Why do we not address the homeless Asian community more?
Yes, it is actually a problem.
And it is also especially ignored when it comes to the female Asian population. The male Asian population might be more noticeable due to less fear of panhandling and perhaps a tendency to be more aggressive when absolving their situation.
We talked to Rita Yu, who was carrying her heavy blue bag with her sleeping supplies (a sleeping bag, toothbrush, clothes, and other material needs when meeting her on Occidental Square. )
Yu’s family immigrated from Hong Kong in 1997; her family moved to San Francisco and she stayed in Seattle. She had plans.
Her regular sleeping quarters are now on the front of the Berliner (a restaurant that makes sandwiches) on First Ave. She said it was safest there. (She did mention mice crawl on her however.) Her other home is in Occidental Park.
She said none of the missions or shelters in Pioneer Square accepted women.
Why not go to a women’s shelter?
(Background: There are not a lot of women shelters in Seattle. However, there is at least one in the International District.)
“Yes, I know. There is one on 14th and Jackson.”
“So why not go?”
“It’s hard to communicate. They don’t speak English and it is mostly for Vietnamese.”
Communication and translation issues. They are always a problem.
This is what Rita wanted to do when she was in Seattle:
She was going to attend Lake Washington Technical College to get a certificate to be a nursing assistant.
She didn’t get to do that, but she worked at Fred Meyer for a while until she got laid off due to the recession.
So what is exactly the issue? Why are you not getting public assistance? (We asked this as if we didn’t already know what the answer was.)
“They make a difference between homeless and refugee.”
Maybe we shouldn’t be making that difference. (end)