Local

Mount Baker preschool begs Seattle to remove nearby encampment

The director of a bilingual preschool in the Mount Baker neighborhood of Seattle is pleading with the city to remove nearby homeless encampments.

They would also like to see an increase in Seattle police officers in the area.

According to Gloria Hodge, director of the Hoa Mai Vietnamese Bilingual Preschool, she says the encampments are a safety concern and put the kids at risk.

“There’s just different crime that has been coming with it, as far as murders, or you know, stabbing drugs, and it’s very concerning for us as we have children in the early learning center,” Hodge said.

Just last week a man was stabbed several times nearby. He was left critically injured.

Hodge says families are deeply concerned with the crime happening at the encampments.

“September there was a murder in the encampment on the west side of our facility,” Hodge said.

Police say a 54-year-old man was found unconscious on the sidewalk.

Hodge said the school does not have the money for private security and they’ve asked the city for help.

“They just shared that they would be monitoring the matter and also picking up trash which is unacceptable,” Hodge said.

Wednesday, the school sent a letter to all city leaders pleading for help once again.

“We’re asking for clear communication about the crime and what they are doing within our community and we’re asking for the unauthorized encampment to be moved and for there to be more police presence in that area,” the letter said.