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After Cal Anderson sweep, other Capitol Hill park encampments grow

A sign of protest before the Cal Anderson sweep

Though outreach efforts moved many campers into shelter in the sweep and clearance of tents and encampments from Cal Anderson just before Christmas, officials acknowledge camps have grown in other parks away from Capitol Hill’s core and tell CHS work to connect people to available facilities continues.

At one Seattle Parks field, Cal Anderson campers moved in immediately following the Friday, December 18th police raid and city worker sweep. Some brought vehicles and the shelter materials that had become parts of the scene for weeks along 11th Ave where Cal Anderson has now been officially reopened to the public after six months of closure.

Others joined the camps at Capitol Hill’s smaller park in the following days. A Seattle Parks representative tells CHS “there is no limit or measurement managed by SPR about how many people can camp.”


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City officials continue to follow CDC guidelines advising against sweeps during the COVID-19 crisis if there are no safe shelter alternatives available.

Outreach efforts continue. A Human Services Department spokesperson tells CHS that a sole, dedicated outreach worker has been busy on Capitol Hill with a focus on at least two parks from REACH, the team from Evergreen Treatment Services that contracts outreach work for the city.

“REACH’s Capitol Hill outreach worker has been engaging both Williams Place and Miller regularly and will be at these locations in the coming days,” the HSD spokesperson said.

The representative said that the Urban League, which was also busy at Cal Anderson in the days leading up to the sweep, has also conducted outreach at both parks locations “but has mainly focused on Williams Place.”

As it prepared to clear Cal Anderson, the city cited neighborhood support from nearby property owners, Seattle Central College, and businesses calling on Mayor Jenny Durkan for public safety issues around the park’s encampments to be addressed. Parks also said its own workers had been threatened and feared to enter the area to conduct maintenance and clean-up.

15th and John’s Williams Place, like Cal Anderson, is located immediately adjacent businesses and commercial areas and area stops and stores have complained of increased concerns around public safety. The nearby Safeway, already a target pre-pandemic, has been particularly hard hit with shoplift and theft incidents.

CHS asked the Seattle Police Department about the situation around Williams Place and if the department has been in contact with businesses in the area.

“SPD will continue to respond to 911 calls generated regarding crime-related incidents at Williams Place Park,” Sgt. Randy Huserik of Seattle Police Department,​Public Affairs said. “Any information regarding outreach at the encampment needs to be requested through DHS or Seattle Parks.”

Seattle Parks says that its maintenance efforts that were stymied by public safety issues at Cal Anderson haven’t been an issue at its other Capitol Hill properties. “However, the tents and other structures do make it impossible to do the full suite of maintenance duties that we would normally do,” a parks representative said.

19th Ave’s Miller Community Center and its sports field have also received some extra “more thorough cleaning efforts” thanks to the Clean City Initiative, Mayor Jenny Durkan’s $5.6M “temporary surge in increased trash pick-up” and “proactive cleaning in parks and open spaces” launched to end 2020.

Miller has also faced more issues involving camper vehicles including some encampments in the right of way over sidewalks. A Seattle Department of Transportation spokesperson said he was looking into the situation. Elsewhere on the property, the city has installed sections of chain-link fence closing off parking spots.

Meanwhile, activists and mutual aid volunteers continue to be a presence with groups gathering regularly to collect and distribute supplies in locations around the Hill including the Thomas Street Mini Park off Bellevue Ave.

According to Seattle Parks, while the number of tents has increased, and some maintenance is becoming a growing challenge, the public safety issues that drove the sweep of Cal Anderson haven’t emerged at the other encampment areas.

“If you are comparing to Cal Anderson, our employees are not threatened when maintaining these parks,” the parks department representative said.


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Moving On
Moving On
2 months ago

While I’m glad outreach is there, and that the safety issues are not as severe and pervasive, this is still really sad and not great for either the people or the neighborhood. I really hope these folks are being offered indoor shelter, like at Cal Anderson. Are they more likely to accept in the context of a sweep, or is it more idiosyncratic?

Jac
Jac
2 months ago
Reply to  Moving On

The increase is people who were at Cal Anderson and didn’t get a place to stay, or what they got was the chance to use a mattress on a floor for 7 hours each night before going back out to the street all day, or a hotel room for a few nights and they are now back outside. The idea that they are all being offered somewhere to live when they get swept is a fantasy to make people feel better about driving them away.

ClaireWithTheHair
ClaireWithTheHair
2 months ago
Reply to  Jac

A hotel room, or even a mattress on a floor, is a place to stay. Like it or not.

We’ve now had several years of experience with the nav team demonstrating that people are offered these kinds of shelter and don’t accept.

Is it because they would be prohibited from partaking in drugs/alcohol?

Is it because they would lose access to their means of revenue, be it theft, drugs, prostitution, or what have you?

Is it because living in a tent/RV with your drug addict friends is a lifestyle that they prefer to a hotel room or recovery?

There’s this nonsense idea that until we provide them with shelter that they see as preferable to being on the street, they have the absolute right to abuse our city and take over our green spaces. It’s nonsense! The city has the responsibility to provide people with satisfactory shelter and opportunities to get back on their feet. It does not have the responsibility to satisfy their every desire in return for their granting us our parks back.

In other words, why are we granting these transient drug addicts so much power over us? Why are we willingly being held hostage? The social contract of this city, as it currently stands, is that if you don’t have a home, we’ll give you a hotel room or a bed/mattress in a shelter. And if you are a drug addict, we will help you on the road to recovery. If you don’t like that social contract, go find some other city. You don’t get to continue destroying our city until we change the social contract to fit your lifestyle.

The Ghostt Of Capitol Hill
The Ghostt Of Capitol Hill
2 months ago

How can seeing homelessness make you feel like a hostage?Are people like in your way? Can you not make it to the coop? How do they have power? This is bizarre. Sell the computer you’re typing on and move yourself, is the solution.

Dingo Jackson
Dingo Jackson
2 months ago

They mean its a one day solution. Not a permanent one.

RWK
RWK
2 months ago

Thank you….agree completely!

Activists often claim that “shelters are full,” yet the City/HSD and outreach workers often say there is space available. What is the truth? Personally, I tend to believe the City/HSD which actually monitors occupancy rates at shelters.

Auggie
Auggie
2 months ago

Couldn’t agree with you more.

CapHillGregg
CapHillGregg
1 month ago

I totally agree with you. There is a great difference between being homeless and being a vagrant.

CHqueer
CHqueer
2 months ago

This has nothing to do with the CDC Guidelines. Rather it is City Council’s failure of leadership and a direct result of defunding the Navigation Team. Tents in parks never should have been allowed. This shift in public policy just moved the encampments up from I-5 and the Jungle into city parks. Because the free-camping-anywhere policy happened during CHOP, it also attracted “homeless” campers and activists from across the region to Capitol Hill. As a result the neighborhood lost its green spaces during the pandemic when they are needed most, local small businesses got the straw to break the camel’s back, and the City Council gained a bargaining chip for a new tax to funnel more money toward their activist base. Housing with support services is obviously part of the long-term solution, but what we need in the short-term is more socially-distanced shelter space and a no-unsanctioned-camping policy to go with it. FEMA tent camps should be set up in parking lots across the region, not just Seattle. Unfortunately, the City Council and activists don’t want adequate shelter space, because the crisis would lose its visibility and they would lose leverage.

Brad
Brad
2 months ago
Reply to  CHqueer

As someone that lives a bit south of Capitol Hill, I’m a bit bemused that you want to keep the homeless down in our area and away from yours. I think it’s nice for those on Capitol Hill to get a dose of what the person they elect (Sawant) is actually doing to our city.

ClaireWithTheHair
ClaireWithTheHair
2 months ago
Reply to  Brad

Y’all elected Tammy Morales. You voted for this as well.

CHqueer
CHqueer
2 months ago
Reply to  Brad

I think we all need to work together to hold our elected officials accountable for the humanitarian disaster they created. They have brain-washed a significant percentage of citizens to accept this self-created dystopia as normal during covid and as solely the result of Amazon. There end game seems to be a Marxist revolution, not ending homelessness and building a great city. The same ideology (drug addicts should have more agency; people have a right to privatize and trash the public realm; drifters that show up in Seattle are our most vulnerable neighbors, housing and homelessness are one crisis rather than two related but distinct issues; decriminalizing crime is equity; shelters are bad; defining housing first as no action until we build 10,000 new supportive housing units in Seattle at a cost of a trillion dollars, this is all a result of capitalism not the failure of our elected leaders; safe injection sites are the solution) has taken hold in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Portland. One only needs to drive outside of this ideological bubble and look around to see that this is total BS. Seattle has ten times the number of people sleeping outdoors per capita as NYC, which is not a cheaper place to live.

Brad
Brad
2 months ago
Reply to  CHqueer

They have brain-washed a significant percentage of citizens to accept this self-created dystopia as normal during covid and as solely the result of Amazon.”

I think you have this backwards, I think people who believe this choose electeds who represent their views.

HTS3
HTS3
2 months ago
Reply to  Brad

I think the comment was, “FEMA tent camps should be set up in parking lots across the region, not just Seattle.” So the suggestion is not saying anywhere but here. I’m a little tired of being in the epicenter. I live and work on Capitol Hill and have for over 40 years. I think we’ve been “getting a dose” for years. But I’m really happy that you’re bemused.

JenMoon
JenMoon
1 month ago
Reply to  HTS3

It’s really hilarious that so many folks are blaming this on City Council when it’s Covid. The number of folks homeless this year is up by as much as 40%. All getting rid of the Nav Team did is let them stop moving from stop to stop so folks would become aware.

RWK
RWK
2 months ago
Reply to  CHqueer

You are exactly right!

CHqueer
CHqueer
2 months ago

The take away from the migration of tents to Miller and William’s Place shouldn’t be that the clearing of Cal Anderson Park was the wrong decision. Conditions were hazardous, and it needed to happen. The problem is that the City Council is using the homeless and parks as pawns to push an ideological agenda. We need to hold our elected officials accountable for this gross failure of leadership and the suffering it has caused.

CapHillGregg
CapHillGregg
1 month ago
Reply to  CHqueer

I totally agree. The “Recall Sawant” movement is a step in the right direction,

ClaireWithTheHair
ClaireWithTheHair
2 months ago

This is a total disaster, and it’s exactly what Kshama Sawant and her gang of professional agitators wanted.

God only knows why they wanted this to happen so badly. Is it about money? Is it about power? Is it just about projecting righteousness? Whatever it is, now they’ve achieved their goal. Capitol Hill’s green space are completely overrun with transient drug addicts from around the state, and the police are virtually powerless to do anything other than temporary cleanups. Meanwhile those of us who actually live in Capitol Hill have lost the public parks, one of our few sources of pandemic-safe recreation, and something we’ve paid for with hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes.

All of you reading this who voted for Sawant (as well as Jordan, who supported her with this website) I hope you are happy. They proudly announced loud-and-clear that this was the future they wanted, you voted for that future, and now that future has arrived.

What comes next? My guess would be more taxes to pay for “community programs”, funneling money from your pocket to the pockets of these “mutual aid” and “equity” activist groups, so they can afford to spend 24/7 bringing in more transient drug addicts, confronting the police, blocking highways, spraying graffiti everywhere, and enjoying total immunity from prosecution.

Four more years to go! One day this nightmare will end, but our parks as we knew them will probably never come back. I hope you’re happy!

Capitol Hill Resident
Capitol Hill Resident
2 months ago

I live in D3, didn’t vote for Sawant, but I can tell from what you’ve written that you either don’t actually live in Capitol Hill or are so obsessed with your fantasy homeless apocalyptic fanfiction that you haven’t gone to visit a park in the past few months.

I have a dog that needs to walk in green spaces to keep healthy and happy, and I’ve had no issues at all accessing them.

Volunteer, Miller, Tashkent, SU, even Cal Anderson when the homeless were there and it was technically closed — none have been inaccessible to the general public, unless your definition of ‘inaccessible’ is some dystopian Bellevue vision of public spaces where anyone below a certain income level is harassed out of existence.

ClaireWithTheHair
ClaireWithTheHair
2 months ago

They are accessible, but most reasonable people would not feel safe. There is risk of stepping on a needle. There is risk of harassment or assault. There is trash everywhere. Not to mention how unpleasant it is to be surrounded by filth and squalor and all sorts of illicit activity.

And that is just going there as a solo adult during the day. The parks are supposed to be where we can take our children and our pets. Fortunately I can still let my children play in Volunteer Park. But if Miller Park was the closest park, I would certainly not feel safe letting them play soccer on that field.

We pay lots and lots of tax dollars to have safe, pleasant, accessible and well-maintained public parks. We pay for our police officers to enforce the law and keep us safe. Homeowners and renters alike pay a premium to live in this neighborhood because it is a pleasant place to live, largely due to these quality-of-lice enhancements like large, beautiful public parks and safe streets.

But that is being taken away from us and the money is instead going into the hands of activist groups who only make the problem worse.

You say I don’t live in Capitol Hill. Would you like to go walk around my neighborhood with me and look at the parks together and see who is telling the truth? Some of the comments on this blog seem like they are from folks who never actually go out into the neighborhood, if they live here at all. You have this fantasy that the parks are totally safe and pleasant and accessible, and the drug addicts are just part of the landscape. Nothing could be further from the truth. And the scars of their occupation will remain long after they are gone, if they ever leave.

Karl Liebknecht
Karl Liebknecht
2 months ago

Having had my share of Cap Hill lads, I can say with confidence that the quality of lice issues are pretty darn good.

CapHillGregg
CapHillGregg
1 month ago

I for one will NEVER again vote for the initiatives to fund our parks if this is what we get in return for my previous support.

JenMoon
JenMoon
1 month ago

We pay lots and lots of tax dollars to have safe, pleasant, accessible and well-maintained public parks. ” “…the money is instead going into the hands of activist groups…” What? You have got to be joking…

it’s bad enough that you think that is how taxes work but then you blame those of us who are out there not getting paid for ruining your life as well. How many whiny comments have you made? I’m at Miller 2-3 times a week and you are either the biggest chicken ever…or you’ve never been there. The people there aren’t from “around the state.”; they’re from here. It’s not covered in needles or garbage and yes, even us “reasonable people” feel safe.

As for drug addicts, say it with me, NOT ALL HOMELESS are drug addicts or mentally ill. To insinuate it makes you look stupid.

Jeff
Jeff
2 months ago

I highly doubt you would ever walk your dog through Williams Place. While it’s open, it’s definitely not accessible.

CHqueer
CHqueer
2 months ago
Reply to  Jeff

It used to be a nice neighborhood park before the City Council decided to give it to a bunch of drug addicts from outside of Seattle that migrated here during CHAZ and refuse services other than meals that are dropped off at the encampment. Why would they leave when they can steal from Safeway and the neighborhood everyday without consequence? It will be sad when the neighborhood loses Bakery Nuevo because of this.

A.Joy
A.Joy
1 month ago
Reply to  CHqueer

When you speak of the people from outside the community showing up to camp I have two pretty opposite thoughts: first I’m sorry. That’s probably a drag. But then I think it also makes sense. I don’t know if you are aware of this but Seattle’ s a terrible sister city to the rest of Washington. Throughout the 90’s while y’all had your boom and allowed housing market to get completely out of hand making it a money making playground for developers and LLC’ s while completely ignoring how it was eating away at housing that could truly be called affordable, the problem spread. Your capitalism and ideas of progress during your boom made housing prices go up in my community and many others as you priced people out of their ability to live where they work. Because Seattle always thought of themselves as superior to the rest of Washington I think it’s fair you deal with the problem you created. In your face!

Miles
Miles
1 month ago
Reply to  A.Joy

I pray for your post-pubescence.

RWK
RWK
2 months ago

You might feel OK about walking your dog in the squalor and dystopia of those parks, but very few people would feel that way.

sasha
sasha
2 months ago

The homelessness crisis is %100 due to the weath disparity caused by Amazon turning Seattle into their personal tech campus. Stop projecting. Sawant and other leaders are doing what they can to mitigate the problem despite the lack of income tax revenue and Amazon’s abysmal record of corporate citizenship and ethical failures.

CD Neighbor
CD Neighbor
2 months ago
Reply to  sasha

BS – the homelessness crisis in Seattle has been developing for the past decade and then some and is the result of complete paralysis of will to act on the problems of untreated mental health crises and drug addiction. This is absolutely nothing new, but has simply been made extremely visible because the city stopped enforcing no camping rules in parks due to COVID and CHOP.

Karl Liebknecht
Karl Liebknecht
2 months ago
Reply to  sasha

Sasha, such un-nuanced certitude is lazy and anti-intellectual. Homelessness is not 100% caused by anything. And if you’re going to knock Amazon for an “abysmal record of corporate citizenship,” you’re going to have to prove to me that you know what that record even is. Could they do much, much more? You bet. But I think “abysmal” is guilding the turd a bit much…unless you’re just angry at their success, which is an entirely different issue. Disclaimer: I wouldn’t work there as I’ve heard it’s a lousy culture so please don’t paint me as one of their stooges.

sasha
sasha
2 months ago

To name a few things: Amazon emitted 51.17 million metric tons of carbon dioxide last year, the equivalent of 13 coal burning power plants running for a year. That’s up from 2018, when it emitted 44.4 million metric tons of carbon dioxide. Fired warehouse workers that spoke out about unsafe conditions during the pandemic. Dodges.taxes any opportunity they can. I could go on and many the many ethical issues for Amazon, including climate change, environmental reporting, habitats & resources, pollutions and toxics, arms & military supply, human rights, worker’s rights, supply chain management, irresponsible marketing, animal rights, animal testing, factory farming, use of controverial technologies, political activies, and anti-social finance but I’d rather not. I don’t have to prove anything to you. Your defense of this abysmal company speaks volumes about your own values.

Karl Liebknecht
Karl Liebknecht
2 months ago
Reply to  sasha

The Seattle-based company also said it’s on track to have 100% of its energy use come from solar panels, wind turbines and other renewable energy by 2025, five years earlier than it had planned. And on Tuesday, Amazon announced it would start a $2 billion fund to invest in companies that make products and technology that help fight climate change.

Earlier this year, Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos said he would spend $10 billion of his personal fortune to fund scientists, activists and nonprofits working to improve the environment. 

Yep – they are the death star for sure!

sasha
sasha
2 months ago

Another publicity stunt. Imagine being this naive and having no counter argument for their many other ethical failures. Corporate shilling is lazy and weak and the definition of anti intellectual

A.Joy
A.Joy
1 month ago

If I donated one dollar only to the same causes as JB and his 10 billion I would have comparatively donated more than him. When the whole world is parched a drop in the bucket is only razzle dazzle when you could fill the whole bucket with a days pay.

csy
csy
2 months ago
Reply to  sasha

More-affordable Aberdeen has had a homeless encampment along the Chehalis River for about 100 years until 2018. I doubt Amazon was the cause…

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/aberdeen-keeps-visitors-out-of-homeless-encampment-and-draws-a-federal-lawsuit/

sasha
sasha
2 months ago
Reply to  csy

So your point is that another city over 100 miles away from Seattle has homeless people so that proves Amazon isn’t the root cause of wealth disparity in Seattle? I couldn’t think of a weaker comparison if I tried.

csy
csy
2 months ago
Reply to  sasha

Nope — strawman. I don’t argue whether Amazon causes wealth disparity. But you said “The homelessness crisis is %100 due to the weath disparity” (whether caused by Amazon, Google, Starbux, Boeing, etc is immaterial). My point was, what wealth disparity existed in Aberdeen that caused over 100 years of homelessness there, where housing has *always* been far more affordable than Seattle? And even if you were to find Amazon-like wealth disparity in Aberdeen, what caused it, if not Amazon?

Along those lines, wouldn’t you agree that Microsoft also created massive wealth disparity in Bellevue/Redmond after it moved there in 1979? So if, as you say, “wealth disparity is 100% the cause of homelessness”, why then haven’t we seen homeless tents in the parks on the Eastside and along I-405 all these decades?

My point and that of others on this thread — there are *other* causes to homelessness unrelated to Amazon and wealth disparity, like drugs, mental illness, busted family relationships, an eff-you mentality to societal rules, politics, and ideology. They all (including wealth disparity) contribute to homelessness’ cause.

JenMoon
JenMoon
1 month ago
Reply to  csy

Why Is Homelessness Such a Problem in U.S. Cities? – Bloomberg

Except the main reason is economic distress. Drugs and mental illness put people on the street about 20-25% of the time; it may get worse from there but we are talking base reasons. Losing your job, getting hit with a major health issue, losing where you live…all more likely to be the beginning of the end…

Zach
Zach
2 months ago

According to Seattle Parks, while the number of tents has increased, and some maintenance is becoming a growing challenge, the public safety issues that drove the sweep of Cal Anderson haven’t emerged at the other encampment areas.

“If you are comparing to Cal Anderson, our employees are not threatened when maintaining these parks,” the parks department representative said.

Somehow I’m not surprised the problem was the anarchist rioters all along. The Black Bloc protestors are THE reason Capitol Hill is so f’d right now. It’s why we’re like the only neighborhood where a huge chunk of our businesses are boarded up. Imagine being such a loser that you’d threaten a Parks empoloyee.

Really, it’s just sad that we don’t have a city councilmember who cares about our district. She’s too busy catering to people who give 10% of their income to her political party.

ClaireWithTheHair
ClaireWithTheHair
2 months ago
Reply to  Zach

It’s going to be summer 2021, everyone will have the vaccine, most of Seattle will be open for business and booming, and plenty of places in Capitol Hill will still be closed or boarded up.

Not because of COVID. Who wants to operate in this neighborhood when simply being a business owner makes you an enemy and a target for our local militia group?

Until they lose the right to trash businesses, break glass, spray graffiti, camp in front of doors, and otherwise destroy property with zero consequences, we’re going to continue to suffer. And we’ll deserve it. Because it’s our neighborhood and we have the power to stop it, but we don’t.

The Ghostt Of Capitol Hill
The Ghostt Of Capitol Hill
2 months ago

Don’t get me too excited about all the yuppies disappearing post apocalypse.

Yuppie_overlord
Yuppie_overlord
2 months ago

Every single restaurant (other than those closed permanently due to covid) has been reopened for some time, some not allowing sit down for COVID reasons…you are dreaming if you think Amazon and the rest are going to pack it up

Cupio Dissolvi
Cupio Dissolvi
2 months ago

I hope this all gets worse. I hope the property values go down. I hope all you tiresome soulless NIMBYs move away. I hope the big empty apartment buildings that have pushed out all my favorite shops and restaurants burn down. I hope the fancy condos that they built on top of the immigrant-owned corner store I shopped at for ten years just crumble into rubble.

I’m so tired of watching y’all happily denigrate the humanity of those with less than yourselves. When I got too sick to work anymore, forcing me to move from my home of over a decade into subsidized low-income housing, it was pretty eye-opening. Now I come here and read the comments when I want to remember how much the more affluent half of Capitol Hill hates the rest of us.

Hell, I live in housing managed by the liberal-beloved Community Roots Housing (formerly Capitol Hill Housing) and even they don’t actually care. Real world talk: I’ve been living here for two years and they’ve never made a single repair to my apartment. A section of wall is missing behind a cupboard and they said they’d fix the open hole when I moved in. My living room heater hasn’t worked for months. The light fixture in my kitchen stopped working entirely three months ago and I have to use a camping lantern in there at night.

But, PLEASE, tell me how awful your lives are because you have to see scary homeless people.

Kiddo
Kiddo
2 months ago
Reply to  Cupio Dissolvi

So you want the nice new housing to crumble into rubble… then complain because your own house is crumbling into rubble…

Sheryl
Sheryl
2 months ago
Reply to  Cupio Dissolvi

I am sorry you fell on hard times – for a time I found out of the way cheap places to rent, though those are long long gone, it is tough out there. I understand these are examples of neglect on the part of our services, however, some of this is self-reparable, with a hammer/nails/you tube.

Jules James
Jules James
2 months ago

Sure wish Seattle would get beyond its “solving the crisis” mentality. Unless we build a moat or wall to deny outside access, placement success just encourages more desperation to hit our streets. Why have we continued Seattle’s 10 year plan to end homelessness beyond 2015? A honest plan is to enforce all laws equally. No one gets a free pass to degrade the shared urban space environment for any reason.

Tom
Tom
2 months ago

I am glad they are making use of the other parks. If they don’t mind going as far as Miller, they should give Volunteer Park a try first. It is much bigger too.

Jeff
Jeff
2 months ago
Reply to  Tom

You don’t have ease of access to grocery or food. Miller at least has safeway on 23rd and Madison.

MarciaX
MarciaX
2 months ago

Here’s a thought: Since the ballfields at Cal Anderson and Miller parks can’t be used for sports right now anyway, why not re-purpose those specific areas (and other athletic fields in the city) as legal, Nicklesville style campgrounds for the duration of the pandemic? I’m not talking wild west here — I mean fenced in, with a security gate staffed 24/7, porta-johns, showers, meals, rules and assigned maintenance obligations for residents. Then, strictly enforce no-camping rules everywhere else. It’s admittedly not a perfect solution but I can’t think of a better one. These are not “normal” times — we must think outside the box and outside our comfort zones a bit.

Karl Liebknecht
Karl Liebknecht
2 months ago
Reply to  MarciaX

OOOPS! You said “rules.” That’s a chute, not a ladder.

Yuppie_overlord
Yuppie_overlord
2 months ago
Reply to  MarciaX

Nicklesville? This isn’t exactly Denmark. Why would you not host them in available shelters and hotels? And then instead of continuing to ignore them completely, come up with a REAL long term plan instead of just having a NAV team move them around the city.

Yes, this will cost money and maybe even a big bad tax.

MarciaX
MarciaX
2 months ago

Because there is obviously a subset of the unhoused who don’t want to go to shelters or hotels and who resist all efforts to put them there. They want to camp. It might not make sense to you, but that’s the reality. We need to give them safe spaces for their tents somewhere. I’m just offering one suggestion as to where that might be. Others may well have better ideas.

Acid Jackson
Acid Jackson
2 months ago

There have been Nickelsville encampments within the city within the past 5 years. I believe it was near the Goodwill off Dearborn. They have had mixed success from what I recall. They are staffed, controlled, they have their issues but what housing solution doesn’t when working with such a vulnerable population. Using the play field as a temporary encampment is an interesting idea, but NIMBY wouldn’t let that fly.

Marie
Marie
2 months ago
Reply to  MarciaX

I’m sorry but Nickelsville camps have had terrible problems, believe me, we have one in our neighborhood. They aren’t the answer to the problem. Or maybe ask that woman up in Ballard who was raped by a Nickelsville camper.

dre
dre
2 months ago
Reply to  MarciaX

Oh the ballfields are still used everyday for sports, recreation, and dogs. Some joggers use the perimeter as their track, there’s lots of soccer and other sports. There’s also small group fitness sessions there as the gyms remain closed.

A.Joy
A.Joy
1 month ago
Reply to  MarciaX

I don’t understand why our state hasn’t decided to utilize our county and state fairgrounds for safe camping sights? They already have some of the basic infrastructure in place such as toilets and sinks for hand washing and I can’t be sure but was told they even have shower facilities. Open air covered structures etc…. It was actually my local county parks staff that suggested it made sense when I called to ask them to start thinking outside the box to help people, she said oh our fairgrounds would be perfect but the problem is all the red tape that comes with zoning and I’m pretty sure it’s snobbish minds that created and maintain said red tape. People love to complain about how awful “the homeless problem ” is but at the same time have strange mentality around what “those people ” deserve. It’s easier to hate and lump all homeless into one pile and label it trash. We are not all the same yet we were cut from the same cloth as you. There are many cracks to fall through and I would think this last year should have taught us all that they are easier to fall through than you might think, but vastly harder to climb out of. I am not a problem I’m a human being with a problem and I’m not crazy, not when compared to the worshiping of money I see in my NIMBY neighbors, and Im not on drugs unless you count coffee and in that case my NIMBY neighbors are a bunch of junkies with their Starbucks and money as their fix. I was born in Seattle and was completely shoved out by transplant snobs who had no northwest vision and wanted everything to look all gentrified in the upcoming neighborhoods they were displacing people to buy up. If you weren’t born in Seattle don’t try to tell me weather or not I can be homeless in my city park.

JenMoon
JenMoon
1 month ago
Reply to  A.Joy

:) (also, that’s a great idea)

Sojohnative
Sojohnative
2 months ago

Ok, groovy. Let everyone crash wherever they want , city council hack Sawant can sit on her hands letting everything Capitol Hill become an oozing sore.
The crappy little house that I’ve struggled to purchase improve and maintain as my home now has $7k a year property taxes, park department funding that I stupidly voted for and all the little city taxes that are paying for my new homeless neighbors to trash my neighborhood and the park department drives by in their new trucks laughing, no doubt, but certainly not working.
To paraphrase Bob Dylan “I used to care but things have changed”

C Doom
C Doom
2 months ago

Yes or no: Does a city owe a home to anyone that shows up here but can’t afford to rent an apartment. Yes or no. If yes then we are required to do it; if no then these homeless are trespassing and need to move. But we are paralyzed unless we even agree what the policy needs to be.

Jeff
Jeff
2 months ago
Reply to  C Doom

So if they’re asked to move, where exactly are they going to go?

ClaireWithTheHair
ClaireWithTheHair
2 months ago
Reply to  Jeff

This question has been answered over and over again. But why is it even our job to answer this question? If I see my daughter eating glass, am I not allowed to make her stop until I find a suitable replacement for her to eat?

Is it not enough for us to say “this is really bad and it needs to stop”?

Jeff
Jeff
2 months ago

You need to answer this question to solve the problem. If you tell people they just need to move, you’re just a getting another community upset and just passing the buck. What type of world do you live in where saying “this needs to stop,” actually does anything.

I wouldn’t frame it that the City owes a home to anyone who shows up here, however, if we want to start solving the problem, we should be investing in more permanent housing for people. I live near three different tiny house villages and they seem to be working out really well. I would hope the city makes more investments like these which are manageable and can be established in a much shorter time compared to building more shelters.

Miles
Miles
2 months ago

The problem is, living in a park isn’t like eating glass. If your daughter was eating spoiled leftover food because that’s the only thing she could could afford to eat, would you tell her to stop, without offering something better? If she kept on stealing all of the candy at the doctors office because she was hungry, wouldn’t you be embarrassed as a parent for not feeding her when she’s hungry.

dre
dre
2 months ago
Reply to  Jeff

That’s unanswerable if you’re looking for exact coordinates, but I imagine the answer depends on a case to case basis.

CD Neighbor
CD Neighbor
2 months ago
Reply to  C Doom

No – because where exactly does it end? How many of the worlds residents are we obligated to take in just because they show up? There’s a finite amount of space in any neighborhood – no matter what financial position that you are, and not everyone who wants to live in a particular spot is necessarily going to be able to- poor, middle or rich. Should we have housing that allows people of all income levels to live here – yes – should we throw up our hands and say fine – do whatever you want – if some people find that there isn’t a place for them exactly where and when they want it – absolutely not. People shouldn’t be allowed to trash a place just because they cannot deal with the fact that life often requires compromise.

Jokemokesmoke
Jokemokesmoke
2 months ago

I live on 18th and Madison and I have a person staying right outside my window on the side of an abandoned shelter
I have been homeless as a child and adult some people want to be housed others I feel just like tyranny.
All I know is this shit has gotten out of hand. I pray for them.

Acid Jackson
Acid Jackson
2 months ago
Reply to  Jokemokesmoke

You’re exactly right. There are so many different reasons folks are homeless, and they all have different needs. There is no silver bullet.

Jon
Jon
2 months ago

My lease is almost up and my job has yet to reopen since the lockdown. I’ve got camping equipment. Maybe I should just camp out in Cal Anderson and save my unemployment check.

Bob Hodges
Bob Hodges
2 months ago

There’s kindness and there’s stupidity.

The 9th circuit ruling that people can camp on any public ground unless the city provides free housing is nonsensical.

The demand for below market housing by definition will always exceed supply.

I’d rather live in Malibu when I can only afford Marysville. Why can’t I have free housing too? Should I quit my job?

Sheryl
Sheryl
2 months ago

We are in the middle of a pandemic, and we are rich as hell. the hotels should be open and stay open.