Letter to the Editor: Concerns about Fred Meyer site

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

To the Editor:

As a 30 year resident and a person who cares deeply about the quality of life in Shoreline, I must express my concern over the increasing deteriorating conditions outside of the Fred Meyer Store.

A number of years ago a row of trees was planted along Linden Avenue on the west side of the property. Initially that strip of land was maintained and was an attractive addition. No longer is that the case. It is long overdue for upkeep.

Unfortunately, and not Fred Meyer's fault, vehicles seem to occasionally bump into the rock wall on the south of the building. Repairs are very slow to happen if they happen at all. That gives the building the appearance of neglect.

Most concerning of all is the increasing population of panhandlers at the south entrance to the store. I am aware and sympathetic to the issues of homelessness in our community. There is a definite lack of affordable housing. However, the entrance to a store's parking lot is not a place to set up a home. There are resources available but those resources are not to be found in the parking lot. Many of us, myself included, may be unknowingly contributing to this increasing problem by giving to these panhandlers. If it is profitable for them to be there, they will remain. Surely there must be creative solutions for the well being of all.

I am aware of customers who choose to no longer shop at Fred Meyer because of this issue. Older residents do not feel safe. Families with young children do not feel safe. People who choose to walk to shop, do not feel safe.

I do not know the answer to all of these concerns. I do know that Fred Meyer in the past has been a caring and responsible member of the Shoreline Community. I am asking that they once again value their property and the safety of their consumers. As members of this community, we would be glad to work with and support them in their efforts.

Kathy Plant

Shoreline



5 comments:

Laura July 13, 2016 at 5:31 PM  

Kathy, were you aware of the large social services building that is being built behind the nearby church? I think there are bold moves happening in Shoreline to help the homeless and poverty stricken.

And I respectfully disagree that panhandlers make an area unsafe.

Laura

Anonymous,  July 13, 2016 at 5:42 PM  

Thanks for this letter. It really has gone downhill and I don't shop there anymore. I bet I'm not the only one.

Kayla P. July 13, 2016 at 9:31 PM  

Privilege at its worst. I feel perfectly safe shopping there with my kids. You can try and push them out, and they will just go somewhere else in the area, it doesn't make the need go away. Funny but I have the exact opposite viewpoint. I've spoken to a number of homeless folks in that area, and know where to go if I have some resources to pass out. It's all a matter of perspective. When you treat them like scary objects to avoid, you're the oppressor, not them.

I've learned a lot by talking to homeless people in that area. I spent an hour one day talking to a homeless vet in the cafe area and learning about his life. I didn't have anything tangible to give him, but he wasn't asking for anything, he couldn't believe that I even cared enough to listen to his story. But honestly I think he meant even more to me. Start listening to the many stories, and then you'll know that all those resources you claim are out there are not even a drop in the bucket compare to the need.

The only safety issue is for the homeless and the struggling, not for the grocery shoppers with money to spend. This is a major inequality issue.

Nanook July 13, 2016 at 10:35 PM  

One thing we can do is give to charities that help these people, this way they get genuine help and not just money to buy more booze and drugs. I know Shoreline Covenant Church is doing work in this area, another is Seattle's Union Gospel Mission. Beyond that just do whatever God puts in your heart to do. Surely there are more important things than the aesthetics of Fred Meyer's building and lot.

Joanie July 14, 2016 at 3:34 PM  

Thanks Kathy! I totally agree with your statement. We live in a free country and they choose to live outdoors. I saw one of the "Vets" loading up on 6 pkg of beer while I was shopping...and the knee brace and walker???? Props no limp at all. The cigarettes butts and litter ate ridiculous. You and I would be fined if we left litter like that. I saw a lady who had been
begging earlier get onto a nicer car than what I drive. They don't pay taxes and are nit looking to change and help themselves. They give the real homeless a bad name. They are drug and alcoholic individuals that want a handout...not a hand up

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