WEST SEATTLE ENCAMPMENT: Mayor announces ‘sanctioned’ camp on Myers Way Parcels site

(UPDATED 6:30 PM with comment from City Councilmember Lisa Herbold)

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(Photo by Cory Bagley – aerial view of western Myers Way Parcels land, from this past July)

4:44 PM: A month and a half ago, during the uproar about whether camping would be allowed in city parks, Mayor Murray promised to announce four new authorized encampment sites. Since then, city staff has been reviewing locations, and has just announced three sites – including one in southeast West Seattle, part of the city-owned Myers Way Parcels. Here’s the announcement just in:

Today, the Human Services Department announced the siting of three new temporary sanctioned encampments for individuals living unsheltered in Seattle. This action is part of the Bridging the Gap plan, announced in October, to better address the immediate needs of people experiencing homelessness while the City fully implements its long-term plan, Pathways Home.

Together, the following three new sanctioned encampments will serve more than 200 people starting in early 2017:

1. 1000 S Myrtle Street will contain up to 50 tiny houses serving 60-70 people.

2. 8620 Nesbit Ave N. will contain up to 50 tiny houses serving 60-70 people.

3. 9701 Myers Way S will contain up to 50 tents serving 60-70 people.

“Today’s announcement recognizes our need to provide safer alternatives to the people living unsheltered on our streets as we work to implement Pathways Home,” said Catherine Lester, Director of the Human Services Department. “We remain committed to our long-term plan to transform our homeless services system and focus our investments on getting people off the streets and into housing. In the meantime, we will continue the work of increasing our outreach efforts, implementing a more compassionate set of protocols when cleanups are necessary and offering trash and needle pickup services.”

In October, Mayor Murray announced the Bridging the Gap plan, which recognizes that the City should not displace unauthorized encampments that do not pose an imminent health or safety risk or do not unlawfully obstruct a public use, unless the City can offer those living there a safer alternative place to live. The plan reflects the principles laid out by the Task Force on Unsheltered Cleanup Protocols.

That announcement came a month after Mayor Murray announced Pathways Home, Seattle’s plan to transform our homeless services system by focusing our investments on the goal of getting people into stable housing. The plan aims to eliminate barriers to better meet the individualized needs of those experiencing homelessness, shift investments where necessary to achieve the goal of moving people into housing, and increase accountability to this goal through performance-based contracting.

The first of the authorized encampments is scheduled to open in early January.

Additional information about the Mayor’s actions to address homelessness can be found here.

There’s already an unauthorized encampment – Camp Second Chance – on part of the Myers Way Parcels (it was slated for eviction four months ago but that was shelved indefinitely). We have asked the Human Services Department to clarify if that camp is included in this plan or not. (ADDED: Spokesperson Chelsea Kellogg says this is the same site CSC is on.)

BACKSTORY: At one point, the mayor planned to sell part of the Myers Way Parcels to raise money for homelessness-related programs. Then he announced in mid-July that most of it would be kept for open-space purposes, except for a section to be used to expand the Joint Training Facility that borders it to the north.

Related to that – and immediately preceding this announcement – local advocates had learned that the site had yet to be transferred to the Parks Department, as the mayor had indicated it would be, and instead remains in the portfolio of the Department of Finance and Administrative Services, which remains accountable for its maintenance. Councilmember Lisa Herbold subsequently learned of this and asked Parks Superintendent Jesús Aguirre about it. His reply to her: “Although the property has been committed to and designated to be transferred to SPR’s inventory, the official transfer has not yet happened. Finally, since we do not have the funds to maintain the property, FAS has agreed to continue doing so. We will update our maps listing the land-banked sites to include the Myers Way site moving forward, with the caveat that there is not yet funding available for the development of the site.” (“Land-banked” refers to sites Parks owns – such as the Morgan Junction Park expansion site and the Charlestown and 40th SW sites in West Seattle – but has not yet developed with park facilities.) How, or whether, this relates to the encampment announcement is not yet clear.

The Myers Way Parcels have had other proposed uses in the past, including, in the late 2000s, consideration as a possible site for a new city jail that ultimately wasn’t built.

ADDED 6:30 PM: From Councilmember Herbold:

Because I know Highland Park residents have expressed concerns about equity with the rest of District, I asked what criteria HSD used to select the approximately 50 sites throughout Seattle that were deemed eligible for consideration. Here is what I was told:

Urgency: The primary review focused on city-owned parcels that could be activated quickly based on site conditions and current use of the property.

Geographic distribution: They primarily focused on parcels located in different areas of the city from the 3 existing authorized encampments.

Authorized Encampment Ordinance: They prioritized sites based on how they met the requirements of the authorized encampment ordinance, including location in non-residential zones, availability of transit, minimum lot size of 5000 sf, adjacent uses, etc.

Underlying Financing: As a budgetary consideration, they evaluated the underlying ownership/financing of sites to determine the amount of required compensation for the use of the site (e.g. utility ownership or gas tax financing).

Given these criteria, they evaluated about 50 possible sites for the new authorized encampments and of those sites, 5 were located in West Seattle. I’ve asked what the other 3 sites were. One of those was the old Nickelsville site. Specifically, I’d like to be able to explain to the community what made the other two sites in West Seattle less desirable.

The Mayor’s Office has told me that they will pledge to work closely with the surrounding communities to make the Myers Way site a good home for encampment occupants and a good neighbor to the surrounding communities.

We have additional followup questions we’ll be pursuing with the city tomorrow.

80 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE ENCAMPMENT: Mayor announces 'sanctioned' camp on Myers Way Parcels site"

  • flimflam December 1, 2016 (5:22 pm)

    weird. didn’t we just pay an outside “expert” nearly 100k to tell us that the camps were a bad idea?

    • cetj98168 December 2, 2016 (8:49 am)

      The city is trying to foist these camps onto poor neighborhoods that can least afford the problems. 3 better locations might be Windermere, Montlake, and Medina. Add Bellevue Square and Westlake Center to the mix and problem solved. 

      • Teri Ensley December 2, 2016 (12:09 pm)

        Thank you cetj98168.  Exactly what I was thinking.   This social/class discrimination. 

      • Carin4life December 5, 2016 (12:49 pm)

        I think the proposed sites are closest to transportation and other services…let’s improve the bus lines to all the above places and make sure there is a public health facility and food banks so a homeless camp can move in there!

  • Jort Sandwich December 1, 2016 (6:01 pm)

    I hope that this little slice of land can bring some warmth and a feeling of home to people who truly need it.

  • WestCake December 1, 2016 (6:11 pm)

    A proposal to let the homeless to continue to live outside is inhumane at best. The government needs to fill it’s budget by taxation. In one way or another. Then it can buy land at fair market value, and give developers tax incentives to build low income housing. A serious discussion of this issue involves how to raise the funds needed. King County Business tax? State income tax? Pursuing a progressive agenda but not funding it is conservative at best.

    • TheKing December 1, 2016 (7:30 pm)

      Fill it’s budget by taxation? Speak for yourself. I’ve worked two jobs to keep a roof over my head. What they need to do is prioritize their budget. Depending on economy 0.5 – 1% of the ST3’s 54 billion dollar budget will go to art. ART !?!

    • captainDave December 1, 2016 (8:02 pm)

      I wonder how many people are homeless because of high taxes and job-killing regulations?  Increasing the cost of living and eliminating jobs is just going to make more homeless.  

      How about doing what San Francisco did and pay for their bus fare back home to their families?  Or maybe provide ferry vouchers so that they can find more reasonably priced housing in Kitsap?

      • Thinker. December 2, 2016 (9:39 am)

        How do you think they can afford any housing, anywhere, if they need a free ferry ride..? 

      • Duwamesque December 2, 2016 (10:43 am)

        I wonder how many people are homeless because of high taxes and job-killing regulations?  “


        How about zero percent. What “high taxes” and “job-killing regulations” are you even talking about? No one is homeless because of taxes or regulations. It is the cost of housing, pure and simple.

        Send ’em back to where exactly? NIMBYS-ville? Shall we rehash the tired trope that the homeless all come from out of state? Yeah send them across the water where you don’t have to look at them and there are no jobs or services. How humane.

    • Notcool December 2, 2016 (12:44 pm)

      Have you seen what low income housing has done to federal way?! Absolutely ruined the community. The biggest indicator of crime is poverty. Sorry I don’t need anymore of that around here. 

      • M December 2, 2016 (5:06 pm)

        I work in Federal Way. Very true.  

  • Gene December 1, 2016 (6:19 pm)

    Jort Sandwich —A little bit of home? How about spending money to find INDOOR shelter- with INDOOR  plumbing, HOT water for showers & laundry & HEAT? 

  • WsEd December 1, 2016 (6:28 pm)

    Anyone remember the Nickelsville camp at the bottom of the hill that was evicted because it was found to be an illegal use of public land even though it was sanctioned.  When I see them purpose an encampment in Broadmoor, Madrona, or Magnolia I’ll be on board.

    • WSB December 1, 2016 (6:41 pm)

      No, Nickelsville was never sanctioned. At one point there was an announcement that the camp would not be evicted – that’s not the same as being sanctioned. (And eventually it WAS evicted in 2013 – see the archives for the topic in our “categories” list on the lower right sidebar.) By the way, I have just added comment from Councilmember Herbold that the ex-Nickelsville site was considered in this process. – TR

      • Paul December 1, 2016 (7:16 pm)

        Thanks for the comment from Lisa. I think it would be interesting understand exactly which sites (all 50) were evaluated. Like other commenters I am concerned that the city really only evaluated sites in which the communities cannot afford to fight city hall. 

        • Steve December 1, 2016 (8:13 pm)

          Exactly.  

        • Alki Resident December 1, 2016 (9:22 pm)

          Nailed it.

        • Neighbor December 1, 2016 (10:02 pm)

          I agree Paul. I’m skeptical that the city finds West and South Seattle more desirable for encampments. All neighborhoods should host homeless and Magnuson Park, Discovery Park and other north or central locations should be offered while keeping each site small and manageable. This is not equitable for the neighborhoods. Adjacent property owners should have additional city services such as trash clean up services, law enforcement support, etc. to support the burden. If you haven’t seen the huge amount of trash scattered all over the place that rivals a many major 3rd world slum, you don’t have to go further than areas east of lower Spokane street bridge. 

      • Chuck Jacobs December 2, 2016 (10:24 am)

        Uhh..   announcing that you aren’t going to enforce the law is totally the same as being sanctioned. The mayor’s office and the city council should change the law if the want to do this. Otherwise, people will lose respect for the law and you’ll see more willful violations, such as driving over 30 mph on arterials, letting your dog off leash in a park, or pulling forward into a “bike box”.

         If those in authority keep using the excuse, “We’re going to ignore the law in this case because it’s the right thing to do”, their moral authority will evaporate quicker than Boone’s Farm on hot pavement. 

  • Chas Redmond December 1, 2016 (8:16 pm)

    Is there a reason the West Seattle site gets tents and the other sites get tiny houses? Tiny houses are much more stable and insulated. Sounds somewhat discriminatory on the face of it.

    • Delridge Resident December 2, 2016 (10:21 am)

      Are there local businesses or perhaps leftover construction materials that can be gathered and used to build tiny homes for this location? It would reduce waste from the construction projects in the area and give the folks at this location a bit more security.

  • justme December 1, 2016 (9:03 pm)

    I feel sorry for the SHAG community on the hillside there. I’ve heard from several tenants that they have nothing but hassles, trespassing, and theft related to the encampment there already. Needles in doorways, stolen mail, apartments broken into, etc…what a mess. Those people worked hard to reach their retirement, now to be victims to the vultures who hang around the fringes of these encampments is sad.

  • flimflam December 1, 2016 (9:26 pm)

    does the city do anything for regular ol’ taxpaying citizens anymore? anyone recall the citizen outcry for “upzoning”, encampments, non enforcement of simple laws?

     meanwhile, according to the Times, the schools will face a 75million dollar “shortfall” next year. 

    • Steve December 2, 2016 (1:12 pm)

      They don’t do anything for the taxpayer other then continue raising taxes and implementing horrible policies! Too bad the 30 percent keeps voting these idiots into office!

  • Ben Calot December 1, 2016 (9:46 pm)

    Non-residential? The Myers location is right next to my house, and the houses of the entire TopHat neighborhood. This location is very residential.

    Furthermore, we already have 4 large encampments on Myers. Are you kidding me! You want to add a fifth encampment on this street. 

    And further…the Myers location is part of the Lower Duwamish Superfund site, and is contaminated with cement kiln dust and ash (page 81):

    https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/gsp/DocViewer.ashx?did=46145

    Nice progressive plan. Pile all the homeless people into camps on contaminated land in poor neighborhoods.

  • Mary Fleck December 1, 2016 (9:56 pm)

    Since the summer, Seattle Green Spaces Coalition and the Myers Way Vision Team, a new group of neighbors, homeless advocates and community organizations have been reaching out to engage diverse groups in the future of the Myers Way Green Space.  The Parks Department, Finance and Administrative Services Department and the Department of Neighborhoods have all refused to meet with us, saying that it is premature until the Parks Department has funding to plan for the site, not until 2020.  

    We urge community engagement NOW, especially since there are critical wetlands on the land.  A big concern is the impact of a large homeless encampment on the wetlands.  We have asked the City for an updated wetlands delineation, but it has refused to conduct one.  These wetlands are part of our watershed and contribute to the health of the Duwamish River. 

     It is contradictory that the Mayor is looking for applicants to serve on his new Equity and Environment Committee, at the same time his departments refuse to meet with community members.

    Join our efforts!  We are meeting on Sunday, December 3 at 3:00 at the Delridge Library.

    Mary Fleck, Co-Chair, Seattle Green Spaces Coalition   

    info@seattlegreenspacescoalition.org

    • HBB December 2, 2016 (11:36 am)

      Mary, did Seattle Greenspaces Coalition seriously not see this coming?

      SGC lobbied for the city to retain these parcels knowing that: (1) the city intended to use the revenue from the sale of the parcels to fund programs to address homelessness, and (2) if the parcels were retained, the city would not devote any funding or resources to oversight or habitat protection for many years (if ever). Did the organization fail to recognize that this combination virtually guaranteed that the homeless encampments on Myers Way parcels would grow even larger, and unregulated dumping would become an increasing problem? 

  • Wb December 1, 2016 (10:14 pm)

    Why not take the place that was recently clearcut by homeowners  in admiral and have that be the west Seattle encampment in lieu of the Meyers way site? See

    UPDATE: Outrage after 100+ trees cut without permission on city-owned West Seattle slopes

    • Ben Calot December 1, 2016 (10:20 pm)

      I love this idea.

      It’s the perfect solution to two problems. A bunch of rich folks thought they’d increase the value of their houses by cutting down park trees. Let’s see how much the value changes after there’s a homeless encampment in their back yard like there is in mine.

      Spread the wealth.

    • JanS December 2, 2016 (12:29 am)

      while that idea satisfies the revenge you want to get for the homeowners that clear cut the trees above Admiral Way, it’s not flat…it’s a hill…no way can you put tents OR tiny houses there…

      • Ben Calot December 2, 2016 (7:22 am)

        Apparently no one told the campers on Myers that you can’t put a tent on a slope. We have ~100 campers on a much steeper slope along 509. 

        This still seems like a good idea to me.

    • South Park Sassy December 2, 2016 (4:44 pm)

      Excellent idea!  They thought their only punishment would be a little fine.  How are they going to like it when 70 heroin addicts descend on their homes each night to steal their patio furniture, Amazon Fresh deliveries and anything they leave in their cars?  :)

       

  • New Thinking Needed December 1, 2016 (10:18 pm)

    I hope the city considers charging a nominal fee from the campers. We all need to contribute.  I am happy to pay my share of taxes but I firmly believe everyone should contribute to their community.  Water, garbage service, and electricity are not free.

    And yes, seems that fancy pants homeless consultant was a waste of money.  How many people could have been housed or had rent assistance with those funds that paid for a consultant?

  • JanS December 2, 2016 (12:32 am)

    New thinking needed….these are homeless people, many unemployed…exactly how are you going to get a nominal fee from them if they have no income? Maybe we all need to start thinking, before we take up “new” thinking…

  • ltfd December 2, 2016 (1:23 am)

    I feel very sorry for the homeowners next to the encampments: increased property crime, increased trash, and decreased quality of life are coming your way. I hope that the owners of the adjacent properties, including the city’s Joint Training Facility, get some good guard dogs. As a poster above noted, it is too bad for the SHAG residents on Meyers Way.

  • Double Dub Resident December 2, 2016 (4:54 am)

    Screw taxation.  We’re taxed enough.  

    Implying that all these people are homeless because of rent Prices? Are you kidding me?  Any reasonable person would find a way to keep a roof over their head.  Know what I did when I couldn’t afford a place on my own? I had to do this crazy thing called getting roommates.  

    And go look around at least in the Westwood area.  The majorly of the homeless population are drug addicts.  

    And low income housing? You mean no income housing,  right?  Because that is more accurate. 

    There are shelters that people don’t want to go to because they have those stupid “rules”.  There was a couple who lived in the Jungle for 6 year.  6 years!!  And they didn’t want to go to a shelter.  And what were they doing for 6 years to try and better themselves to get out of there except in their own words,  frequent the methadone clinic down the street on a regular basis. 

    When Nickelsville was at the bottom of the hill,  the neighborhood at the top experienced a lot more petty crime.  I read on this blog frequently about it.  Even the Westwood area was affected.  Besides the rise in petty crimes,  there were no pan handlers at Westwood Village before Nickelsville. 

    We pay taxes for the parks and our moronic city council wants to make homeless camping legal  in these very parks,  not to mention some sidewalks.  Sidewalks!! 

    We spend a $150,000 a year for some homeless czar and we get no results.  Meanwhile we a the head of the DOJ making $2,000 a day who basically does nothing,  except spend more of the city’s money on things like alcohol and silk sheets and when called on it,  blackmails the city that if they keep questioning him,  he’ll find the city out of compliance.  Then you have the city cooking the books by double charging like buying police cars and then making the police department rent those very cars at an average of $2,000 a month per car. 

    This city is wasteful.  Why do these “progressive” City Council members need a $1,300 plaque with their name on it?  And that is just a microcosm of the city wasting money 

  • Andy December 2, 2016 (4:56 am)

    Paul Allen and Nick Hanaurer surely have some property where the homeless can reside.

  • M December 2, 2016 (5:46 am)

    Wish I could exchange my stupid $100 “campaign voucher” for $100 to a quality local non profit that actually help the homeless issue. 

    • ACG December 2, 2016 (11:22 am)

      That is an interesting idea. I’d rather my tax money (in the form of the vouchers) go to something I would actually support, instead of being forced to use it for a politician’s campaign. 

  • Ron December 2, 2016 (5:49 am)

    We should figuring out how to get rid of these camps not encourage them.

    Mayor Murray is a JOKE! Why don’t they put one of these camps in his neighborhood or better yet one of the parks on Capital Hill. Why do the tax payers, home owners and renters have be forced to have these mostly drug addicts legitimized and moved in next door. I live somewhat near Westwood village and have recently started finding needles out on walks with my dog and the p patch keeps turning up with stolen backpacks and items robbers go through and leave behind… My heart goes out to the folks who live near these encampments and have to worry about more crime, garbage and needles in their areas. The only way to turn the tide is get rid of this lame mayor and replace with anti encampment choice… But in this town I’m sure the next  candidates will all try to outdo each other on how much tax money and tax payer’s public land to these mostly drug addicts..

  • Canton December 2, 2016 (6:23 am)

    In discovery park, on the northeast end, they have over 5 acres of unused land. There are currently large brick buildings with plywood over the windows. There is enough “unused” shelter for possibly the entire homeless population. Why not? Oh, it’s Magnolia.

  • JoB December 2, 2016 (7:05 am)

    instead of feeling sorry for the homeowners around the Meyer’s Way parcel .. how about feeling glad for them that some of the illegal campers will be moved into a legal managed campground.. making it easier to clear the illegal campers that are causing problems out of there?

    Do you know how many people live on that hillside now? I suspect the numbers would astonish you.

    and by the way.. some of them are employed.

  • JoB December 2, 2016 (7:16 am)

    Double Dub Resident

    i am assuming you are not acquainted with current realities…

    1) check the roommate listings on any of the public bulliten boards and you will quickly find that renting a room from someone else is out of reach for someone with a limited income..  many of our city’s homeless are either on supplemental incomes while waiting for SSD or on SSD. their income? from around $200 to $1000 if they are lucky.

    2) one of the rules of subsidized housing if they are lucky enough to qualify? no roommates.

    3) take a look at the move in fees that are charged for rentals these days.. unless you have several thousand in your pocket at the time you move in and solid proof that you have an income that will not only support your rent but continue to support your rent.. it doesn’t matter what you can afford on a month to month basis.

    4) if you have any criminal history at all.. of pretty much any kind.. or got into financial difficulties following an illness that included outstanding bank fees.. you will not pass the background check to rent.. no matter how much money you make every month.. not even if “mommy” signs for you.

     5) if you have  a pet is is harder to get housing no matter how large your income.
    I know.. we have dogs .. we rent.. and we didn’t have an easy time finding a rental that would allow our pets … even after paying what i would call a hefty damage fee (not refundable) and an even heftier deposit… the check i wrote that first month for what is considered a modest rental here in West Seattle would have wiped out the income of most homeless people i know for at least a year.

    and our lease states no roommates.

    • WsEd December 2, 2016 (9:26 am)

      I have extended family on SSD due to a work related accident.  And guess what they did, they moved somewhere more affordable. Other people’s poor choices shouldn’t mean that the rest of us near this site should be unduly encumbered.

      • Mickymse December 2, 2016 (11:53 am)

        Please… Go right ahead and tell us how you are personally “unduly encumbered” by folks pitching a tent nearby. Will your home be colder or wetter for you to sleep in? Will you have a less soft mattress to sleep on or warm blankets to sleep under? Or perhaps you will have less food to feed yourself?

        Maybe you think this will somehow bring “drug addicts” and “criminals” into our neighborhood because you aren’t already aware of the very high number of current neighbors you have who are wrestling with mental illness and drug addiction or who are convicted felons and sex offenders? Maybe you aren’t aware of the high number of homeless people who are underemployed, so they actually go to work every day but don’t make enough to afford to live? Or maybe they were just like you but the lack of employee-subsidized healthcare means that some illness wiped out their entire savings, while it costs you a few co-pays?

        • WsEd December 2, 2016 (12:39 pm)

          Ok I will tell you,

          I have personally been attacked by a “homeless” person in the WestWood Village parking lot.  Mail theft, property theft, and vandalism in my neighborhood has gone up dramatically since these encampments started during Greg Nickels tenure.  Add to that the blight of panhandling (Yes it is a blight) around West Seattle that has been on the increase and those all have deleterious effects on the lives and well being of productive citizens.  Oh, but I have never experienced food or housing insecurity you say.  You are wrong, I have personally experienced these things.  Every one of these people can make a choice, but the vast majority have found the lifestyle while not the most appealing, something they have become way to accustomed to.

          Homeless have existed for a long time in the city, but due to the inability, incompetence, or just plain cow towing to developers our leaders have refused to offer up substantive options for dealing with the problem.  Many of these people had low income often illegal tenements in areas like South Lake union, but the Amazonization of that area has pushed more of these people to the outlying areas.  Now there seems to be a great push to red line areas of the city, oh sorry lets use the current euphemism of upzoning and if you look at these density maps isn’t it interesting that the encampments don’t seem to be near any of the areas like Washington Park, Lechsi, Seward Park, Madrona.  So go ahead and call the critics NIMBY, but the leaders and have shown by their actions that the real motivation is out sight, out of mind.

          • A December 3, 2016 (12:28 am)

            I completely agree.   They will continue to make the poorer areas suffer, it’s the Mayor and city council that are the true NIMBYS.

  • T Rex December 2, 2016 (7:41 am)

     Does anyone really think the city is going to “manage” these sites whatsoever? They wont and they will look like the camp sites that we see everywhere. Filthy, full of trash, needles and whatever they have stolen to earn money for their habit. I for one am sick of it.

     Job, what evidence do you have that some of these people are employed? If they are in fact working, do they not have ANYONE who will let them stay with them, or do they work simply to support their habit?

     How is it that I learned and educated myself at an early age that heroin, the strongest opiate available on the street was also the most additive drug in the world. In most cases, after only several dosages you are hooked. Mentally and physically. Thus I never put a needle in my arm, ever. Did I have friends that did, yes I did. They are either no longer with us or finally woke up and went to a treatment facility.

    I understand that these are human beings and I feel sad that they have choose this life for themselves. But it is not other people’s responsibility to support them while they are still using drugs. 

    Want a free house from McMurray, get into a treatment facility, get some counseling and get your sh*t together.  

     I recently saw a program about some people in Maine who are using medical marijuana to help people get through the withdrawals of heroin.  They had people present for support and counseling. Some people stayed clean, some did not. But at least they were trying.

    • miws December 2, 2016 (8:56 am)

      T Rex,  JoB’s evidence would be having gotten to know many homeless people over the past 5 1/2 years. 

      Mike

      • A December 3, 2016 (12:37 am)

        It’s still bull, the majority of these homeless people are on drugs and everyone knows it.   But go ahead and continue lying to yourself and saying that they are just “down on their luck”.  Those homeless people are the vast minority.  The jungle clean up was a prime example, with drug needles/paraphernalia  everywhere. 

        One thing I will say is there should be more jobs available to formerly incarcerated people.   If felons are able to get a job and work then they will be less likely to reoffend.  However, finding a job is extremely difficult so they just end up going into a cycle of crime.  But that is a whole other can of worms! 

    • Mickymse December 2, 2016 (11:56 am)

      Well, ask yourself, do you have anyone around here who would let YOU stay with them for a few months if you were in between jobs or needed to save up money for some reason? Do you have the means to take someone in that you know if his or her family needed a place to stay for a few months?

  • Double Dub Resident December 2, 2016 (7:47 am)

    JOB,  you’re making an implication that most homeless  are homeless due to circumstances beyond their control.  Where is your data on this to back up your claim?  I’ll take you on a tour first hand of Westwood Village and show you the  drug addicts who are making Westwood and Roxhill Park their “residency”.  

    People are complaining that there are not enough shelters, but shelters have reported having empty beds because people don’t want to go to them because of those “pesky” rules.  

    People who are genuinely down because of circumstances beyond their control like getting sick or injured or due to debilitating handicap I have no problem helping,  but let’s not pretend that this is the majority of the homeless.

     

    • Concerned4Neighbors December 2, 2016 (11:22 am)
      I am not sure where you are getting your information, but I do know that when I worked at Harborview with many individuals experiencing homelessness, I learned that Shelters tend to have strong social, pecking orders similar to prisons. Because of this culture many of the more vulnerable individuals/ populations avoid the shelters; not because they don’t want shelter or because they don’t want to follow the rules, but instead, because they do not feel safe in shelters and/or struggle in group settings.


      I’d also like to point out that drug addiction is a medical condition, not a choice. Yes, an individual initially makes a choice to take a drug. However, addiction is defined by it’s physiological component and by the individual’s inability to stop using in spite of it being physically, psychologically and socially harmful to themselves. Addiction has a medical basis which overrides individual free will and therefore the ability to make “choices”. Therefore, addicts are experiencing a “debilitating” impairment.
      And it’s important to remember that even the initial “choice” might be more innocuous than imagined. For example, individuals who become addicts after taking prescription pain killers for a medical condition. Or youth whose brains don’t fully develop until their mid twenties and who are actually wired to engage in risky behavior. Etc. So again it could be argued the initial circumstances were beyond the control of the individual. 
      I agree that the consequences of homelessness and untreated substance abuse are deeply problematic including; theft & property damage, increased physical safety concerns, the public health risks generated by excessive refuse and improper sanitation. 
      However, I also believe we will have a much better chance of solving problems if we spend our energy looking at root causes and addressing those issues instead of looking for groups to vilify & blame. Our entire nation is facing these same problems of homelessness and substance use; perhaps it’s time to stop blaming the individuals and instead ask ourselves how we can change the factors that are harming the quality of life for all of us.
      • Double Dub Resident December 2, 2016 (12:44 pm)

        http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/some-shelter-beds-go-empty-even-right-next-to-seattles-jungle-encampment/

        I really don’t need a lecture on drug addiction.  I have a degree and was certified in drug addiction counseling.  

        Addiction is a choice.  It’s always a choice because of it weren’t,  then people couldn’t choose to stop using.  Does addiction make that choice more difficult,  yes,  but it still comes down to choice and free will. I have overcome my own addictions not by being the victim (though most addicts will play that card)  but realizing that all the responsibility fell on  me to choose.  

        Personally I think the disease model is a bit archaic and a better model is the biopsychosocial model.  The disease model almost gives addicts that pass.  “I can’t help it,  it’s a disease”  

        Just as the irritating belief that relapse is part of recovery.  Just because of its a common phenomenon does not mean it is part of the process and this mentality again implies giving a pass to the assist to relapse because after all,  it’s part of recovery. 

        There are only 2 classes of drugs which can be fatal if one tries to get clean on their own and only if late stage,  which can make it difficult to detox.  That’s alcohol and benzodiazipines.  Unfortunately for extreme late stage alcoholism this can cause “wet brain” permanent damage.  

        As far as people wanting more drug treatment the reality as told by Bob Groeschell who ran the drug program at the time I went to Seattle Central said that with all the facilities now treating addiction,  87% (though a classmate said it was actually 93%, but I’ll go low) of people who free themselves from addiction do so on their own.  This means that only 7 to  13% quit through professional help.  Those are dismal numbers.  

        As far as going back to the root cause for addiction ,  it’s what I’ve been saying for years.  People who are emotionally and/or financially bankrupt should stop having children.  If they can’t take care of themselves  emotionally and/or financially, then they have no business having children.  This obviously wouldn’t wipe out addiction because addicts can come from “good homes” too,  but I think it would greatly reduce it.  

         

        • Sparkles December 2, 2016 (5:48 pm)

          So well said!  I totally agree Double Dub!  Thanks for breaking it down. 

          Whether or not  a person can “help it” doesn’t change the impact of their behavior on others.  I’m equally dead if I get pushed in front of a speeding bus, whether I was pushed by a perfectly sane person, a person with mental illness, or totally by accident 

           

        • A December 3, 2016 (12:42 am)

          Very well stated.   I completely agree. 

  • Jort December 2, 2016 (8:20 am)

    During this holiday season, I am reminded of how fortunate I am to have a place to call home and a roof over my head. 

    I hope that this thing that I take for granted can be extended to people in this new camp. It must be very difficult to spend Christmas sleeping in a cold tent.

  • Josh December 2, 2016 (9:24 am)

    Walking distance between the Bus Hub in Westwood, where some camp now, to the main site. 

    Why is this acceptable to us? 

    • KM December 2, 2016 (10:44 am)

      Would you prefer those living in the encampment to be further away from services?  No walkable stores, no access to mass transportation?

  • anonyme December 2, 2016 (9:41 am)

    The fact that “needle clean up” is included in the plan says it all.

  • Mickymse December 2, 2016 (11:59 am)

    Actual data: http://allhomekc.org/the-problem/#demographics

  • flimflam December 2, 2016 (12:11 pm)

    anyone been to Ballard lately? since the city forced in “services” (urness house, urban rest stop, etc) by the library several years ago things have gotten sketchier by the month. the park by the library is mostly used by drunks and addicts and there are many vans “permanently” parked around the area. then the sanctioned camp was pushed in – not for the existing/created problem but to move folks out of the old Dearborn site. ok. great. next, the overspill of folks that were either kicked out of the sanctioned camp or couldn’t be admitted (drugs, rules, etc) began camping out along the birke gilman trail; then at the property right next to the ballard locks; then under the Ballard Bridge.

    there is a ton of drug, theft, property crime and the occasional violent outburst that accompanied all of this and frankly, its a mess. to be considered some heartless nimby for observing some pretty easy to see problems that no neighborhood should be subject to is pretty offensive. there is no security no enforcement of laws and little police presence. 

     meanwhile, a consultant paid for with our tax dollars said this path is not working and a bad idea so we double down on all the failure – there was a 10 year plan to end homelessness, right? another issue is that the trail of money has tendrils in a wide variety of “advocacy groups” and services. how much money is going to employing these advocate vs going towards actually getting people off the streets and into being self sufficient?

     

     

     

     

    • WsEd December 2, 2016 (12:57 pm)

      I totally agree with you,

      More often than not advocacy groups even when started with the best of intentions end up becoming a cottage industry.  And to hire a consultant that tells you the hard truth and then to ignore it and continue down the same destructive path screams volumes.

    • Steve December 2, 2016 (1:22 pm)

      Yes, where did all the ten year plan money go???

  • bob December 2, 2016 (1:24 pm)

    stop funding and they will stop coming in from out of city and state.  

  • Gunner Scott December 2, 2016 (3:16 pm)

    Highland Park Action Committee’s response “Myers Way Encampment and what this means for our community”

    https://hpacinfo.wordpress.com/2016/12/02/hpac-updates-myers-way-encampment-and-what-this-means-for-our-community/

  • Enough December 2, 2016 (4:10 pm)

    If you want to get the attention of the city and its decision leaders let’s fund a bus line from the remote homeless camps with morning and evening service. Non-stop from Myers way to Madison Park, University Village and Queen Anne. Drop off a legion of the homeless at 8 AM when the folks are getting their children off to school. Pick up the folks at 9 or 10, just when the neighbors are trying to enjoy their walkable neighborhoods, and return the homeless to the camps. 

    Why should our neighborhoods and shopping districts have all the cultural enrichment these individuals bring to our community. Plus lots more Amazon Fresh packages left on porches ready to supply the camps with ‘free’ food. 

  • Mark December 2, 2016 (6:26 pm)

    Lowest unemployment rate in years, time to expect people to take care of themselves.  It’s one thing to provide help to people willing to help themselves, but it’s time to say no to those who are not willing to change.

  • HP resident December 3, 2016 (12:56 am)

    I have to say overall it is so refreshing to hear the majority of the comments on here vs. a few years ago.  The people who spoke out about Nicklesville then were being “heartless and cruel” because it was effecting our neighborhood and crime. Sure there are the same few of the same sympathetic commenters but overall West Seattle residents are finally accepting how the mayor doesn’t care about the poorer neighborhoods and continues to put the homeless camps in them.  I’ve lived in West Seattle for over 40 years, it’s extremely sad to see Highland Park and surrounding neighborhoods continue to bear this burden when these camps DO NOT WORK.  They don’t help the homeless situation in any way other than to screw poorer neighborhoods!

  • Ulrick December 3, 2016 (9:12 am)

    As a resident of Myers Way in the last year I have had to watch my neighborhood deteriorate.  I have to drive by piles of garbage, tents, and dilapidated motor homes.  I have to deal with scary drugged out trespassers,  those casing homes, and drug deals in front of my house.  I have been robbed.  I have had to call 911 several more times in the last year then in the last 20 years that I have lived hear.  I have had to respond to a neighbors (young mom with two kids) urgent request because a drunk man was wandering the yard and checking her doors.  I have been yelled at, threatened with bodily harm, watched a neighbor get hit throwing his glasses 20 feet, and been attacked by a young man with a 6″ knife.  In all cases it involved the homeless on the Seattle’s side of Myers Way.

    Can any one blame me for Hating Seattle?  It used to be a good city and a good neighbor, not any more!

    • Double Dub Resident December 3, 2016 (4:07 pm)

      Unfortunately,  there are people who don’t care about your plight. They’re more interested in advocating for the “victims”  who are the homeless and attempt to paint them as just down on their luck.  

      When Nickelsville came to town,  Westwood started experiencing similar issues that you described.  Of course that doesn’t matter either 

      • AMD December 3, 2016 (5:07 pm)

        Or they’ve spent the last year reading his posts on NextDoor where he’s been bragging about going TO the homeless encampments, harassing their residents, starting arguments, and photographing them without their permission and for no reason.  He doesn’t “have to” deal with them, he’s been choosing to.

        In Ulrick’s own NextDoor posts he admitted he was on one of his vigilante missions into the camp when the guy pulled the knife on him AFTER being threatened, harassed, and again photographed for no reason by himself and Ben Calot.

        Sometimes people advocate for the “victims” because they’ve heard two sides of the story (in this case, ironically, from the same person).

        • Ben Calot December 4, 2016 (1:55 pm)

          AMD,

          Go read those posts on Nextdoor again.

          We specifically stated that we had not photographed any people on the day we were threatened by a teenage methamphetamine user. We were there taking pictures of couches and tube TVs that had been dumped so we could report them for pick-up in the city’s Find It, Fix It app:

          https://www.seattle.gov/customer-service-bureau/find-it-fix-it-mobile-app

          We do not harass the homeless. In fact we try to avoid interacting at all. We do take their pictures when they approach us and threaten us, which is pretty often, but I don’t feel like I’m overstepping any boundaries there.

          We generally just take pictures of trash and crime to report to the police. If that’s a problem for the homeless living on Myers, then perhaps they should clean the place up and quit trading stolen goods for drugs on the side of Myers Way.

          • AMD December 4, 2016 (3:52 pm)

            I think you’re hiding behind the fact that most of the people on this site can’t see what you post on NextDoor to try and paint yourselves as innocent victims.  I can mis-read one post.  Not post after post month after month from you guys.  The homeless you guys have been targeting don’t have the luxury of computers and internet access to defend themselves.  For that you’re also lucky.

            On topic: for those wanting to know first-hand what the homeless currently living at the Myers Way site are experiencing at Camp Second Chance, feel free to stop by!  Nothing like your own experiences to inform your opinions rather than wading into he-said, she-said.  I think you’ll find them to be a group of lovely and intelligent people who are happy to share their stories or give a tour to those looking for more information.

  • mehud7 December 3, 2016 (11:48 am)

    A few thoughts/observations:

    1. Myers Way is disgusting with the piles of garbage (I drive it daily to work).

    2. The homeless need rooms, not tents.

    3. One of the proposed encampments is next to a elementary school.

  • Liz December 3, 2016 (8:45 pm)

    I am afraid that, intentionally or not,  Seattle is using its escalating housing costs to carry on it’s long history of segregation and discrimination against poor people and poor communities.  It is time to stop building “good” (white, affluent) neighborhoods at the expense of  struggling, low opportunity neighborhoods.  Homelessness is a tragedy.  Creating ghettos is not a solution.  (Although a 3 letter word that also starts with “s” and ends in “n” comes to mind.)

  • Ulrick December 4, 2016 (8:04 am)

    How much money has been spent on the half mile stretch of Seattle’s Myers Way in emergency response for the last year?

  • KoKoPup December 5, 2016 (9:34 am)

    Sadly, one of the nicest elements of Seattle, the parks in the city,  are becoming unusable because of the homelessness problem, and the mayor’s “stand-down” rules to city police.   (Ask any police officer what this means).  

    I work in Ballard and live in WS.  I used to relax and read in the park next to the Ballard library during lunch,  Now the park is generally full of often aggressive vagrants  and open drug use is, while the police watch.  Open container, drugs use, deification, vagrancy,etc laws are not enforced, or selectively.      Those laws should be taken of the books.   And if you are in Lincoln Park, please feel free to help me pick up the left over bottles and trash scattered near the 76 station, or come for a morning walk and you will find some lost soul sleeping near there and other areas of the park.

    The Mayor and current City leadership continue to subsidize large developers while failing to address the problems faced by the lower and middle class (traffic, crime, cost of living, schools, density).

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