People at new encampment need to pack up, leave, city says

BELLINGHAM, Wash. — The city of Bellingham told people living in a new homeless encampment near Western Washington University they need to pack up and leave.

This comes after people living at an encampment at Geri Fields had to pack up Tuesday and leave because the city cleared the camp. The city stated the camp was a public health issue.

Crews estimated between 20 and 30 people were staying there.

The city offered shelter to the campers who moved out but did not say how many accepted.

As for the new homeless encampment at Laural Park, the city posted notices calling it a public health risk. The city decreed people have until Friday to leave.

On Wednesday, KIRO 7 checked in with Basecamp, which is a shelter run by the Lighthouse Mission, and its data showed only five more people stayed with them last night, bringing the shelter to 75% capacity.

Homeless advocates argue some of the campers are ineligible or do not want to stay at Basecamp because of being previously kicked out or have had a traumatic or disrespectful experience in the past.