Seattle King County Coalition on Homelessness-Bad Statistics

badst atisticsSeattle King County Coalition on Homelessness-Bad Statistics
According to stats from Seattle King Co. Coalition on Homelessness, 30% lost
job, 20% drug & alcohol use, 11% eviction, 9% eviction/separation, 8% illness/medical problems, 6% domestic violence. I absolutely agree that not all individuals that are homeless are addicts. I think most people understand that. Those that don’t most likely have not worked with or spent time with the homeless. So there cannot be generalized stereotyping of the homeless. Stereotyping will not solve the problem.  At the same time I absolutely disagree with the statistics shared. I disagree for a variety of reasons. It is disturbing to me because false statistics limit the effectiveness of helping the homeless.

Why I challenge the legitimacy of the statistics:
1. There were very few people interviewed. Many of the homeless refuse to answer surveys. (Acknowledged by those who do the surveys.)
2. There are those who are addicted to drugs that are not going to say they are addicted to drugs. Yes, they are going to lie.
3. Some who are homeless because of illness is because their illness is the result of addiction.
4. Some who are homeless because of evictions got evicted because of drugs.
5. Some who lost there jobs is because of their addiction.
6. Domestic violence at times has addiction involved, yes even the victim at times is active in addiction (they still do not deserve to be abused).
7. Divorce, separation, etc certainly at times includes addiction.

If it is only 5% increase in each category because of addictions the figure would not be 20% but 55%. Almost for sure it is more than 5% increase.

I also disagree because the drug epidemic is worse than it ever has been, thus more homeless that are addicted.

I also disagree because an overwhelming majority at illegal and legal encampments refuse to take the help offered to them.

I also disagree because a person that is not addicted and not ill would not live in encampments that are garbage pits when there are other options.

I also disagree because of spending around seven years every single day with homeless people. Speaking with them, eating with them, providing services for them, going to food banks with them.

How in the world can the homelessness problem be fixed if those claiming to want to help the homeless claim that only 20% of the homeless have addiction issues when it is more likely at least 55%. They will not come up with solutions that will have long term results.

I would agree the last few years the increase in homelessness is certainly more than just addictions. Certainly are more factors than addictions. The outrageous cost of housing issue must certainly be addressed. Even if the more accurate statistic is 55% of the homeless have addictions, that leaves 45% that don’t. But many of them will become addicts if their homeless problem is not solved.Homelessness, depression, hopelessness, unhealthy environment all can be factors to being a person to make very poor choices.

BTW mental illness certainly plays a role in regards to addiction, loss of a job, evictions, etc.  I would argue that mental illness is a very large factor regarding the homelessness issue. Even if a person did not have mental health issues when they became homeless, very few people can live in a homeless situation for very long before it affects them mentally. If you add addiction to the equation even more of a chance of mental health issues.

Isn’t it time we all at least get on the same page about the seriousness of the addiction problem.  Let’s have a multi-faceted approach to the homelessness problem. Address the addiction, mental illness, and lack of affordable housing issues realistically, I will add that if we totally ignore the spiritual component we will certainly have less success in getting the handle on the homelessness issue in Burien and the surrounding areas. People who are spiritually healthy make better choices in life and are more able to handle with the hardships that life brings at times.

You disagree? Feel feel free to post comments or become a blogger so you can post articles yourself.

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