A resolution that will slow the clearing of The Jungle area of homeless camps beneath Seattle’s freeway and set parameters of outreach and human services for the process was passed by the Seattle City Council Tuesday.
The legislation sponsored by Sally Bagshaw is not an ordinance changing or adding to the city’s laws around sweeps of homeless camps but instead will change the way city workers and aid organizations must go about the process of clearing the I-5 East Duwamish Greenbelt.
“Neither residents of the Greenbelt, nor their possessions, will be removed from the Greenbelt until meaningful offers of appropriate shelter, housing, or alternative spaces in authorized encampments and services are made,” one section of the resolution reads.
Outreach workers will make contact with each individual living in the Greenbelt. The goals of outreach workers are to use religiously and culturally appropriate practices to reduce harm for individuals living in the Greenbelt and promote public health within the Greenbelt and adjoining neighborhoods.
Last month, CHS reported on steps being taken by the city and state to prepare to clear The Jungle in response to growing concerns after decades of use of the area by homeless campers.
The Council’s resolution won’t stop the sweep from occurring. The relocation and cleanup effort will be funded through a $1 million state budget supplement passed earlier this year.
District 3 representative Kshama Sawant said Tuesday that it would be more important for Seattle to pass a law against homeless camp sweeps than a resolution shaping how the campers should be removed. Still, Bagshaw’s resolution passed unanimously. You can read the full document, below.