SEATTLE — After complaints about trash, rats, crime and rampant drug activity for six years, city of Seattle crews and Seattle police cleared an encampment at North 125th Street and Stone Avenue North on Tuesday.
A KIRO 7 crew was there as crews towed away numerous recreational vehicles, as well as abandoned cars that did not run.
One tow operator said he loses hundreds of dollars on each abandoned car he has to impound.
There were also tons of trash and debris in a spot where city signs warned about illegal dumping.
KIRO 7 learned that the city reached out to people who were living in their cars, RVs and tents, to offer shelter.
One source close to the situation told KIRO 7 that the majority of people did not accept the offers for help and just moved to another location.
A KIRO 7 crew also got a chance to speak to a neighbor, as well as a friend of those who were swept from the area.
“What I’ve been seeing is, ah, criminal enterprise that lives down here, people that are not interested in following any rules, supporters that are supporting them — that they should be allowed to live here, and yet the neighborhood is suffering. Believe me,” said Melinda Jackson. “We pay taxes but we haven’t been heard for six years. How you like to live near this?”
“They say oh, well it’s a mess, or this (and) that oh. Well, if you’re concerned about that, maybe don’t make everybody leave, so it’s on your front porch,” said Lilly, a friend of a displaced person.
The sweep is the latest where encampments have been cleared around Seattle this week, including the removal of a line of tents along the Interurban Trail in North Seattle.
Mayor Bruce Harrell has made a commitment to cleaning up the city with the fast deployment of shelter and outreach teams, giving unsheltered people opportunities to take advantage of the services the city has offered.
More than a dozen sweeps have occurred in the city within the last month.
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