There are two main factors to take into consideration when finding solutions to law enforcement and Seattle’s homelessness crisis. The first is empathy towards the homeless population. The second is maintaining the wellbeing of the city and the businesses affected and providing an area free of violent crime and property crime.
The current leadership in Seattle, ranging from law enforcement administrators to political leaders have shown that they are unable to solve this issue. Current leaders have shown their incompetence in a number of ways.
1. Lack of balance
Imagine two diametric points on a sliding scale; empathy for the homeless and strict enforcement of violations and criminal actions. As we are too empathetic, the city will become sick and infected. Businesses will shut down, and citizens will avoid large parts of town that become rundown and hubs of crime. If we ramp up enforcement, focusing on perfection and utopia, we lose our humanity. When this scale falls out of balance, it negatively impacts all involved. The best case for the homeless population is to have balance and enforcement, contrary to what Seattle’s leaders think. This is also the best case for the welfare of the city.
2. Inability to have a contrarian viewpoint
Humans have an innate desire to grip onto current cultural trends and be a part of the “times”. Following the pack is not always bad but it clouds your judgment and your decision is no longer your own. A leader is someone who is not afraid of ridicule and not afraid to step outside of the current political or social climate and look at a problem through a more unaffected lense. A leader must make a decision that they believe is best for their people regardless if they lose reputation. While they may lose social standing slightly in the present, those who are bold are often rewarded in time.
3. Lack of sympathy for those impacted
During a homeless crisis (or any mass migration of a new, usually lower, class), those who feel the majority of the impact are low income and low-status citizens. It is easy for the social elite to pass legislation and generate policies that makes themselves look progressive to the outside world. These same policies, disproportionately impact the people who are low in socioeconomic status. The social elite does not ever intertwine their lives with the homeless population and are never negatively affected by their presence. This shows a lack of sympathy for the current population and a complete ignorance by Seattle’s leadership.
While Seattle’s current leadership is unable to care for the city, luckily we can.
The first way to fix Seattle’s homelessness crisis is by mitigating the above issues. Increasing enforcement of crimes and violations by the transient population, especially those affecting local business and citizen safety.