
💪  “Make friends, then fight them” at Swordsquatch — through Sept. 9 (Georgetown)


🎈  Peruse antiques, vintage clothes, and home decor at a flea market (SoDo)
🎨  Take the fam to one of Seattle’s biggest, most creative block parties at this Evergrey partner event — through Sept. 9 (Pioneer Square)
🎨  See ‘em pour molten bronze at this open house (Central District)
💡  Tour the city’s “hostile architecture” — through Sept. 9 (Pioneer Square)
🍴  Grab snacks and check out local crafts at a night market (International District)
🎟  Watch a drag tribute to anime director Hayao Miyazaki (Belltown)
🎈  Bring the fam to make glowy lanterns and see bendy acrobats (Burien)
🍷  Take your dog on a winery walk (Woodinville)


🎈  Learn to hula and munch on shave ice (Queen Anne)
💪  Check out a yoga class to “center and celebrate fat bodies” (Capitol Hill)
🏞  Sip mimosas, eat brownies … then run a 5K or 10K (Green Lake)
🐶  Grab a beer and let your dog cool off at a puppy pool party (Greenwood)

Going to one of these? Take us with you! Email a pic to [email protected] or tag #theevergrey on Instagram. See more upcoming events on our events page, and add your own events with an Evergrey membership. Is an event sold out? Hit reply to let us know and we’ll update the listing in tomorrow’s newsletter.


Seahawks QB Russell Wilson packed a surprise for his son Future’s first day of school — a box of Wheaties featuring dear old dad. 🏈

Have a good one, all. — The Evergrey

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