intacoma's Blog

Jul. 9, 2008 at 9:45am

Family Moves Into The Elks


So sad for two days I've had to walk past a family with all of their stuff parked on the Spanish steps. I woman, man, and two little kids. I guess with the construction happening on both sides of the stairs it makes it hard for the downtown narks to sweep them away.

shitty times, hate seeing people living on the street.

comments [28]  |  posted under Elks, Tacoma


by NineInchNachos on 7/9/2008 @ 10:13am
yikes hard times

by Dave L. on 7/9/2008 @ 1:29pm
"shitty times, hate seeing people living on the street."
That's sad, and especially bad when innocent kids are involved. This is stating the obvious, but so many families are living on the edge, that with rising prices of food and shelter it doesn't take much be edged out and on the Steps. I hope they find assistance, or assistance finds them.

by escaping slave on 7/10/2008 @ 8:17am
Yep, sure hope my tax dollars find them. Guess I don't need my own money that I worked hard for to help myself and my family get by. I guess it's my job, since I work hard and didn't settle, to fund those who can't make it.

Now, why in the world should I continue to work and be productive if it's only helping those who aren't productive? Some incentive. Maybe I'll just be like them, and know that someone else's tax dollars are going to help me, like mine helped them. Ah, the circle of giving.

by izenmania on 7/10/2008 @ 8:32am
Yes, I'm quite certain they are sitting on those steps under their blankets saying "It's okay, kids, we don't have to try because the government will bail us out any second now with someone else's money." No doubt that is their goal.

Either that or what you just said was idiotically judgemental. One of those two things is definitely true. I just can't decide which one...

by Nick on 7/10/2008 @ 8:57am
Yeah, I'm pretty sure living on the Spanish Steps with their kids was not a decision made to exploit the social services our government agencies provide. In fact, I'm pretty sure it wasn't a decision at all...

by Nick on 7/10/2008 @ 9:22am
Ashley and I decided if they are still there after work today, we're going to make 'em dinner and help them find a more suitable place to stay (any nearby shelters anyone knows about? Urban Grace maybe?).

by FunkomaVintage on 7/10/2008 @ 9:24am
...escaping slave will never ever have anything bad ever ever happen to him...he lives a charmed life....
Words to live by: There but for the grace of god go I....

by escaping slave on 7/10/2008 @ 9:45am
Tacoma Rescue Mission. That's where my donations go, so people who need help can go there. Try the Salvation Army. Try the Goodwill. Try a local church.

It is a decision. They decide to sit there. How is that not a decision? They can get up and go find a program/job/family/church/friends to help them instead of just sitting there. If they're having a hard time here, maybe they need to move on to where it's better for them.

Not all people rely on government handouts, but some people do and some breed it into their kids to be dependent on the government, and so it goes. Maybe someone should start conversation with this family and get their story. Maybe they choose to be homeless, which is fine. Just don't depend on my money to help you, unless I choose to give it to you or a charity to help your cause. I don't choose to give out tax dollars to help people, I'm forced to and I don't have a choice in where it goes.

Well, seeing how concerned many are on here, I'm sure these people will be taken care of in no time. So what's everyone doing to help instead of saying, how shitty, times are tough?

by intacoma on 7/10/2008 @ 9:54am
walked by them this morning still there, they usually are there in the morning sleeping

by NineInchNachos on 7/10/2008 @ 9:55am
i subscribe to that philosophy which goes a little something like this:

"Sometimes the best way to do good is to do nothing."

things have a way of sorting themselves out. Maybe they want to avoid the Tacoma Rescue Mission brainwashing sessions. Maybe they're guarding the Spanish steps from all those evil illegal immigrants. who knows?

I look forward to Nick's future posts on his adventures.

by escaping slave on 7/15/2008 @ 3:34pm
Has anyone helped these people yet? I've been waiting to hear from the caring, concerned folks on FeedTacoma. Has anyone invited the family into their place to help them out? I'm excited to hear what people are doing for their fellow man who is suffering.

I saw this online:
Free clothes washing gives Tacomans a clean start

GET HELP Free laundry service is available for free Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Salvation Army parking lot, 1501 Sixth Ave., Tacoma. The event is sponsored by Tide Cleanstart Mobile Laundromat program and Salvation Army.

"Maybe they want to avoid the Tacoma Rescue Mission brainwashing sessions."

NIN, I concur with that. But nothing is free, so you might have to take what people are dishing out if you're not going to give anything for what you're getting. There's always a price, even if it's not money. Even the laundry service from Tide has something attached to it: one's health. And it's at the Salvation Army, so I'm sure Jesus will be served up with the chemicals.

by NineInchNachos on 7/16/2008 @ 9:23am
the family is still there as of July 16th. they look to be the 'differently saned' type yo

by chrism39 on 7/16/2008 @ 10:59am
Escaping slave you have subscribed to the myths our country perpetuate when it comes to the poor, homeless, people on assistance ect. Do you think this is their dream to be living on the steps of the elks club. Maybe they do not have family to help them, maybe the shelters are full ( that happens more than we know) Maybe they do not want to be seperated ( many shelters will not house an entire family and the men and women have to go different places) Maybe they are concerned to have their children reside in the shelters because some of them are less than safe. By the way do you really know how much of your money goes to helping people on assistance? Are you really so naive to think that in this economy that everyone out there can emulate Horatio Alger and pull themselves up by there bootstraps? A little compassion could go a long way. Have you ever heard the statistic that most families are two paychecks away from homelessness? Besides compassion, education on this matter would add to your posts.

by izenmania on 7/16/2008 @ 11:18am
From what I heard from someone who did stop and talk to them, it sounds like they got evicted because the father was living with them but only the mother was on the lease. Since they were not contractually supposed to have another adult living in their apartment, the landlord had permissible cause to kick them out. So it doesn't really sound like they are sitting around waiting for the world to rescue them. Just a temporary bad situation. It can be hard to find a place in a decent price range for a family that quickly.

by Nick on 7/16/2008 @ 11:33am
Last weekend Ashley and I bought them a pizza from PSP, refilled their water jug, and got them some essentials (toothbrushes, toothpaste, bandaids, hand sanitizer, etc.). They were actually extremely greatful for the help and it sounds like they're on their way to getting back on their feet.

So the lowdown: There was a mother, father, their son (maybe 6 or 7 years old?) and another woman with them (friend/family member? not sure). Apparrently the mother was kicked out of her apartment for allowing the father and the other woman to live with her without the landlord's approval. Granted, this is a one-sided story, so I took that for what it was worth.

Either way, they have tried almost every shelter they could find and all were full, and are basically in limbo until they can find a new apartment to live in.

by Nick on 7/16/2008 @ 11:36am
I think the thing they appreciated most was being treated like people. Most people walk by and, feeling awkward, ignore them as though they weren't there.

Just acknowledging their presence noticeably raised their spirits. When we arrived they looked dejected and were somewhat suspicious when they realized we were actually talking to them. By the time we left the mother and father were poking fun at each other and the boy was running all over the place. It's amazing what some conversation and pizza can do sometimes...

by chrism39 on 7/16/2008 @ 12:51pm
That is so awesome, you are not only a nice person, but you have compassion as well. I believe we will all rise higher when we cease to put others down.

by NineInchNachos on 7/16/2008 @ 12:58pm
Way to be Nick! 10+ points awarded

by Nick on 7/16/2008 @ 1:22pm
That's right, 1 step towards heaven, probably a couple of steps back towards hell this week ;-)

by ensie on 7/16/2008 @ 4:02pm
Nick, you and Ashley teh awesome. I owe you pizza next time we see you.

by Girl Who <3 JUNK on 7/16/2008 @ 4:11pm
To Nick and Ashley.

I have not met you yet.

Hope to soon.

You two are angels!

"Dumpster Diving Diva"

by escaping slave on 7/17/2008 @ 3:01pm
Glad to hear the update! Good work.

Sounds like it was their own actions that brought it upon themselves. Does that make me a bastard because I said that? But is it not the truth? Did they not have someone living there who wasn't supposed to be living there, and for that they are now homeless? I know, it's the landlord who's the bastard for having rules. Someone's to blame, just not them, as always.

If most people are two paychecks away from being homeless, who put them there? I didn't do it, so why do I have to help? Because I work hard, which everyone has the right to do, I have to share my wealth with strangers who don't appear to be helping themselves? I gladly help my family and friends, as well as donate my money and reusable household items (I even buy brand new stuff and donate it) to various causes. Whether the money goes to what it's supposed to go to, I can't always control that unfortunately, which makes me not give to people and groups I don't know. And yes, my tax dollars (whether directly taxed or through sales taxes or increased prices) do go to help subsidized government programs that I don't benefit from. Maybe when the government starts sending me a receipt I'll know where that money's going.

Why should I help people I don't know? What's their character? How do I know they're worth my investment? I understand they're a human being, but then a block up the street is another one, and another and another, so then I have to do the same to everybody, don't I? Then I'm not treating them equally and I'm discriminating in someone's eyes. When does it stop? I prefer to treat them all as equally as possible - acknowledge them and keep walking.

Sorry that I don't just hand money out to anyone. At least in Tijuana kids dance or strum a guitar for their handouts instead of just sitting there, which it is a choice to just sit anywhere. Are they painted on there? Are they strapped down? If not, it's a choice. Oh, that's right - the man's keeping them down.

I prefer to go into local businesses and help local business owners who are trying to make it and not just sitting around waiting for things to get better. Maybe I'll ask them if they would prefer I go invest my money in people sitting on the streets instead of coming into their business. I may not be helping the person sitting on the street - I'm busy helping the business owners and people who are helping themselves.

Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime.

by Dave_L on 7/17/2008 @ 3:55pm
"Why should I help people I don't know? What's their character? How do I know they're worth my investment?"

Are you just trying to continue the debate, or is that truly how you feel and all it comes down to for you? (I hope it's the fomer, not the latter.)

by ensie on 7/17/2008 @ 4:16pm
ES - it's totally up to you to do with your money and your possessions as you like. And I applaud you for being willing to post what appears to be a more selfish sounding position and take your knocks for it.

Online, one can only take your word that you do what you say. So if you donate to organizations that help the poor, good for you. And if you choose to support business owners instead of the homeless, again, that's your choice.

Some of us have made different choices, and a lot of us choose to help specific families as well as general organizations.

I also have to point out that no one has bagged on the landlord for removing the family from his property. It's only been commented upon that it is a sad situation - a family living on the street. During this time of economic hardship a lot of families are coming closer and closer to the edge. I'm experiencing it myself - having been laid off from a company at for 11 years!

Finding resources, advocates, a job, and a place to stay can be extremely hard once you are on the street. I applaud those above who took it upon themselves (and Tacomachickadee who made the phone call to a homeless advocate) to assist this family who has fallen on hard times.

Sometimes people make poor decisions, but that doesn't mean we should just abandon them to the system and hope they get lucky. Sometimes we, as individuals, have to step in.

by Mary on 7/17/2008 @ 4:17pm
"Does that make me a bastard because I said that?"


I think your overwhelming lack of compassion makes you a ...well, you can figure out where this is going. I pity you and your ability to be so detached from our community. May you continue to have such a smooth life and never experience any difficulties either through decision or circumstance.

by Ann on 7/17/2008 @ 4:20pm
"Sounds like it was their own actions that brought it upon themselves. Does that make me a bastard because I said that?"


ES, Maybe these people did make a bad decision. Maybe they are running a scam. Maybe they are really decent people who are unlucky enough to also be poor. Whether or not they deserve their situation, and whether or not you decide to help them, your remarks are heartless and cold. Still I hope if you are ever in need that strangers will treat you with more kindness than you have shown this family.

Compassion will cost you nothing.

by escaping slave on 7/17/2008 @ 5:24pm
"It's only been commented upon that it is a sad situation - a family living on the street."

It's been commented upon and it doesn't make sense to me that people would comment on something that is apparently sad and not do something. Why point it out if you're not going to do something; which I find interesting the person who pointed this out doesn't seem to have done anything other than point it out. That's why I bring attention to it. What are the compassionate people doing about it? I really do want to know and that's why I bring it up. If I hadn't asked for an update, would one have been posted? I do wonder. I'm glad people are doing something other than just saying it's sad.

Ann, am I supposed to travel out of my way to show compassion to people sitting in misery? That's what I would want, come look at me in my moment of need, please, and feel sorry for me.

Mary, who's to say I haven't experienced difficulties and come out of them? Doesn't matter what I say on here, people will believe what they want (I love that open-mindedness). I just didn't sit around, waiting for things to get better. If you want results, you take action.

A feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering. -

Compassion is a feeling, so what good is it if you don't act on it? It takes more than compassion.

"Sometimes people make poor decisions, but that doesn't mean we should just abandon them to the system and hope they get lucky. Sometimes we, as individuals, have to step in."

Will you be starting up a legal defense fund to help Mr. Rios who accidentally let his 7-month-old fall into a fire while he was passed out? Poor decisions, you know.

by ensie on 7/17/2008 @ 8:56pm
ES - I addressed one issue - the landlord - and you took it and used it as though I was using it to address the entire argument. Not true and you know it. You, like so many others, are a poor arguer. You take items and run off in random directions hoping to use them to inflame emotions.

I'm talking about one specific situation here - and some people involved on Feed Tacoma who have stepped in to help a family out of the goodness of their hearts. I'm not talking about Mr. Rios or anyone else (way to throw that red-herring out there). Everyone has their own causes that they may address at specific times, as you so helpfully have pointed out.

Your making it abundantly clear that you will not be taking time now or in the future to help out this family in any way is the thing that is rankling several people. If you're upset at the way you're being perceived on-line, you have only yourself to blame.