To Seattle City Council,
Please do not fund the SODO mega shelter in the budget, the Chinatown-International District (CID) is already heavily burdened with the amount of shelters already in the area. There’s no safety plan in place to deal with the possible influx of unhoused residents and what associates with it (drugs, prostitutions, theft, assaults, robberies, homicides to name a few). The safety of the residents and constituents should be paramount. Over the past five years since the DESC Navigation Center was put in place, the area of 12th and Weller has become a major crime spot, with previously mentioned crimes with the latest homicide happening in broad daylight on Sept. 22.
Now this SODO shelter will be seven times as large and bring in more of this nexus into the area, draining the resources of the city services and hearts of the hard working residents of the CID.
Police Chief Adrian Diaz has mentioned that they should take a step back and evaluate how much level of services is in the area, and adding another one could permanently damage the neighborhood. He also mentioned that he doesn’t have enough officers to ensure the safety of this area. The area has the largest number of shots fired called in the city. What will happen if a stray round hits an innocent bystander? Do we not matter? There should be equitable allocation to all neighborhoods in the county, not dumped in one area.
A lot of the council has promoted and advocated for the advancement of minority communities, and here you have one of the largest minority communities that has struggled before the pandemic, scraped by during the pandemic, and finally somewhat emerging out of it only to get beaten down again with these proposed social plans. Why put in the budget something that has not shown a proven cost benefit, because I’m sure the cost is not only monetary, and the cost of CID residents/businesses/patrons should be also considered. Again, why us?
— Randy Wo-Eng