Magnet attracting more homeless to Bellevue? | Letter

While the proposed Eastside men’s shelter location near Bellevue College would seem to be an obvious concern, the location near the Eastgate Transit Center is also a concern. First it would provide an ideal location for those selling drugs to have access to potentially large numbers of shelter residents desiring drugs. Second, it would also provide shelter residents with an ideal location to panhandle, potentially “aggressively,” those waiting at the transit center.

Even more important is the question as to the ability of the shelter to reduce the area’s homelessness. The Seattle Times Dec. 1 article, “Next homeless count could climb,” details that the January 2016 count was 15 percent higher than 2015’s homelessness. The fact the numbers of homeless in the area continue to increase despite the millions spent addressing the issue suggests the more “benefits” you provide to the homeless, the more you attract to the area. Those promoting the Eastgate shelter need to explain how they intend to keep it from being a magnet attracting even more homeless to Bellevue.

Bill Hirt


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