I have never thought of writing a letter to the editor until after reading Danny Westneat’s recent eye opening piece on homeless encampments at city parks [“Even for easygoing Seattle, living in the parks has gone too far,” Oct. 14, Northwest].
As a grandmother and regular volunteer for a feeding program for homeless clients, I was both angry and very sad. The city is looking the other way when a homeless encampment near a city park that was specifically designed for poor people in public housing is allowed to stay. How can a grandmother take a child to the park when, 20 feet away, homeless people with addiction and mental-health issues are encamped?
I absolutely support helping homeless people improve their lives and get the help they desperately need, but this type of encampment in a city park doesn’t help anyone, the homeless or the neighborhoods. It also smacks at systemic racism. The very same type of encampments such as at Cal Anderson Park, in a wealthier neighborhood, are removed, but encampments near lower-income area parks are allowed to stay.
Shouldn’t poor children of all races and creeds be able to play safely in Seattle’s parks?
Debbie Johnson, Renton