Homeless encampment in Bellingham faces new threat to move

VIDEO: Homeless camp in Bellingham faces new threat to move

BELLINGHAM, Wash. — An unsanctioned homeless encampment that sprang up in the lower Frank Geri Softball Field parking lot in the Civic Athletic Complex in Bellingham is facing removal.

On Tuesday, the city posted a legal notice telling people there that they must remove their belongings by 4 p.m. Friday.

However, a coalition of community groups came together condemning the way the city has been handling things.

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Officials said they would not announce when or if they would sweep the camp.

Clashes happened at City Hall, where a camp was set up in November, highlighting the lack of available shelter. That camp was cleared last Thursday but moved a mile east to the Geri Field parking lot.

Police bodycam showed the trouble during the removal of the camp. At least four people were arrested.

The previous week, protesters broke into City Hall during an earlier effort to remove the camp.

The city’s mayor thinks much of the conflict was caused by outside agitators.

The city said it is working to create more space at nearby shelters.

But some of the people in the camp told KIRO 7 that they have had bad experiences with shelter providers and will not stay.