From Joe Bernstein’s piece “Stealing from the Homeless.” Illustration by Drew Bardana

8 Key Quotes From a Homeless Seattle Man’s AMA

Joe Bernstein, freelance writer and homeless Seattle resident, answered questions about homeless encampments, what makes Seattle his home, and how to “fix” homelessness.

Yesterday, Joe Bernstein, who has been homeless in Seattle for the last four years, took part in an “AMA” (Ask Me Anything) thread on reddit.com, where users pressed him with myriad questions about life on the street.

The AMA was part of the Homeless in Seattle project, in which dozens of Seattle media outlets highlighted their coverage of homelessness to bring more awareness to the issue. Seattle Weekly facilitated the AMA with Joe, who has shared his perspective with our readers before (Stealing from the Homeless is required reading.)

We encourage you to read the entire AMA (87 comments and counting), but we selected eight of the best exchanges in the discussion.

1. “I very much doubt Seattle could arrest and export its way out of this.”

2. “It seems pretty clear that housing first works wonders.”

3. “The standard thing downtrodden groups are supposed to do is unite against their oppressors, and we really don’t.”

4. “That new company’s office told me my resume was useless to them. One month later, I was homeless…”

5. “Selfishly, anything that takes a significant number of other people off the streets makes it easier for me to find places to sleep.”

6. “The increases in homelessness around here aren’t just in Seattle, but all over urban King County.”

7. “Your office’s bathroom sounds like a good resource.”

8. “Taking a chance to get revenge for the badness of your life, not caring whether your target deserves it.”

More in News & Comment

Amazon’s scope of Bellevue development elevates

600-foot-tall tower to bring nearly 600 workers to Bellevue so far

Countywide birthday party sparks hope for girls aging out of foster care

Celebrate 18! was held by nonprofit Eileen & Callie’s Place on Saturday.

New deal makes Mukilteo teachers among state’s highest paid

The agreement also reduces the size of special education classes while boosting support for students.

VoteWA is a $9.5 million program that came online last May and is meant to unify all 39 county voting systems in the state into a single entity. Courtesy image
WA’s new voting system concerns county elections officials

VoteWA has run into some problems in recent months as the Aug. 6 primary election draws closer.

‘Feedback loops’ of methane, CO2 echo environmental problem beyond Washington

University of Washington among researchers of climate change’s effects in global temperatures.

Early wake-up call: Twin quakes under Monroe rattle region

Thousands of people felt them. They were magnitude 4.6 and 3.5 and hit minutes apart.

Warning sign for a road closure. File photo
King County examines options to fund roads and bridges

Shortfall is roughly $250 million each year; county may seek tax from unincorporated voters.

City of Everett wins in bikini barista federal court case

The baristas are unsure of their next steps but may file for a rehearing, their lawyer said.

As time expires, Eyman lacks signatures for anti-tax measure

In spite of the setback, Eyman still has an initiative dealing with car tabs on the November ballot.

Most Read