I don’t know why senseless violence continues to infuriate me, but it does. 

Five homeless people were shot Wednesday night in Seattle. 

The good news is that homelessness in Seattle will not be criminalized. Nor will mental illness.

The good news is that the crime was because of low-level drug dealings. Police suspect. The good news is that they were probably not targeted because they were homeless but because they dealt and/or took drugs, which could be the primary or secondary problem, depending on your perspective. Were they homeless because they were involved with drugs or were they involved with drugs because they were homeless and felt, therefore, hopeless. 

I do not know. 

What I do know is the bed news. The bad news is that two people were murdered with multiple gunshot wounds and three more are in critical condition. The bad news is that a campful of individuals are now traumatized. They cannot hide from the world in their homes; they have no homes. They cannot find safety. They may never find safety. 

Encampments are not ideal places to live. They are usually cramped, ill-maintained, unsanitary. They are not places of choice. But they are better than nothing. They usually allow for a sense of community. They provide a shard of stability in lives otherwise in a constant state of upheaval. 

Now even that bit of stability has been shattered for those who live in this Seattle encampment. The police chief stated there will be no increase in enforcement. The means the residents will not even have thoughts of increased safety to help them fall asleep at night.


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