Camp Long encampment update: Strategy visit


WSB contributing photojournalist Matt Durham, who broke the story of the homeless encampment at Camp Long (original report, with photos — and now 100 comments — is here), was there Tuesday afternoon as that city team visited to strategize the forthcoming clearing of the site. Matt reports:

Left to right, truck driver Brian Johnson, Southwest District crew chief Carol Baker, and Jason, all Seattle Parks employees, investigate the abandoned homeless encampment at Camp Long. They walked the littered trail to plan the logistics for removing the refuse efficiently. Baker said the delay in the removal of the encampment allows an outreach staff from the Human Services Department to contact the campers and offer social-services resources. Presently the Parks Department is waiting for the weather to break in order to roll in heavy equipment without bogging and rutting the trails.

23 Replies to "Camp Long encampment update: Strategy visit"

  • Dave April 30, 2008 (6:58 am)

    Classic Seattle response, lets contact the folks of “the abandoned” emcampment first before we clean. I hope the trees and birds can be cooperative and give them some leads.


  • TheHouse April 30, 2008 (7:25 am)

    I don’t understand. If something is against the law, why would you wait. If I park my car illegally, they tow it. They don’t sit my my car waiting for me to return to it.

  • Dave April 30, 2008 (8:25 am)

    Kills me is the selective enforcement of laws in this city; for instance if you are a Supreme Court Judge and your driving drunk, you get the officers to take you home. For me, they would take me to jail. Secondly can’t they enforce the curfew regulations that all parks have? Seattle will always have a rampant Homeless problem until we the citizins decide to have a tough love approach.

  • toomanyratsinacageakaWS April 30, 2008 (9:36 am)

    Amen guys

  • Frank April 30, 2008 (10:17 am)

    Hey you guys all know my stance on the homeless issue from the original post at this encampment. If you have seen it check out the post comments.
    But I need to add my agreement with the comments so far.

  • owen April 30, 2008 (10:35 am)

    I guess I don’t understand why you guys are upset by this. I read it as the Parks Dept is planning to clean up the mess, they are waiting until the trail drys out so they don’t make a bigger mess, and they are using the delay to try and contact the residents to connect them with services. That seems pretty reasonable to me.

  • Gary Ogden April 30, 2008 (10:52 am)

    Perhaps if anyone of you heartless indivduals were homeless due to circumstances beyond your own control (mental health etc.) You might have an ounce of sympathy or empathy if the situation fits. If you have been reading other major publications you would know that the Seattle Police Department were removing (disposing)peoples personal items. Personal records, tents, sleeping bags etc. They are now attempting to let the homeless people get thier items prior to disposing of the items. What’s your rush? The encampments will be removed.

  • Kayleigh April 30, 2008 (10:58 am)

    Thank you, Gary and owen.

  • beachdrivegirl April 30, 2008 (11:33 am)

    Thank you Gary, Owen, and Kayleigh.

  • I AM A LOSER April 30, 2008 (11:51 am)

    Let them be someone elses problems not West Seattle’s.

  • toomanyratsinacageakaWS April 30, 2008 (11:58 am)

    My Amen was more directed toward the classic Seattle response and the double standard of the police department. Thanks Gary, Kayleigh and beachdrivegirl. Just don’t want to be thought of or labled as heartless. You do not know me or what I have had to deal with in my life. I am thankful for what I have, I am a blessed and compassionate person.

  • JenV April 30, 2008 (2:18 pm)

    gosh, you’re right House, and Frank. We should just get the bulldozers in there regardless of whether the people are gone or not. They’re just “homeless” and it’s “their fault” so what does it matter?

  • JimmyG April 30, 2008 (6:40 pm)

    To me it’s not placing blame on anyone, it’s about personal responsibility.

    Mental health issues don’t mean you get to deny all personal responsibility.

    And nobody has said that 100% of the illegal campers at Camp Long are in need of mental health care. Many of you have just jumped to that conclusion.

  • PSPS April 30, 2008 (8:02 pm)

    The utter contempt, intolerance and hatred towards others revealed in these comments (as well as those on the previous postings) is pretty dispiriting. To be fair, anywhere you see this topic open for public comment always brings out the vitriol for those who, apparently, simply hate humanity and are devoid of empathy.
    There was an episode of The Simpsons that addressed this attitude in a humorous way. Homer got a job offer from Globex Corporation in “Cyprus Creek.” The company sent a promotional video extolling the virtues of the city — essentially a planned company town. It described how the failings of ordinary towns were “solved” in Cyprus Creek, then showed how they did it in a video montage. A run-down house magically turned into a new McMansion, an overgrown lot turned into a pastoral park, and a homeless person turned into … a mailbox.
    So the idea that a homeless person is somehow less than human appears to be pretty universal. Nevertheless, it’s still dispiriting, at least to me. I guess that’s what they call “compassionate conservatism.”

  • TheHouse April 30, 2008 (9:48 pm)

    I refrained from commenting on the other thread, but feel like I must do it here. Some folks above (JenV and PSPS) have specifically targeted my comments above so here is my response…

    #1 – JenV and PSPS – You use a fantastic verbal tactic known as DIVERSION!! The fact of the matter is that I never said anything about homeless people or homelessness. I made a comment about people that broke state and city laws. The two of you are attempting to come off like two crusaders for the homeless when in reality, you’re doing nothing but advocating criminal behavior.

    #2 – Disagreeing with Civil Disobedience is not a litmus test for compassion.

    #3 – DIRECTED AT PSPS – I don’t hate humanity and am not devoid of empathy, but I certainly cannot stand people like you that continue to preach your gospel of liberal rhetoric. Stop placing blame on people that disagree with you or happen to have standards that they believe everyone should live up to. The fact that you don’t have any standards shines much brighter than my opinions. Question the people that are creating and living in these conditions, not those of us that are advocating West Seattle being a better place for everyone including people like you.

    Peace on you!

  • Danno April 30, 2008 (10:30 pm)

    Gosh, PSPS-

    How very profound……….? The Simpsons? Get a clue. What the heck do you know about compassionate conservatism? Clearly not much. Not likely to get much of an edumacation watching the Simpsons either.
    You start your post with a comment about contempt, intolerance and hatred and then you equate conservatives to idiots on The Simpsons.
    Riiiiight…. And some screwy scene there makes an idea “pretty universal.”
    Good luck with the real world and personal responsibility.

  • JanS April 30, 2008 (11:54 pm)

    well, house…once’s the “libs”…how about we leave the labels off…you’re not a neocon, I’m not a “lib”…we are just people…can you do that just once? NOT everything that is wrong with the world in your eyes can be blamed on “the libs”…it’s gets very tiresome…

    now…my question about this encampment is…is it “abandoned” or not..? to quote the accompanying article “Left to right, truck driver Brian Johnson, Southwest District crew chief Carol Baker, and Jason, all Seattle Parks employees, investigate the abandoned homeless encampment at Camp Long.” If it’s abandoned, does that mean that there are no longer “campers” there? so…things can be removed? Or are there still people trying to live there? Just curiosity on my part…

    also…for the persons who feel that all people with mental illnesses can be personally responsible…I wold ask if you’ve ever had anyone in your lives who has a mental illness, because there are times when some might not be able to tell you what year it is, let alone be a fine upstanding responsible person. OH…you think they don’t become homeless? get a grip…

  • Kayleigh May 1, 2008 (4:52 am)

    House, we will continue to offer the “liberal” point of view; whether or not you can “stand” it means nothing to me. Same with whatever arbitrary “standards” you think other people should live up to.

    We have offered you all research, perspective, and actual facts that show you a different side. Yet some of your minds are so locked into your ideology, you won’t even consider any point of view you deem “liberal”.

    Pity that.

    It’s been educational, though, for me to see how much work in advocacy and education is still needed, even in “liberal” Seattle.

  • Frank May 1, 2008 (10:21 am)

    How nice Kay. You jump on ‘House’ for mentioning “Liberal” when he ISN’T the one who brought political ideology in this discussion. Just like the other post where I got blamed for bringing political ideology up.
    But the problem here is that ‘House’, nor I, are the ones who brought ideology into the discussion. In the first post it YOU, in this one it was ‘PSPS’.
    I guess it’s OK to bring it as long as it isn’t placing ANY blame on YOUR ideology, but go right ahead and bash others ideology. That is what is commonly called being HYPOCRITICAL.
    Like I said in the other post, homelessness crosses the ‘boundaries’ of ideology. It affects ALL of us, regardless of our political leanings. The main difference I see is the way people see the best way to assist the homeless and the causes of homelessness.
    Right now I’m going to step outside the “ideology has no place in this issue” for a second for the sake of discussion.
    Liberals tend blame the Federal Gov’t, for the most part, for homeless problem. An argument that, I admit HAS some merit. The more partisan ones blame Bush for the increase in homelessness.
    Conservatives tend to place the blame on the individual. Although that isn’t 100% accurate either.
    Liberals see as the way to help them is to throw a wide net to help them, whether they want the help or not.
    Conservative tend to be more pragmatic about helping homeless. Conservatives want to help those that WANT the help.
    That will be the LAST time you see me bring ideologies in to this discussion.
    The simple fact is that there are thousands of agencies and programs out there to help the homeless. Some are more successful than others, some have a great deal of money to throw that wide net. Others have to be more choosy in who they help.
    But I will challenge anyone here to prove me wrong on this: The people who have brought themselves out of homelessness have had one thing in common – the DESIRE to get out of that lifestyle, and all they needed was the assistance to do that. The MOST important trait that these people have is THEY WANTED OUT OF THAT SITUATION.
    I REFUSE to believe that people who are addicts or alcoholics cannot overcome their addictions, with assistance. Even if the had been users for YEARS. I believe the human spirit can overcome ANY adversity, but that person HAS TO WANT TO OVERCOME IT. If they want/need assistance to do that then we, as a society MUST be there to support and assist them.
    Mental Illness is a whole different situation. Some of them turn to drugs and alcohol to ‘self medicate’ them selves. How do we help them??? I don’t know, and to be honest I don’t think anyone here has a clue either. Do we physically take them and place them in a mental institution against their wishes even though that is probably what they need? The USSC said we can’t do that thanks to a ruling in the 80’s on a suit brought by the ACLU on involuntary commitment.
    So here we are, between ‘a rock and hard place’ in the homeless with mental illness issue. Those with mental illness MUST self commit themselves in order to get the treatment that would help them. But since they have mental illness will they recognize that they need the help?
    And what about the ones who are not substance dependent or do not have mental illness, but CHOOSE to live that way. Some surveys say that is as many as 60% of the homeless. So do we FORCE them into shelters? IMO those types should be the LAST to be helped, whether it is a meal or shelter. They MADE THE CHOICE TO LIVE THAT WAY.
    IMO I would rather see private/non profit organizations provide the assistance than ANY Gov’t agency. Gov’t agencies tend to be as useful as a ‘soup sandwich’ and waste 90% of the money on bureaucracy.

  • Frank May 1, 2008 (10:27 am)


    But the problem here is that ‘House’, nor I, are the ones who brought ideology into the discussion. In the first post it YOU, in this one it was ‘PSPS’.
    is supposed to read like this:
    But the problem here is that ‘House’, nor I, aren’t the ones who brought ideology into the discussion. In the first post it YOU, in this one it was ‘PSPS’.

  • Frank May 1, 2008 (10:41 am)

    This line:
    But the problem here is that ‘House’, nor I, are the ones who brought ideology into the discussion. In the first post it YOU, in this one it was ‘PSPS’.
    is supposed to read like this:
    But the problem here is that ‘House’, nor I, aren’t the ones who brought ideology into the discussion. In the first post it YOU, in this one it was ‘PSPS’.

  • Jiggers May 1, 2008 (10:50 am)

    If there’s so much compassion here, how about someone helping me out and rent a room to me for cheap before I beocme homeless too. I can’t afford to live by the junction anymore. Its a crime. You think I’m joking?

  • TheHouse May 1, 2008 (8:28 pm)

    Frank, thanks for the support of poking holes in some of the comments that have been made by Kayleigh. Please let me add some more:

    – My so called “arbitrary standards” are called laws.
    – You haven’t offered any “research, perspective or actual facts pertaining to my original statement and that was that people are unlawfully camped.
    – You have repeatedly sided with what is considered Civil Disobedience and then claimed that I (along with others) lack compassion. They do not go hand in hand. Laws are not made to factor in compassion so stop attempting to bring compassion into the discussion. For the record, I do have compassion in many instances. This is absolutely not one of them because it involves a unlawful and public health issues.
    – The only advocacy and education that needs to be delivered is to you in the form of the City of Seattle law about camping in public parks.
    – As for political ideology, I don’t have a problem with you or anyone else dragging it into the conversation. Your responses definitely lean liberal. That doesn’t mean that you are, but if I was a betting man you wouldn’t kick Obama out of bed!

    Word to the mutha.

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