Re: “A Seattle mecca for running goes dark as the city continues to fall short on homelessness” [Aug. 21, Local]: I am in utter disbelief that cross country in Woodland Park impacting 5,000 youth in Seattle was canceled. The city is essentially paying ransom instead of addressing the illegal encampments with 40 tents and occupied picnic shelters.

Seattle is going through the stages of grief described by Kubler Ross: Denial that encampments in our parks are the norm. Anger that only a few can use the park. Bargaining with city officials for solutions. Depression that no one is listening. Acceptance? I hope not. Luckily the stages are not linear — I am back to anger.

The contract agencies screaming the loudest that removing encampments is inhumane don’t seem to think living outside in squalor is inhumane. It is time to look at a different approach instead of throwing up our hands.

What results would we have if the city and state employed case workers and mental health counselors instead of contracting out these positions? My guess is more accountability thus better results.

It is time for real solutions not resignation. What solution would the mayor find after hearing from 5,000 people directly impacted by this decision? Add to that families, neighbors, and friends of the park.

Denice Chase, Seattle