Part 3 of 3: The status update We Heart Seattle will never give you about Charles Woodward (aka Lawnmower Man)

February 21, 2022

Where is Charles Woodward?

Charles Woodward had the promise of legitimizing We Heart Seattle with the feel-good story defining this moment in time. By all appearances, he had paid employment with We Heart Seattle through Uplift Northwest and was on his way off the street and into an apartment thanks to them. Things were on the up and up for Mr. Woodward.

He never left

However, fast-forward to the present day and this situation is not as we’d expect to find it, nor is it suggestive of ever having resembled what we had previously been led to believe.  Mr Woodward is still living in his RV, now parked outside of the Ballard Goodwill just blocks north of his previous location. Despite We Heart Seattle’s representation of the situation as if it were a done deal, they did not help him secure housing.

Apparently We Heart Seattle relocated Mr. Woodward, his collection of inoperable automobiles and whatever possessions were not thrown away during the move to this location last November, just far enough out of reach that neighbors to call off their efforts to enforce the restraining order issued against him.  At the time of the move, Suarez reported via public post to the We Heart Seattle Facebook group that the Goodwill had welcomed Mr. Woodward and that he would be “maintaining the perimeter” in exchange for their blessing to park there. However the managers there who would have given the authorization for an arrangement such as that had no knowledge of it.

Back to old hat

He has recently resumed blasting his neighbors with unreasonably loud music at all hours of day and night, and the presence of new lawnmowers and furniture on the sidewalk and street outside of his RV indicate a re-emergence of hoarding behavior. One neighbor reached out to Suarez to see if she would work with Mr. Woodward on limiting his volume late at night, but after following up three times on account of there being no positive change to the situation, Suarez advised that the neighbor call 911 to report him to police the next time they have a noise issue at 4am.

An employee of Goodwill indicated that Mr. Woodward’s presence had been negatively impactful on customers, citing the piles of stuff accumulating on the sidewalk and street as largely problematic, and also mentioning that he had been taking their bins and shopping carts since his arrival.  The employee then mentioned that store leadership was working with the city to have all of the RVs currently camped out in and around their property relocated, giving the impression that Mr. Woodward’s window of time in which to remain there was limited.

This doesn’t bode well

When pressed to explain why Mr. Woodward was still on the street despite all available evidence suggesting that he had been moved into an apartment as of December, Suarez copped to the inaccuracy but was quick to assign blame to Mr Woodward for choosing to remain unhoused, stating that he was still out there because he had refused the multiple options that were already made available to him. She also noted that he had changed his mind about what he wanted multiple times, and provided several details about one of the influencing factors as if to make it seem like he was being difficult.

Sadly Mr. Woodward’s regressive behaviors do not bode well for the present state of his well being, and the sad reality is likely that nothing much has improved for Mr. Woodward since We Heart Seattle’s intervention. However, in this case in particular, Suarez’s inexperience and unwillingness to admit when she’s in over her head will together make for her presence in his life being more harmful than beneficial should this go on for much longer. He needs a kind of help that Suarez and We Heart Seattle are not ever going to be qualified to offer him.

Hoping for the best

With all of that said, we sincerely hope Charles Woodward gets the help he so desperately needs, and that for his sake, this involves escaping the clutches of Suarez et al in the process.