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Homeless Group Seizes Motel.

Tacoma Housing Now, a homeless advocacy group, has taken over a Travelodge Motel in Fife, Washington and refuses to leave.

The group initially paid for one night of rooms for which they paid, and now says they are staying. They claim they are sending the bill to the City and the State of Washington.

This has put an economic strain on the motel’s owners who are struggling due to the lack of travel because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

I’m just devastated,” [motel manager Shawn Randhawa] told The News Tribune. “Because of the protest, I have nothing else. I was barely getting through this pandemic, and now this. This Christmas, the Grinch came.”

The police, instead of enforcing the laws, are “working” with the group.

Fife Police Chief Pete Fisher said the group is trespassing. Rather than use force to remove the people, he wants to work with the organization.

“We’re trying to see if we can work out a resolution without having to take law enforcement action,” Fisher said. “We’re talking about people with medical issues, cold weather that are homeless. So we are trying to work with our neighboring agencies to see what we can do in the form of relief, relief or temporary shelter.”

What is curious about the lack of response from law enforcement is that when the same group took over a middle school, the police threw them out.

The organization took over Gault Middle School in November to house those experiencing homelessness, but left after Tacoma police threatened to make arrests.

The police are willing to react to protect the property of the government, but not that of citizens.

The City wants a “dialogue.”

Fife’s city manager Hyun Kim told The News Tribune he wants an open dialogue between all parties. He wants to help those who are experiencing homelessness, but also worries about the small business.

“I would like to bring together partners to provide wrap-around services to these people. I understand that some are sick and just a hotel room is not an end-all-be-all,” he said. “Occupying a private motel and potentially put them out of business is untenable. I fear for those who might lose their job.”

Here’s how that dialogue should go:

Motel Manager Randhawa: The people in these rooms have not paid their bills, will not leave and are trespassing.

Police Chief Fisher: We’ll get right on that and remove them from your property.

That’s it. It is that simple.

Instead, the group and the government are taking over a person’s property without any apparent recourse for the owner.

We wonder how the Police would act if the group seized their homes. Or their police station. Or City Hall.

Instead, the government is failing a taxpaying property owner:

“They are keeping me hostage. No one is out to help me,” [Motel Manager Randhawa] said. “It’s complete lawlessness in the city of Fife.”

If the situation does not change in a few days, Randhawa said he will abandon the property and his 15 employees will stop showing up.

“I’ll have to lock the doors. and if the city won’t kick them out, they can have it,” he said. “I’ll shut off the water and I’m not fighting with these people. I believe there should be a law.”

There is a law, Mr. Randawa.

What you need is a police force and a government willing to enforce the very laws that they pass.



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