No matter our differences, all of us want to ensure our families and communities are safe.
CID: Safety Not Sweeps will improve the quality of life for people in the Chinatown-International District and Little Saigon and help save lives. No matter our differences, all of us want to ensure our families and communities are safe.
But in the last years, the City of Seattle has spent over $50 million dollars on “sweeps” to forcibly tear down encampments. People lose their identification, their medications, and their whole lives are disrupted. Sweeps actively make everyone in the neighborhood less safe because they worsen the conditions that lead to isolation, harm, and violence.
Factors that lead to decreased safety include housing instability, poverty, exploitative employment, and police misconduct. No one wants to find themselves in this situation, but right now people aren’t provided with enough housing or treatment services to help them on a path to stability and recovery.
The CID: Safety Not Sweeps campaign will improve lives by supporting the CID and Little Saigon community by promoting pro-active sanitation, community-based public safety, and housing options – so that people can overcome challenging situations, and the CID and Little Saigon can be a better place for families and communities.
We have an opportunity right now to redefine public safety and prevent our residents from experiencing further neglect and abuse. Let's hold them accountable to act now.
From our community:
Thanh-Nga “Tanya” Nguyễn
Resident of the Chinatown-International District and a small business owner of ChuMinh Tofu and Vegan Deli
“As a resident and business owner in Little Saigon, I know that if we continue to fight and oppose one another little will get done, so I hope that we can work together to improve our city for everyone. I understand that the sweeps are intended to help our community. However, I also see that after the sweeps, most of the unhoused people who were forced out simply return to the same place. We cannot let people just sleep there and they just live wherever they can. It’s not stable. People can be easily harmed when they are living in tents. We have to fight for them to have not only a shelter, but a house at the end.
Having seen some of the shelters we provide to people without houses, many of them are lacking accommodations and feel more like a prison. I have spoken to some of our unhoused guests and heard stories that in shelters, some people speak loudly all night, no one has any personal space, people steal things, the stronger bully the weaker. They are not safe there.
This is a big problem. If we keep relying on sweeps, these community members just continue to live in inexcusable conditions. We also just can’t stop the sweeps and do nothing in return–as a small business owner, I know that it is not sustainable for small businesses to have to manage unhoused community members ourselves. I propose that we should define an area with tiny houses for them and give them a place to live, and connect them with services so that they can live at an acceptable living standard, so that they can find a job and have medical and rehabilitation services.”
Teach-in event announcement!
Join us Monday, Sept. 26, 5pm for a virtual teach-in to envision the future of our neighborhood. We will discuss how encampment sweeps punish our community by worsening our living conditions, and strategize how to move forward.
If sweeps of our neighbors continue, what will the neighborhood lose? How is this connected to histories of neglect and under-resourcing for our neighborhood? How do we ensure safety for us all, both housed and unhoused? What is the future YOU want to see?
Register for the event here: https://tinyurl.com/SafetyNotSweepsTeachIn