Having returned from a trip on the East Coast I have concluded that the complaints against our city’s handling of the homeless crisis in Seattle are valid.

I am dismayed at how out of control Seattle’s homeless problem is relative to what I saw in other cities. I was hard-pressed to observe the kind of filth that has become a Seattle hallmark. This is not to say I did not see homeless people, but they were obviously not entitled to set up camp where they chose, and the volumes of garbage and human waste were not ubiquitous.

As immense as the region’s homeless problem may seem, it amounts to providing basic services for a fraction of the population. We are awash in wealth, and if we are so monumentally ineffective at addressing a low-tech problem, how can we begin to solve the larger problems of transportation, the southern orcas or climate change.

I encourage everyone to consider deeply what our elected officials have served up for us and demand change.

John M. Stone, Seattle