Mayor says no one in Seattle's 'Jungle' will be evicted

After previously saying the dangerous homeless encampment under I-5 known as the Jungle should be shut down, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray is saying no homeless people will be forced to leave.

There are still about 100 people living in the camp.

Talk of evicting people there came after five people were shot and two killed in January, and in the last few months, according to the Seattle Times, about 250 people have left the Jungle.

But on Tuesday, a spokesperson for a mayor says those who are still living in the Jungle won’t be evicted if they stay out of the way of cleaning crews.

And on Wednesday, Murray acknowledged that the homeless camp might never be fully shut down. He said that since services were provided to people who have since left the Jungle, crime has dropped, but in order for those left in the camp to be forcibly removed, this would need to happen:

"Two things would have to happen. The state would have to tell us how they're going to close it down, and secondly, I would ask for council approval to involve police as well as human services to move people."

In May, Murray admitted the plan for the Jungle was a work in progress.

"I don't have the answers. We're actually making this up as we go along,” he said in May.

About 90 percent of those who are still living in the Jungle struggle with substance abuse.

Meanwhile, Seattle Parks and Recreation and the Washington State Department of Transportation are tasked with cleaning up the Jungle.

WSDOT was supposed to have started already, but they are waiting for a go-ahead from the city.