Illustration by Drew Bardana

Homeless in Seattle

Joe Bernstein, a Homeless Man in Seattle, to Participate in Reddit AMA This Afternoon

The AMA is part of today’s #SEAHomeless media blitz.

Editor’s note: The AMA is happening now a r/seattle.

Seattle Weekly readers will remember Joe Bernstein as the author of “Stealing From the Homeless,” an intimate and sobering longform look into life on the streets in Seattle that we published in November of 2014.

The unfortunate news is that Bernstein remains homeless to this day, counting himself among the 4,505 unsheltered men, women and children who were tallied during King County’s One Night Count this past January. Bernstein has continued to contribute to Seattle Weekly and he has agreed to participate in a Reddit AMA this afternoon from 2 to 5 p.m. as part of Homeless in Seattle—a one-day multi-outlet effort to bring more attention to the homeless issue in the city.

Bernstein has written several stories for Seattle Weekly in recent years exploring his experiences as a homeless man in Seattle; his most recent piece discussed the impact that stricter food stamp laws could have on people like him.

“We’ve always appreciate Joe’s frankness when talking about the realities of life on the streets,” said Seattle Weekly Editor-in-Chief Mark Baumgarten. “In so much of the coverage we see, homelessness is treated as a political issue and subjected to a lot of spin. But not with Joe.”

While Seattle Weekly editors proposed the AMA idea to Joe and helped facilitate it, Bernstein will have complete autonomy when answering questions about his life on the streets.

“When it comes to our homeless neighbors, we know there are a lot of questions,” Baumgarten added. “Now people can ask them.”

Homeless in Seattle is a day-long media blitz by more than 20 outlets in Seattle. Seattle-area news outlets will publish, print and air dozens of original stories today, and highlight previous coverage as well. The blitz is modeled of a similar effort taking place in San Francisco. To see all the coverage, search Twitter and Facebook for #SEAhomeless.

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