Today, media in Seattle and San Francisco are focusing on homeless issues. Homeless populations in both cities are growing at a rapid clip, and there are so many complicated reasons why this is the case—the skyrocketing cost of housing, a lack of public assistance for the poor, very little mental health care coverage, etc.
In an ideal world, newspapers would have dedicated homeless issues reporters. Instead, we have an ever-shrinking array of city beat reporters who are stretched too thin to adequately cover all the stories out on the streets. But they’re trying, and today is a day for them to share the coverage that they’ve given the topic, as well as to debut new stories.
You’ll find the Seattle portion of the coverage on Twitter under the hashtag #SeaHomeless. Some highlights so far:
- Crosscut examines the roots of the homeless crisis in Seattle.
- Firesteel WA’s StoryCorps project collects homeless peoples’ stories, in their own words.
- KUOW offered some ideas on how to make Seattle’s shelter system better.
- The Seattle Times reports that Paul Allen has donated a million dollars to build housing in Columbia City.
- A homeless man from Seattle named Joe Bernstein is doing a Reddit AMA later this afternoon.
- KING 5 promotes the idea of looking homeless people in the eye and saying hello.
- Kelsey Hamlin at the South Seattle Emerald tells one family’s story.
- Erica C. Barnett looks at how people discuss homelessness, and how they get it wrong.
There is so much more for you to read, and there will be updates all day long on Twitter and in social media. Go be a part of the conversation, or perhaps most importantly you should go be a witness. Your reading these stories is so important; it reminds editors and publishers that Seattle cares about homelessness, and wants our media to keep covering the issue.