Delridge is the only supportive housing site in Seattle that is located in a “food desert”

Thanks to Delridge neighbor Karrie Kohlhaas who has spent the time doing the research into the site that DESC should have done. She points out the contradiction between what DESC Director Bill Hobson says they look for in a site and what Delridge actually is if you take the time to get to know it.

But ultimately what we want them to do is recall what itʼs like to go to a grocery store, a real supermarket–not a convenience store. And I mean no disrespect to convenience stores but our folks when they are living on the street, thatʼs basically where they bought their food. Itʼs expensive and itʼs not particularly nutritionally balanced. And we want to correct that behavior but it takes time to do. Part of we do in the building is we teach activities of daily living. Things we all take for granted. A major component of that is meal preparation.
~ DESC Executive Director, Bill Hobson speaking on June 27, 2011 at North Delridge Library.

Video footage of that comment available at the West Seattle Blog article about the meeting (2:55 on video).

Here is the information that she presents. Click the images for a larger pdf.

Karrie has also created a map that demonstrates the proximity of the three convenience stores across the street from the proposed DESC Delridge site.

And I reiterate my call for DESC, the Office of Housing, and other funders to actually consider these questions from Karrie, in addition to the questions I have already raised that remain unanswered.

  1. Does this make sense, given public statements by both Compass and DESC regarding the importance of walkable amenities, specifically a major supermarket–for their clients?
  2. Would it be a better use of tax payer money—and better for clients of DESC—to place these projects in areas that can provide basic amenities AND allow their clients autonomy to get their basic needs met within the community?
  3. Is it a good idea to create total dependence on DESC for obtaining meals, food, medication and other BASIC needs. Is that the city, state, county and DESC mission for formerly homeless people? For them to essentially be trapped in a neighborhood with no car, nothing in walking distance but a convenience store?
  4. Wouldnʼt it seem that especially for someone who has been chronically homeless, a sense of freedom seems important? Is it fair to DESC clients and to an already disenfranchised communty to do this kind of experiment?
  5. How does this support integration into a more normal lifestyle and integration into the Delridge community?

Thank you to a hard working neighbor who gives her volunteer time to provide the due diligence and oversight of this process that we have yet to see evidence of from DESC and funders.

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One response to “Delridge is the only supportive housing site in Seattle that is located in a “food desert”

  1. Interesting and sad how we never did get answers to our questions, isn’t it? Clearly community input and accurate facts were not ever part of the equation of building this project in North Delridge.

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