What has not been highlighted regarding the recent emergence of the major homeless issue in Seattle is that it has been ongoing for much, much longer than most of us have keyed on. A friend who recently retired from the Seattle Police Department explained that when he joined the department in 1985 — 33 years ago — there was a homeless camp underneath the I-5 freeway at the location of “the Jungle” as it was named in recent history.
So why would a city as large & progressive as Seattle not address this issue back in the mid-198os? Seems it should have been dealt with back then and subsequently and continually monitored over the subsequent 30 years. And preclude the much more serious issues we now face. What were we thinking ? Obviously nothing.