On April 24, about 100 people camped out overnight at Westlake Park to demand more humane and effective solutions to homelessness in King County.
Led by Real Change, share/wheel and Nickelsville, the protestors aimed their demands at the Committee to End Homelessness in King County (cehkc), a coalition of government, business and community leaders that in 2005 embraced the Ten-Year Plan to End Homelessness. That plan isn't working, say supporters of the campaign called Occupy cehkc.
The Ten-Year Plan unfairly pits short-term survival strategies, like funding for shelters, against longer-term goals like affordable housing. It fails to address underlying economic issues that are root causes of homelessness, such as a lack of living wage jobs and the criminalization of the poor, organizers say.
After spending the night at Westlake Park, protestors marched to city hall to present their demands at a meeting of the cehkc Governing Board, whose members include Mayor Mike McGinn, King County Executive Dow Constantine and Blake Nordstrom, president of Nordstrom, Inc.