Homeless people in Seattle

Amazon / Product BKzos
Sep 14, 2018 47 Comments

Really could be anywhere I guess, but I’m in Seattle. Last week, was at a nice dinner with colleagues and we had a lot of leftovers that we boxed up. Some debate ensued as we stood outside about who would get what, because there was some competition over things. In the midst of this, a homeless man approached us asking if we could give him some money so he could get something to eat. We immediately offered the leftovers—which well-paid tech people were vying for—and he flat-out refused them.

I wound up with a little more than I needed in the end. Started walking home. Came across another homeless person, with a sign that said “hungry teen.” I offered him my leftovers. He refused, as well.

So since then, I’ve offered other homeless people food—Starbucks, Chipotle, Chinese, etc. to see how others respond. And it’s refused, every time. Not a scientific study obviously, so my sample could be off. But still!

I think I’m done giving spare change to homeless people. Not sure what Bezos’s $2 billion initiative is gonna do, but I hope they think about what the actual problem is before putting money into things.

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TOP 47 Comments
  • Microsoft ScottGu3
    They need money for drugs. How will Chipotle and Chinese get them high?
    Sep 14, 2018 2
    • Sirius XM JksK5a2
      Capsaicin and MSG
      Sep 15, 2018
    • Microsoft makdi🕷️
      Not every homeless do drugs, some need cash to buy alcohol.
      Sep 15, 2018
  • Apple Trdbki
    Man who lives on street demonstrates poor decision making skills. More at 10.
    Sep 14, 2018 0
  • Glooko / Other azizlight!
    I once saw a cute girl pan handling near a highway off ramp. Then I asked myself, "when was the last time I had sex with a homeless chick?" Then the light turned green and I drove off, the thought fleeting as well.
    Sep 14, 2018 3
    • Microsoft / Eng
      Kedabra

      Microsoft Eng

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      Amazon
      Kedabramore
      And the "wtf" 1st place goes to... ephimerial thoughts on homeless sex
      Sep 14, 2018
    • Amazon / Eng Unamazed
      Revealing your selfish, exploitive, objectifying mind.
      Sep 15, 2018
    • F5 Networks wait,what?
      Giving her money for just sitting there is ok yet giving her money for just laying there is exploitative. 🤦🏼‍♂️

      Don’t worry folks, the working class will take care of everything for you. You really don’t need to work.
      Sep 15, 2018
  • Facebook public
    They want money for substances. Seattle shelters have plenty of capacity and more than enough food. We always had people who prefered to stay on the streets because they didn't want to get clean.
    Sep 14, 2018 4
    • Amazon Sftfva4
      Do you know these statements to be true in regards to the food and bed capacity in shelters here? Honestly asking as I don’t know one way or the other
      Sep 15, 2018
    • Expedia Huifriugj
      That’s bs about the capacity. If you don’t reserve ahead you’re probably not getting space. Seattle is at crisis levels, hence the proliferation of tent cities.
      Sep 15, 2018
    • F5 Networks wait,what?
      Yeah, there has been a lot of interviews done. People turn down the shelters because 1) no drug and 2) genders have to stay separate at night. So people would rather sleep outside and make meth babies.
      Sep 15, 2018
    • Facebook public
      Used to work at one, granted it was a few years ago but yes we basically had unlimited funding but turned away a lot of people unfortunately.
      Sep 15, 2018
  • Microsoft TrumpWins
    The majority of homeless people in Seattle are homeless because they want to live that way. The city enables it too. The city/state attorneys outright refuse to enforce drug crimes. So people know they can easily use and sell drugs in Seattle and camp outside without police interference. Ask any police officer in Seattle. They could easily stop the drug problem but city officials are so concerned with winning approval from the activists that even if they enforced existing laws, the people they arrest will never be prosecuted for drug crimes.
    Sep 15, 2018 2
    • F5 Networks wait,what?
      ^^^^this is 100% correct and anyone who disagrees has never really tried to understand the problem in seattle.
      Sep 15, 2018
    • Twitter / Eng T Rex
      ‘The majority of homeless people in Seattle are homeless because they want to live that way.’
      Have you personally talked to a homeless person who prefers that lifestyle? (Not disputing your claim, trying to understand if this is first hand information for you)
      Sep 15, 2018
  • Microsoft / Eng Tier 1
    I’ve offered to go into a Walgreens with homeless people and buy them whatever he needs (food or otherwise), but they always refuse and demand cash.
    Sep 14, 2018 1
    • Microsoft / Eng
      Kedabra

      Microsoft Eng

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      Kedabramore
      Dafuq. Back home (other country) homeless actually sat outside drugstores and 7elevens to ask you to buy them some food on the way out. I'd always buy some cookies for the kids. It is very unsettling to me that a homeless would plainly refuse this kind of aid.
      Sep 14, 2018
  • Amazon / Eng
    ime&myself

    Amazon Eng

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    Sabre Corporation
    ime&myselfmore
    I used to buy them food McDonald's off 6th ave was the go to place. I never ran into some one who refused food. I buy a spare coffee everytime i walk towards the pike place and give it to a homeless person. Never been refused. One asked for a cold beer though.

    But giving them leftovers (probably packed off of your plate) was not humane. Atleast give them untouched food.
    Sep 15, 2018 5
    • F5 Networks wait,what?
      Inhumane? You’re so stupid. They rummage garbage cans for food and leftover cigarette butts. You’re doing them a favor by feeding them.
      Sep 15, 2018
    • Amazon / Eng
      ime&myself

      Amazon Eng

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      ime&myselfmore
      They do that out of desperation. What is your excuse to give them soiled food?
      Sep 15, 2018
    • Amazon / Product BKzos
      OP
      Uh, dude. I was vying for leftovers from someone else’s plate literally five minutes prior and I make plenty of money.
      Sep 15, 2018
    • Amazon vpbylaj
      Nothing wrong with leftovers, and certainly not if you are hungry.

      I was asked for money for food while carrying groceries. I offered some items that didn't require cooking. Refused. Every time I have offered food over money here in Seattle I have been refused. I do believe there are hungry people and providing food directly is the best way to know if it is to eat or for a different purpose.
      Sep 15, 2018
    • Amazon / Product BKzos
      OP
      I get that it’s a little tacky to say here take my leftovers, especially from a stranger, but if you’re truly unable to get food then refusing it would be an odd response.
      Sep 15, 2018
  • Amazon / Eng Backlogs
    I bought a woman 2 shirts and pants from target, then fixed the brakes on her wheelchair. Talked with her for awhile. She hated the homeless more than anyone here. Been homeless since she got hit by a car and lost her job working for mayor norm Rices office. At least made her have a nice day
    Sep 15, 2018 0
  • Microsoft zxql16
    They aren’t homeless due to a lack of food. They’re homeless due to a lack of money. I’m sure they get offered food all day long but a warm bed is harder to come by.
    Sep 14, 2018 1
    • Uber / Eng
      jH3ndu

      Uber Eng

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      Google
      jH3ndumore
      Invite one to your home then.
      Sep 15, 2018
  • Hawaiian Airlines / Eng Maitai
    True. I’ve seen truly starving people and they not only accept food but scarf it down with no meat left on the bone.
    Sep 14, 2018 0
  • VMware Slickwilly
    Giving money to homeless keeps them homeless. Without the handouts they will seek shelters and other proper areas to survive. It’s like seagulls, by feeding them food scraps, you’re killing them. I wish people would get this.
    Sep 15, 2018 1
    • Apple Trdbki
      Some people aren’t ready to leave the streets yet. Most of the time it’s a state of mind. Meanwhile you need to eat. But yes money for drugs is bad.
      Sep 15, 2018
  • Amazon / Product BKzos
    OP
    If a homeless person is struggling with substance addictions, do they have options and services available if they want to get clean? If so, what’s the quality of these services?
    Sep 15, 2018 3
    • Apple Trdbki
      It’s about motivation too. It’s more often booze than heroin. ‘Getting Clean’ is more than just stopping drinking. They have to want to stop and you can’t spend to make that happen.
      Sep 15, 2018
    • Amazon / Product BKzos
      OP
      That’s the thing. If they have options and can access help if they want it, then I really struggle to feel that badly for those who refuse it. Personal responsibility and all that. And I used to be so liberal...
      Sep 15, 2018
    • Apple Trdbki
      There’s been homelessness and vagrancy since Greek and Roman times. It’s naive to think you can fix it on your lifetime. What you can do as a society is offer help to the weakest but not be offended if some climb the ladder only to fall off again. You have to allow adults to live the life they want to lead not the one you want them to lead. If that means being a drunk or a junkie sometimes you can’t fix it.
      Sep 16, 2018
  • Expedia Huifriugj
    So, if a stranger brought you strange food that’s not clearly still sealed you’d wolf it down? Homeless people have to be suspicious of others to survive, and while no one in this thread would do it there are people who would give bad food to folks they don’t think matter, intentionally harming them. If I found myself homeless & hungry it’d be a tough choice about whether to eat something I didn’t know was safe. After all I wouldn’t have a home to recuperate in if I got horribly ill.
    Sep 15, 2018 2
    • Amazon / Product BKzos
      OP
      Reasonable assessment.
      Sep 15, 2018
    • Apple Trdbki
      Except they just saw you walk out of a restaurant holding a bag of to go.
      Sep 15, 2018
  • Expedia Huifriugj
    We are largely engineers here right? Let’s do some math. ~11k homeless, ~2.5k beds. Shelters @ 93% capacity per night, and not located close together. So, ~75% of homeless people may need to make a daily decision about trying to walk someplace far away, when they’re likely already exhausted and hungry, only to have there be a fair to good chance that the location they go to will be full. At which point they have to decide again whether they head to another facility. Yes, some choose to stay homeless because of addictions, or because they don’t want to leave a loved one or pet (who are potentially a large part of their personal social construct), but some just don’t have another consistent or viable choice. Generalizing either reality into an explanation for the whole... doesn’t make logical sense.

    https://www.google.com/amp/amp.kiro7.com/news/local/seattle-s-illegal-homeless-encampments-a-q-and-a-on-the-city-s-response/779251618
    Sep 15, 2018 3
    • Amazon / Product BKzos
      OP
      Sensible analysis. Then i also have to ask, why 11k homeless here—rationale is everything from mild climate to lack of drug enforcement.

      But, based on your numbers, building more housing or shelters would seem logical. However what are the consequences of that?
      Sep 15, 2018
    • Expedia Huifriugj
      Assuming you’re thinking about the incentives this engenders? So, if we house them will another 11k follow? Maybe... it’s a complex/hard problem without a good single answer. Programs to help establish a stability baseline have to be in place, housing is just a start. Wrap around services (help with setting structure, hygiene (dental, other), getting a job, money management fundamentals, etc., etc.) may be absolutely critical for some & not needed at all by others. More beds seems a good place to start & learn more though.
      Sep 15, 2018
    • Expedia Huifriugj
      PS: Food, the original topic you asked about, is both cheaper and easier to provide at scale. So potentially a better place to start and learn with less risk of unintended consequences.
      Sep 15, 2018
  • Microsoft Ffs...
    Lefties should read this thread
    Sep 15, 2018 0
  • Google Ihyhffdgbh
    Surprise surprise. I guess the government should just throw more money.
    Sep 15, 2018 0
  • Microsoft Savior
    I offer money at signals only when I see disabled or very old folks.
    Sep 15, 2018 0
  • Accenture zoDs67
    In Europe I've seen this go both ways. There are weird assholes that have no shame and just want money without work. Then there is an actual mafia crippling people and then sending them to the rich cities of the west to collect money. Finally, normal homeless people: for some reason a lot less junkies among them than in the US. They are just happy about any kind act. That said, we have a strong social net that provides food and shelter and money to everyone. Nobody needs to live on the street around here. Some... decide to for some reason instead of taking the help. Never understood that. Weird sense of pride I guess. Others simply don't speak the language and dont know the options
    Sep 15, 2018 0
  • Visa
    TeaSea

    Visa

    BIO
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    TeaSeamore
    I've had the same response when offering food to homeless people in SF.
    Sep 15, 2018 0
  • Uber / Eng
    jH3ndu

    Uber Eng

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    jH3ndumore
    You can solve homeless problem with money. You can only have more homeless.
    Sep 14, 2018 0