Program Serving Sack Lunch to Seattle's Homeless May be Forced to Relocate

A popular program that feeds hundreds of Seattle's homeless population every day could be shut down, reports local news affiliate KING 5.
January 18, 2012

A popular program that feeds hundreds of Seattle's homeless population every day could be shut down, reports local news affiliate KING 5.

Operation: Sack Lunch (OSL) serves food to more than 200 people daily. Members of the group usually set up outdoors, underneath Interstate 5. The Seattle Human Services Department wants OSL to move indoors by the end of February, in an effort to shelter patrons from the elements and put them in contact with city outreach workers.

Beverly Graham, executive director of OSL, told KING 5 she wouldn't be able to find a facility big enough to fit the number of homeless people who patronize OSL every day in the time allotted to her.

Graham also told Seattle Times columnist Danny Westneat that she wants to keep the service in one location -- OSL is supported by a number of different businesses and organizations, and its easier to coordinate efforts in a central location.

Some of the homeless people interviewed by KING 5 also said they wouldn't want to eat at a city-sanctioned facility for a variety of reasons.

"A lot of the homeless are set in their ways where they don't want to answer to people telling them what to do – ‘Sit over there. Eat this.’ They want to remain independent," said Darrell Perkins, a homeless man interviewed for the KING 5 story.

David Takami, a spokesman for the Human Services Department, told Westneat that the department is currently working on securing three separate locations to accommodate OSL's needs.

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