City says removal notice doesn’t mean full sweep of Miller Playfield encampments — UPDATE

Seattle Parks says notices left with homeless campers at Capitol Hill’s Miller Playfield apply to only a portion of the city property and aren’t part of a full sweep of the encampments.

The notices left at encampment sites on the north lawn area require the area to be cleared by January 11th. Continue reading

Year two of Seattle’s homelessness state of emergency marked by City Hall sleep-in, debate over ‘sweeps’

(Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

Two years ago, Seattle declared a state of emergency for homelessness and plans to boost spending to address the issue by a few million dollars. To mark this declaration and stop homeless sweeps, activists slept overnight in Seattle City Hall and on the plaza after they gave over 100 testimonies against so-called “sweeps” before peacefully wrapping up their camps Thursday morning.

“As many times as I’ve stood up here since June, I’ve stood at homeless camps with friends,” Travis Thompson said, addressing a Seattle City Council budget hearing Wednesday night as the sleep-in got underway. He described what happens when police come in to remove the homeless. “What little stability you have is ruined and we put them closer to death by doing that … This needs to happen right now, people are dying!”

At Wednesday night’s budget hearing, both Stop The Sweeps and pro-sweeps group Speak Out Seattle offered ample testimony while people filled the overflow room and rallied outside. As it got dark, others downstairs played in a makeshift band with its own tap dancer. Some said it reminded them of the Occupy movement. People slept in tents, gathered supplies, and huddled around a few heating lamps. Continue reading