The City of Seattle wants people to comment on revised rules for removing homeless encampments.
Here are the biggest developments:
- City allows Parks, SPU, SDOT, City Light, FAS, DON, OH and Seattle Center to prohibit camping on properties under their jurisdiction.
- Obstructions and hazards have to be removed immediately. (Personal property that is removed can be retrieved later from a specified location.)
- Departments above have to report an unauthorized encampment to FAS within 1 business day and state the priority for which encampments should be cleared first.
- A notice would be posted to at the site, notifying the people that they’ll be cleared between 3-7 days.
- The city will offer these people connections to shelters and services before the removal.
- If one area continues to have people come back after it’s cleared, the city will check that spot at least ONCE A DAY to sign off that no one has come back and make sure it’s fenced off.
Two homeless people and homeless advocates filed a lawsuit against the City of Seattle and the Washington Department of Transportation for violating constitutional rights of people living outside by seizing and often throwing away their property, according to the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington last week.
The lawsuit claims that the city and state threw away the two homeless people’s property without adequate notice. Read about the lawsuit here.
Officially, the city’s authorized homeless camps are a temporary fix to remedy the local homeless crisis that has gotten worse during Mayor Ed Murray’s time in office. It is estimated that more than 2,000 people are unsheltered in Seattle on any given night.
The mayor’s long-term solution is called “Pathways Home.” It involves expanding 24-hour shelter services and re-focusing the city’s homeless solutions to an individual-based approach. The program is expected to take a couple years to set up.
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