March 15 Beating of Homeless Man Sparks a Plea for Respect, Resources for City’s Most Vulnerable
SEATTLE – (March 26, 2014) – The March 15 beating of a homeless man who was sleeping on the Seattle Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Pioneer Square, has rallied a diverse cross-section of individuals and organizations who are holding a “Stand for Compassion” gathering from 5:30 – 7p.m. on Thursday, Mar. 27 near where the attack took place in Occidental Square.
The event is a call for community conversation and engagement – intended to raise broad-based awareness about the need for greater respect toward Seattle’s most vulnerable citizens, and to begin a public dialogue on how to build a culture of compassion and a safer city for everyone.
“This sort of violence against the poor and vulnerable is unacceptable,” said Real Change Executive Director Timothy Harris, who is organizing the event. “It serves as a wake-up call for all of us who value a safe and respectful community, and puts a spotlight on the need for additional resources towards our goal of providing shelter for 1,000 of the currently homeless by 2015.”
“This latest incident is yet another unfortunate example of the everyday need for additional public safety resources that our businesses, residents and visitors have been asking for,” said Alliance for Pioneer Square Executive Director Leslie Smith. “A more visible police presence serves as a deterrent to bad behavior and allows for quicker response times when needed, particularly on event days when tens of thousands flock to our neighborhood.”
Attendees at Thursday’s event will be asked to take a stand for compassion and a better Seattle by signing a pledge for continued support and participation in addressing this issue. Speakers include representatives from Alliance for Pioneer Square, Church Council of Greater Seattle, Real Change, Seattle Fire Department and Seattle Sounders FC, as well Mayor Ed Murray and Seattle City Council. Additional supporters include CenturyLink Field, Compassion Network, Coalition on Homelessness, Downtown Emergency Service Center, Downtown Seattle Association and Seattle University among others.
A Facebook page has been established for the event with additional information and public comment at https://www.facebook.com/events/685670018157683/