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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Seattle's homeless crisis episode 4: Inside the SHARE/WHEEL mafia complex

The following is a testimony by Maurice Newhope, who has stayed at Seattle's notorious share shelters and tent cities. Maurice Newhope is a conservative libertarian activist who has experienced homelessness in the past after he was wrongfully and unjustly accused of a crime. Despite having his name cleared, his arrest record has stopped him from finding work and he has difficulty. It is his third time being homeless in America. Maurice expects to get housing in a month or so in New Hampshire. He currently works part time in the Manchester Concord metro area. 

Maurice was enrolled in SHARE/WHEEL from April to October of 2015. For those of you who don't remember SHARE/WHEEL is a network of homeless shelters run by a leftist militant organization of activists who are currently or formerly homeless. They are also allied with local left wing agitators and civil service unions. Up till the fiscal crisis this year that closed their indoor shelters, SHARE WHEEL ran several indoor shelters and 3 tent cities. Here now is his story of what he witnessed

Share shelters you see have a lot of indoor shelters that are run inside churches. Two of them are run inside places run by civic organizations such as the vets hall. Also Safe Haven is located in Pioneer square in an empty building. Then there is Bunkhouse, probably the worst shelter along with Woodland Park Methodist church which is located in the hood in the south side. Its a house which has a day shelter and overnight shelter.

Share also runs a program called Share2. Its an organization that I think is far superior to the other places and I think that all the shelters should be run like it. They work in three houses in South Seattle in and around Othello and Rainier Beach. They require you to pay $80 rent and to work and in exchange you get your own room, a kitchenette and other perks. This is better than the other places. They also have storage lockers.

The tent cities are outdoor shelters for people who have no place else to go. Most of the people who stay there were kicked out of the indoor shelters for bad behavior or for being high or drunk. They are terrible places to live in. Poor sanitation, no heat, people screaming raving and being rude, nothing to eat.

I stayed at tent city 3, Bunkhouse nights, Woodland Park, St Luke's and Christ Episcopal church. My first night in SHARE began with screening in at the office on 2nd and Pike in the back of New Hope Catholic church. We had to wait across the street till 6pm since the owners of nearby businesses didn't want loitering. Then we were allowed to walk in. (Not orderly though) We then signed up for whatever shelter there was available. I asked the man at the desk what he though would be a good place to start, he suggested CEC. I did.

The man who screened me in was also a share participant. In fact everyone there including security were members. When I screened in I used an assumed name. I had been told they usually do not ask for ID unless you might look like someone who was permanently bared from that particular shelter or all shelters. There is also a discretionary rule I am told. Screeners can allow anyone they want or turn away anyone they want to, this despite the fact that SHARE/WHEEL is in compliance with civil rights laws.

I guess that don't apply here. It is known that people have been discriminated for race, religion, sexual orientation and so on at screening. Also people with disabilities are made unwelcome at times. Fortunately I had no problem even though I was black. The man who screened me told me a list of do's and don'ts, I signed my name and I was told to meet at a certain place and time to get in. That was it. They didn't ask me for my ID or anything.

Some of the Do's and Don'ts are requiring sobriety, (usually people show up intoxicated and drunk anyway and nothing is done) be on time, (again that doesn't always apply though usually they have a late job to go to so never mind that. I think they should make them an exception.) do chores like sweep and mop the floors in the morning before everyone leaves, go to meetings, do security and make sure nobody is out of place or there are no fires and so on. Sensible things.

We came in at 9:30pm and left at around 7am. When I got to CEC in the University district north of downtown I stayed at, things already came to a head. A man who had been bared several nights ago argued with the EC and wanted his stuff. They let him in and let him out and told him not to come back. He screamed and complained at the EC then left.

The EC is the elected Coordinator. The AC is the Assistant coordinator. These people are elected by shelter members to handle the daily operations of the shelter such as assigning chores, talking to the pastor of the church about issues, issuing bars and bus tickets and keeping track of attendance. The AC helps out and is second in command if the EC is not present.

On my first day i was given a tour, a mat to sleep on, told where things were like the restrooms and so on. I was then issued bus tickets. They used to give those away. Two bus tickets for each client. One to leave, one to come back. The tickets are only good for King county Metro buses and could not be used for Sound Transit buses or Link Light rail which at the time did not go up to the U-district.

CEC was okay I guess. It was Co-ed, the people were nice, there were a couple of people who weren't so good. One was a screw ball who got thrown out for using the bathroom sink to bathe in and the other for causing disturbances late at night.

I was given two chores since not very many people were there that week. I mopped the floors and went to a meeting. Meetings are generally held at the Share office on 2nd and Pike where I screened in. Meetings that involve communicating with donors such as making letters out to them or creating flyers. Usually food is served there

The two most popular meetings were DAWG (direct action work Group) and Power Lunch. The Power lunch is the nerve center of operations. Share staff and share members meet at either a church, at the storage locker place, Bunkhouse, the Aloha INN or at the tent cities. They served very good meals there at times and there they discuss the functions of SHARE and vote on policies.

The meetings can be heated at times, many times people get rash over policies and issues. The biggest issues when I was there involved SHARE's Massive debt problem, bar committee reports on deciding whether one's crime was so severe it should either be an all shelter bar or bar from just that one shelter.

SHARE/WHEEL is democratically operated. Share staff such as the consultant Scott Morrow have clout but its the SHARE/WHEEL participants who have a final say. I sat in on a couple of these meetings. I got to eat and hear what was going on. I also saw just how flawed Democracy can be.

At times the meetings showed the predatory side of Democracy. For example, a man who was wheelchair bound was permanently bared not just from all shelters but from the tent cities as well. His crime, he is physically disabled. When he showed  up to screen in, no one wanted to take him in because he was in a wheel chair. He held a protest of his own and demanded accommodation. It was a sit in. Police came and escorted him out. He was given a permanent bar from share. he was forced to spend the evenings outside because of this.

At the power lunch meeting, the wheel chair man came. I was in attendance at that meeting. The man had been a Vietnam war veteran, homeless for 2 years because of an accident involving a drunk driver. The drunk got 3 years, he lost the use of his legs. Wheelchair bound, not able to work he was frustrated that they would not let him in just because he was crippled.

Power lunch showed no sympathy whatsoever. One person argued that the church shelters were not equipped for wheelchair clients, which is a lie, they had wheel chair access under ADA guidelines, these people simply did not want him in their shelter all because he was crippled.

I raised my hand and asked what everyone's problem was, pointing out that they had wheel chair access, they basically changed subjects from access to how people in wheelchairs were more trouble than they were worth, they were disruptive, obscene and always demanded special rights just like the retarded as one person pointed out at the meeting. And nobody thought it was harsh or cruel that this person should be left to suffer. They also claimed that he was mentally ill and crazy just for protesting and that Share doesn't need crazy people. They just unloaded a barrage of insults at this person.

Then they brought up his war record. He pointed out he was a veteran and worked to protect this country in Vietnam. He was attacked for this. Another woman claimed that being crippled was just deserts for children he and other men crippled in Nam and for crimes committed against the Vietnamese people. All around the room people said he was a war criminal, a hate monger, a pig and so on.

I raised my hand to ask what about the people murdered by the Viet Cong and Ho Chi Minh and the millions murdered by communism (most of the people in SHARE including those who participated in power lunch are open communists BTW.) but some other guy there raised his hand and made a motion to move on which was seconded.

As a result of the motion the subject to remove the all share bar was dropped. The man demanded a say and was told he already had to say and was asked to leave the premises. As he did so the meeting continued, one of the men in the power lunch, I heard him say "if he ever comes back I'll set him on fire." he also called him an A-hole.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Hear that?! Disability rights activists who want equality and the right to participate in the economy and society are disruptive, retarded, obscene and so on, our veterans are all a-holes and war criminals BUT A BUNCH OF FILTHY WORTHLESS BUMS; ABLE BODIED STURDY BEGGARS CAMPING OUT AT CITY HALL USING DRUGS AND HAVING SEX, SCREAMING FOR MORE MONEY FROM HARD WORKING AMERICANS AND WHO DON'T WANT TO WORK, THAT'S OKAY! THAT'S THEIR RIGHT!! What is society coming to people!?

Power lunch meetings aside from occasional dramas tend to be boring. Usually people go there to eat or voice concerns or opinions. At times the power lunch is staffed by decent folks usually from the Tent cities, other times it is staffed by lazy shiftless commies from occupy wall street.

Speaking of discrimination, I received the privilege of being a screener when I was at CEC and Woodland park. I was taught discretion is important. Do not screen in anyone you think may be trouble to the shelter or may be intoxicated or mentally ill. I was never taught whatever constituted that meaning though. But as I learned from my fellow screeners, that could range from anything from having different political views, race or just about any stupid reason. I only refused screening in people who were not sober. One man was drunk, I told him he had to come back tomorrow because of alcohol in his breath.

As long as they weren't drunk or not on the bar list, they were alright by me. But I noticed many people being turned away either because it was thought they might have mental illness (illegal to do BTW) or that they were physically disabled using either a wheel chair or a walker. One brother was telling me how in some shelters they literally have a race war going on... Whites VS the blacks and vice versa, trying to get mostly people of their race into the shelter. Also in some shelters, people of a different race can be barred more days than the majority so I as a black man was more likely to be bared and for more days than a white man in say GOG or Bethany Lutheran. Me, I just took them as they came. Three people sign up for screening, one black, one Samoan, one white, They come in sober, They haven't been bared from our shelter or all shelters, I let them in.

I stayed at CEC for about a few weeks. I got bared for 7 days for missing a chore. I had been told the wrong time it was on. The chore sheet even made mention of it but instead of at one it was at two. The EC gave me a seven day bar. I then screened into Bunkhouse nights in the hood but couldn't stand all the problems there so I screened into Woodland Park which I found out was just as bad.

Before going on I should like to tell you about some of the shelters they got. I am told that Bethany Lutheran, Vets hall, St Lukes and CEC are the best ones. They are cleaner, they have kitchen facilities (CEC had a kitchen but we weren't allowed to use it just a microwave.) for meals and some places even shows. Vets hall had a coin operated laundry and shower and Maple Leaf located far to the north had a shower too.

The worst ones aside from Bunkhouse nights so I was told by my fellow Share members were Maple leaf located far to the north in Wedge Wood, Safe Haven which was downtown, University Lutheran or ULU as it was known which was the women's shelter and Woodland Park Methodist church located up near Shoreline. That is where I stayed next.

Woodland Park united Methodist church is located in the Phinney Ridge neighborhood. Its north of downtown Seattle and close to UWashington. The neighborhood is mostly noted for its zoo and that there are bars all over the place. No wonder that Woodland Park is known as Woodland Drunk. Many of its participants were drunk including the EC of our shelter, an immigrant who was from Germany I think, I don't remember, but he was an old obnoxious Nazi racist who constantly showed up at our shelter lit up like a Christmas tree.

he would scream obscenities while drunk, he called Gino Vannelli, the 70s singer a kike, called Michael Jackson the n-word (in front of me and other black guests I might add) and would sing German drinking songs. He apologized to me and my brother claiming he didn't hate us and thought black lives mattered. Then would rip out a loud burp that smelled so bad it almost made me sick to my stomach.

They never did put him out or others like him out. It wasn't until he went to far one night with our shelter supervisor present that he was literally thrown out of the shelter. It all happened because he had made lude remarks towards women at the bus stop we met at and allegations from the deli across the street from that stop that he was shoplifting booze. Its possible. I learned just after he had been put out that he was arrested for stealing beer from a local Safeway.

So we put him out. Later on the problems continued. We had our shelter closed for one night because a member was caught upstairs drinking and he was not bared. I ended up sleeping at a motel and then it happened again because we missed a meeting and another member made a mess at the church. So we spent two nights out. I spent those two nights at St Lukes which was better run.

Later I decided to take a look at the tent cities. I found that they were the worst of all. As Brian mentioned in a previous article they were unsanitary and dirty. The people there were okay and responsible, many of them outdoorsy but I hated it. It was cold, wet and smelled terrible.

I for one do not want my taxes to go to funding these terrible places. Believe me. I've been homeless in and out for the last 2 years and know a thing or two. I spent 3 weeks there before I decided to hit the road and spend the rest of my days at St Lukes in Ballard. Ballard is a nice community made up of Scandinavian immigrants. They're liberal over there and progressive but one thing is that they are nice people. Very generous and even religious. The church hosts a breakfast that homeless and low income people come to eat at every morning. The food is okay.

We did have a couple of trouble makers stay at our shelter though. They got kicked out. Not before the police had to get called though. I guess discrimination hasn't worked out after all. A handicapped vet in a wheel chair can't stay at our shelters, neither can mentally ill adults in treatment who need a place to stay while they work out their troubles. People of a certain race or political affiliation can't stay at certain shelters either depending on who's screening and who's running things but drunks, addicts, psychos, even sex offenders have free reign over the place.

Oh! I forgot to mention that. Share got into a lot of trouble about sex offenders. They don't know that they don't check their IDs or do back ground checks. Still, they got some shelters that do background checks on some people and keep the pedophiles out. When I was at CEC, they outed on such pervert who used a fake ID to stay at CEC. The EC gave him 5 minutes to leave before he told everyone his "secret." Unfortunately they don't keep up. I was told that the FBI raided CEC years ago because a man who ran a child sex ring was staying there. He's now in Walla Walla getting a taste of his own medicine praise be to God.

Like I said, good people are in share. Decent, Christian, hard working people who have had a bad time. As Brian told me on the phone awhile back you can tell the difference between a needy homeless person and a homeless bum who is just idling away by their politics. People here tend to be conservative like me. That's a good sign but its so sad that all these commies are ruining everything.

Now, before finishing let me tell you about the other nasty shelter they run. The women's shelter. University Lutheran AKA ULU or as it used  to be known, Uscrew! ULU is the all women's shelter in the U-district other than the Lakeview shelter and Wheel shelter. I heard they had another place for women at Our lady of Guadaloupe in Queen Anne that was quite nice.

ULU however as I am told by ladies who have stayed there is not so nice. This is where the craziest and most psychotic of women can be found. Not a pretty looker among them I'm told but that wasn't the case five years ago. Prostitution was rampant at Ulu AKA Uscrew. Homeless women used to sell their bodies on the streets of the U-district from out of that place. It caused quite a scandal. The EC was even acting as pimp. She was barred thereafter and many of the working women were also given permanent bars.

The church and SHARE/WHEEL have since swept that whole incident under the rug. Rumors have it however that some women actually prostitute themselves out of Ulu. I can't imagine anyone wanting to do that based on what I have been told about the place.

One woman told me of how one of the residents never bathed and had bed bugs crawling all over her body. Another resident tried to set the place on fire using oil and a frying pan because she was caught stealing from there and was kicked out. stealing has been a common problem there and the church almost shut the place down.

One other incident that took place involved a woman from Laos who burned the American flag at the shelter and claimed that America was stupid and hated living here. She was insane and was kicked out of every other shelter in SHARE/WHEEL. Then there was a recent incident that happened before I left share where a Ulu resident flashed people outside the church as they were leaving.

I spent most of 2015 in Seattle and in autumn I headed out. I went down to Texas to stay at a relative's place down in Amarillo. I worked, saved money and hopefully next month or the month after I will get a place of my own in Concord or Manchester and help the free state movement there. Currently I am in New Hampshire, can't say where but I am doing fine.

In closing let me say that SHARE/WHEEL has some good decent people but not everyone is decent. Seattle isn't going to clear them off city property anytime soon no matter what they do there (I for one do not want to guess. I saw enough at TC-3 TC-4 and Bunkhouse nights)But I think they should use this opportunity to straighten SHARE out. Give them the money, pay their debts but make sure they remain on the straight and narrow path.

No boozing, no hustling, allowed in shelters, no money for tent cities, use it for indoor shelters only. No discrimination in screening, no outrageous use of funds like 5k for coffee, (THERE ARE SEVERAL BIG FOOD BANKS JUST IN BALLARD THAT CAN PROVIDE THAT!) and accountable staff and ECs at all shelters, no horsing around and loafing, require that all members be enrolled in housing and require they receive case management.

Like Brian I am against the welfare state. I've been on it too so I know for a fact it stinks! But since Seattle wants so badly to give them money and since Share wants it so badly, they should take this opportunity to put them right.

Thank you to all of you for your prayers and support. I don't know what I'd do without your help and without the New England Alliance for liberty and free markets. I'll be off the streets soon. Count on it. In the mean time I continue to work and take one step up at a time. Thank you again for your help and support.

Maurice Newhope

The preceding was a testimony of Maurice Newhope who spent nearly a year in the SHARE/WHEEL shelters.

If you or anyone you know has been the victim of discrimination by SHARE/WHEEL or its affiliates including the Transit Rider's Union, Women in Black, The Socialist party of Washington, Communist party USA Washington affiliate, Seattle against Trump, the SEIU, SHARE/WHEEL church hosts,  and you were discriminated against because of disability, race, religion, color, creed or political beliefs contact the New England Alliance for liberty and Free Markets! We want to hear your testimony! You might be paid for cash for your testimony if it is published on our blog and may receive legal assistance in Washington! 

Offer valid only in the USA. Payment is based on content of testimony and the decision of New England Alliance staff. All testimonies given will be checked upon for legitimacy of claims. Submitting a story or testimony does not neccesary mean it will be published or payment willbe made. All submitted testimonies become property of the NEALFM. all rights reserved.


Anonymous said...

Homeless hos? How much did they charge? I betcha they smell awful as they look!

Anonymous said...

I guess there are men who like ugly disturbed smelly women. EW!!

Anonymous said...

There really aren't that many bars in Phiney ridge as compared to Downtown Seattle and the surrounding area. Having lived there myself till I moved to Auburn Last year I know this. I am aware that Woodland Park Methodist church is full of dirty annoying bums and trailer trash. I used to hear them late at night when they were on the patio smoking they were loud and used coarse language. The neighbors used to complain about it. Worse just having it there has attracted homeless from all over the area.

Anonymous said...

The reason there are drunks and bums up in Woodland Park and Phiney Ridge isn't because of bars and stuff. We got that in every suburb of Seattle. Its because they got a homeless shelter up in that church that bums and drunks show up. Even after they closed it down and moved into King County administration they still come up here and make trouble! Its a disgrace!

Anonymous said...

I live just a block down the road from one of these cesspits! St John's near the Zoo on 33rd street! Every night I come home I drive past and they almost always have police officers there or firemen or an ambulance because some guy shows up drunk and starts trouble! I remember one time they had to close the place for 5 days because a two guys stabbed each other in a fight there. It was crazy! They closed the road down and had police men everywhere! It was around eleven o'clock at night! I saw all these lights down the road I went to look there were cop cars everywhere! This one guy was arrested he was on the squad car handcuffed screaming profanity.

We had a town meeting that day saying it should be shut down if they can't keep out the riff raff, Scott Morrow said that the three assailants had been banned previously but all showed up anyway and the EC let them come in. They were all intoxicated and all three of them started a fight, two of them had a knife. Scott told everyone that the shelter would be closed for 5 days. THAT;S ALL!? WTF?!

I was walking past the church one afternoon, there was this black guy sitting on the bus stop across the street saying, HEY WHITE MAN! I KNOW YOU WORKING WITH THE POLICE GETTING US ALL THROWN OUT OF THERE FOR A WEEK!! I told him, no I haven't spoken to the cops! "AH HA! YEAH YOU WHITE PEOPLE LIVING OFF ALL OUR BACKS! WE GONNA RISE UP ON YOU HONKYS AND SMASH ALL YOU ONE DAY!!" I found out that this same animal broke into the church to get his backpack he left behind and got arrested.

They still are there By the way. Every night I drive home I pass it and at least once or twice a week there's ambulances cop cars ETC. They wont shut it down. Woodland park which is down the road I'm told has similar problems, they're drunk, they're shoplifting alcohol and steaks from the grocery stores nearby, causing all kinds of trouble. City council wont throw them out because "OH THEY HAVE NO PLACE TO GO!" Send them someplace else!