SDOT, Seattle Police clearing encampment site off Myers Way

The latest city cleanup at an encampment site is a big one – a neighbor tells WSB that it’s been under way since last week on city-owned land near the edge of the city limits on Myers Way S., south of the Joint Training Facility, not far from where a state worker posting eviction notices was stabbed two months ago. Down a trail, individual campsites like this can be seen:

Along the clearing just off the road, abandoned shopping carts are lined up.

Crews are continuing to bag and load up what’s being cleared.

We have an inquiry out, asking the city for more information on this operation, and will add whatever else we find out.

53 Replies to "SDOT, Seattle Police clearing encampment site off Myers Way"

  • Rick October 28, 2013 (1:04 pm)

    “Abandoned” baloney. They were stolen.

    • WSB October 28, 2013 (1:18 pm)

      Abandoned doesn’t render judgment on whether they were stolen or not stolen. Just – they’re not in anybody’s custody right now. Except, here’s hoping, either the crews or perhaps the stores that own them.

  • D I D October 28, 2013 (1:12 pm)

    Good work SDOT & Seattle Police.
    Illegal camping is just that, illegal.

  • RP October 28, 2013 (1:17 pm)

    That’s good news! I had thought someone bought the land and set up camp. Didn’t think it was squatters. Thanks for the info!!

  • JoB October 28, 2013 (1:37 pm)

    just a question?
    where do those of you who applaud this “clean up” expect those who no longer live there to go?
    are you going to be cool when they park themselves on your park bench?

  • Brenda October 28, 2013 (1:53 pm)

    Hey ‘JoB’

    Are YOU going to be cool and start doing something helpful instead of posting ridiculous comments?

    Go volunteer to clean up park benches.

    • WSB October 28, 2013 (2:08 pm)

      Haven’t had to say this in a while but we ask that people NOT voice assumptions about their fellow commenters.
      I don’t personally know most WSB readers – might be physically/chronologically impossible to meet tens of thousands of people – but I have met JoB and do know that she is a dedicated volunteer (particularly WRT the homeless community, but not limited to it – I met her and some other longtime reader/commenters years ago when they organized a WSB Forums-led fundraiser for a businessperson who suffered major losses in a fire).
      You are all welcome to disagree with each other, but respectfully, and please don’t assume you have any idea about what the person with whom you are agreeing/disagreeing does, or does not do, for the community. I hope, and like to quietly assume, that EVERYONE does as much as they can. Thank you – Tracy

  • kgdlg October 28, 2013 (2:04 pm)

    If my memory doesn’t fail me, I believe JoB does a lot to help the local homeless, Brenda. JoB, you should make a list a post here.

    JoB has a point, where do the people in encampments go? To shelters? To Nickelsville? To Westcrest Park benches?

  • wsn00b October 28, 2013 (2:30 pm)

    The second photo looks like a backyard in my neighborhood, with 4 junk cars added on (and yeah DPD couldn’t care less). Maybe the squatters can go to that backyard. Plenty of abandoned cars and other material for shelter.

    (Yes, I know this comment isn’t very useful. Just venting.)

  • Lura Ercolano October 28, 2013 (2:52 pm)

    Applauding the eviction of an illegal campsite does not require guilt or angst over where the illegal campers go next. And volunteering with the less fortunate does not require acceptance of illegal activities. Somehow these ideas always seem to get all mixed up, like only certain people have the right to an opinion, because they are closely involved with an issue.
    I don’t buy that exclusion. I’m not sure what my opinion is in this situation, (and reading the WSB helps me develop an informed opinion), but whether I approve of the. eviction or not would not change in the slightest whether someone has a right to camp on my park bench.

  • Mayor of Sexytown October 28, 2013 (2:54 pm)

    Did someone call Bubbles and give him those shopping carts?

  • D I D October 28, 2013 (3:19 pm)

    I have had illegal house squatters and campers near my home and nothing good came of it. In fact it was just the opposite. People are welcome to open up their own backyard, home or apartment to shelter anyone they choose.

    The value of the stolen grocery carts is not chump change and those costs are passed down to the rest of us. Illegal camping & stolen property = bad characters/criminals. There is no justification. Surely there will be those that try though.

  • Rick October 28, 2013 (3:22 pm)

    Those carts got there all by themselves, right. Let’s pretend they weren’t stolen so we can all feel better about ourselves. They were stolen. Just callin’ a duck a duck.

  • Westseattledood October 28, 2013 (3:32 pm)

    The carts probably are White Center grocers’, fwiw; likely Hung Long and Phnom Kiev, but that’s merely an informed opinion from my actual familiarity with White Center.

    Also, for anyone interested in actual facts who might be reading: I think as many as 25-50% of the chronic addicts who have hung out in White Center alley’s and streets have live(d) (and die(d)) in that section of the greenbelt. Certain longtime biz’s there take care of many through their back doors.

    The camps were removed once already this year, I was told. They will move back in.

  • West Seattle Hipster October 28, 2013 (3:40 pm)

    Nice to see this area temporarily cleaned up. Hope those squatting there illegally can be relocated elsewhere, perhaps back where they are originally from.


    I have no issue with those who help those choosing to live the homeless lifestyle. But all opinions should be welcomed. There were many articles in the WSB about the illegal encampment known as Nickelsville, and in the comments section for each article it seemed like it’s staunchest defenders would attempt to shame and judge those who dared speak ill of it. Censorship at it’s worst.


    Perhaps if we all respect each other’s opinions, we could find some common ground.

  • Alki Resident October 28, 2013 (3:43 pm)

    I really hope those carts get taken to the dump. They’ve probably been urinated on and god knows what. I wouldn’t want my child or food in it after this.

  • HelperMonkey October 28, 2013 (3:53 pm)

    +1 Mayor of Sexytown. It’s not rocket appliances.

  • wetone October 28, 2013 (3:56 pm)

    Sounds like there might be one of Randy’s cars over there also ?

  • Marty October 28, 2013 (4:18 pm)

    I’m sure the grocery carts were not stolen, the people who “borrowed” them were probably too busy to return them. I see the same thing near the low income housing off Roxbury….

  • miws October 28, 2013 (4:43 pm)

    There were many articles in the WSB about the illegal encampment known as Nickelsville, and in the comments section for each article it seemed like it’s staunchest defenders would attempt to shame and judge those who dared speak ill of it.



    Perhaps the tone of this:

    …..those who dared speak ill of it.

    is what set the tone for this:

    …’s staunchest defenders would attempt to shame and judge….





  • flimflam October 28, 2013 (4:48 pm)

    yes lets all wring our hands because city owned land that has been abused and illegally camped has been reclaimed. oh the horror.

  • cjboffoli October 28, 2013 (5:02 pm)

    This also looks like it is close to where that body was found back in March:

  • Genesee Hill October 28, 2013 (5:44 pm)

    Just keep giving the bums the bums’ rush and I will be a happy dude.


  • JoB October 28, 2013 (7:55 pm)

    thanks to those who stood up for me..
    i do put my time and sometimes my money where my mouth is
    that’s where i was today..
    helping a couple of families who lost their homes in the clean-up
    the trouble is that when a major clear out like that happens.. it doesn’t selectively remove the troublemakers .. it also removes those who have lived there peacefully for well over a year..
    and in most cases, these families lose almost everything they own in the process.
    the “bums”.. move to a new section of the greenbelt..
    they already have…
    as for all that guilt and shame i am accused of throwing around…
    if asking you to think carefully about the inevitable consequences of your actions causes you guilt and shame..
    then perhaps you should rethink your actions.

  • AJP October 28, 2013 (8:50 pm)

    The neighborhood around this area has been experiencing all kinds of problems related to these encampments. It seems like there has also been a big uptick in the population back there, since Nickelsville was disbanded.

  • Phil October 28, 2013 (9:57 pm)

    Heh. When I read that first comment, I thought it was someone implying that rounding up these belongings to haul them away was not the removal of abandoned items, but theft.

    Commenters here are seem bizarrely focused on legality when it comes to dealing with the effects of other people living in such desperation that they go camp in the woods out on the edge of town. Laws should be an approximation of what we think is right and wrong, not the other way around. Something isn’t wrong just because it’s unlawful. Bad laws come and go all the time, and that shouldn’t change our opinion of people who engage in corresponding activities.

    Sure, complain about the unsightliness of the situation (if you see it), or about the danger (if you’re aware of danger), or about the damage to our shared resources (if those tarps are damaging anything). But to complain about the—gasp—illegal nature of these people’s living situation? Where is your sense of compassion?

    I encourage people to think past the convenient excuse that laws against living on undeveloped public property give them for looking down their noses at people who, for good reasons or for bad reasons, have found themselves in such pathetic and near-inescapable circumstances. Very few people want to live like that. Imagine yourself somehow thrust into that position with no family or friends to bail you out. You come back to your shitty home in the brambles after another shitty day doing whatever you do to get by, and the cops are standing by with guns while workers dressed up in haz-mat suits for maximum PR effect cart what little you have away while WSB readers sneer at you. That’s not really a recipe for improvement.

  • miws October 28, 2013 (10:06 pm)

    Thanks, Phil. Good comment.



  • singularname October 28, 2013 (10:30 pm)

    What I was thinking, Phil–this whole legal/illegal deal. Same line of thinking that saw Native Americans slaughtered and those remaining shuffled onto reservations. “Entitlement” cannot be overused.

  • GenHillOne October 29, 2013 (6:50 am)

    A hearty, and guilt-free, “YES!”

  • JunctionRdr October 29, 2013 (8:00 am)

    Good to have compassionate neighbors like you, Phil. (And you too, JoB – thanks for all you do!)

  • Mike October 29, 2013 (8:15 am)

    These encampments are public health problems, among other things. Some of these folks are truly down on their luck, some of them are mentally ill, and some of them are homeless by choice. Different strategies needed for each group. But, living in these unsanitary camps on public lands is not the solution.

  • Rick October 29, 2013 (8:37 am)

    Theft is theft. Paint it any way you want, it’s your brush, until it affects you. I can rationalize anything I need to as long as it fits my wants/needs. So…I need your car,and house, and other stuff. Use YOUR compassion to fix the world. Do not demand mine. Verbocity

  • JoB October 29, 2013 (8:39 am)

    i couldn’t agree more that living in camps in the greenbelt is not the solution…
    but even in an election year, winter sets in and there isn’t enough housing for the homeless… even if they are willing to separate their families and surrender their pets.
    i spent yesterday trying to help a few people who lost their belongings make it through the night last night.
    i wish i could do more

  • Rick October 29, 2013 (9:51 am)

    Gimmee,gimmee,gimmee. You owe me. The freattle way. And once again, theft is theft, unless you live in freattle.

  • JoB October 29, 2013 (9:54 am)


    in my not so humble opinion..
    the real entitlement culture lives in houses and has plenty to eat…
    and wants you and me to gimme them more

  • Keith October 29, 2013 (12:30 pm)

    JoB- The housing for the homeless in Seattle will be perpetually overbooked. If you build it, they will come.

  • rico October 29, 2013 (1:55 pm)

    What a feeling to have worked one’s ass off getting through school, job’s promotions, avoiding numerous decisions that would change the course of things then have someone comment on a blog that you are a part of an entitlement culture. Why this commenter holds those who have not worked so hard to avoid “failing” (to plan for the future, including unforseen circumstances)above those who have been sucessful at this journey is beyond me and honestly insulting.

  • BW October 29, 2013 (2:51 pm)


    I could not agree more. Life is hard work. Saving during the easy times and nurturing friendships and building a support system is hard work.

    And then someone like Job comes in and throws us all in a bucket labeled ‘entitled jerks’ or something like that, just because we’ve built a pretty good life for ourselves. They have no idea our backstory, or all that we’ve done to avoid living in a greenbelt.

    They just don’t like us because we dare to say things like “If people can afford cigarettes, then they can afford food”. But really, that is the reality. Life is a series of choices. Some get a better start than others, but in the end we are a product of the choices we’ve made.

  • West Seattle Hipster October 29, 2013 (4:49 pm)

    Well stated rico and BW. I do not feel guilty that some people have chosen the homeless lifestyle and rely on the hard work of others to support it.


    I would feel very guilty if I chose not work and chose not to support my family.


    I do not feel guilty when my property taxes are spent supporting and enabling those who choose to live that lifestyle.


    Instead of laying guilt and shame on those who do work and contribute to society, perhaps thanks are in order.

  • JoB October 29, 2013 (8:38 pm)

    Rico and BW.. & West Seattle Hipster
    let’s be clear. I didn’t throw you in a bucket called labeled “entitled jerks”
    you threw yourselves there.
    all i said was that some of the most entitled people i knew lived in houses and wanted the rest of us to gimme gimme gimme them ..
    i didn’t name you .. i didn’t even assume that was you…
    i will say that i your posts lead me think that you make a lot of erroneous assumptions that can lead to some pretty poor conclusions
    it would likely surprise you to learn how hard some of the people in our green belts worked until something derailed their lives…
    it would probably also surprise you to learn that the something that derailed their lives was more likely to be an illness or accident … not alcohol or drugs.
    but heck.. you hang onto those assumptions
    if you are lucky enough they will protect you from a similar tragedy
    i hope so .. really .. i do

  • fred October 29, 2013 (8:43 pm)

    As a resident in the area I do have some insight in this matter. The “homeless” (ie. addicts) started occupying the area across from the elderly housing a couple of years ago. At first when the population was small there was sympathy. Then we started noticing strange people wandering up and down the streets exhibiting bizarre behavior, yelling and fighting imaginary adversaries. They started blatantly scoping out the neighborhoods. They stopped by my home and offered drugs to my son and me while working in the yard on more than one occasion. We told them to stay away from our property. Garbage was being dumped along the side of the road with syringes and mixed packages with rotting food. Then cars started showing up and parking along the road. They began hauling in loads of wood and furniture. Then vehicles in the neighborhood started getting broken into and gas siphoned. They started roaming in the back yards taking small items, pilfering vegetables from the gardens, and even tried to steal chickens from one of the neighbors. I installed a perimeter alarm to alert the dogs. They have chased intruders away several times. We started calling the police and eventually someone from DOT went in to evict them and got stabbed. The number of cars, trucks, and vans increased and they have been working on them along the road. They were bringing in shopping carts daily, some all the way from Burien, and leave them along the road and shoved in the bushes. Periodically the various stores have come around and collected the carts. Homeless or not they have been the source of apprehension and concern long enough. Welcome them to another neighborhood if you wish. We have endured the situation far too long.

  • Apologist October 29, 2013 (9:34 pm)

    Fred, yours is the typical story of the sort occupying such a public space. Think of all the children they actually were able to sell drugs or stolen goods to …. JoB warned us in these comments about the retribution these sort of criminals would exact. Sorry to see they impact your kids, and no doubt countless others kids directly or indirectly.

  • Zero dacus October 30, 2013 (7:21 am)

    Sorry Job, I agree with Rico and the others, and your attempt to whitewash your comments doesn’t fly, you did not say “some” of the most entitled people “you” know lived in houses and wanted more, your exact words were “the real entitlement culture lives in houses and has plenty to eat…
    and wants you and me to gimme them more” pretty broad brush you are using there, and I too was offended. I am sure there are people in these camps that are really there for the reasons you mention through no fault of their own other than bad luck, and health, and I applaud your efforts to make their lot in life better, but until I see the stats of how many are there because they prefer to be, and choose to not make use of the programs and facilities available, I’ll continue to keep to the opinion that they are there illegally, and want to be.

  • JoB October 30, 2013 (8:38 am)

    What strikes me as ironic is that those most offended that i might be implying that they are the entitled are those using a broader brush to paint the homeless as bums.
    just saying.
    @Fred.. those who first moved into your neighborhood a couple of years ago and were respectful of your neighborhood are those who were most hurt during the indiscriminate clear out.
    they not only lost homes they had spent years building… they lost the possessions that allowed them to build those homes…

  • JoB October 30, 2013 (8:40 am)

    the phrase “prefer to be” implies that those who are there have other viable choices.

  • miws October 30, 2013 (10:05 am)

    What strikes me as ironic is that those most offended that i might be implying that they are the entitled are those using a broader brush to paint the homeless as bums.




    And this is the point I was making upthread, in my comment partially quoting, and responding to Hipster.


    I realize there are nice, compassionate people in the neighborhoods of Homeless Encampments that have concerns about such being located in their area.


    But, as always happens in the comment threads of any articles on the Homeless/NV, there are many comments by people, often the same ones in each thread, that either outright generalize the Homeless folks as “No good lazy drug/booze/cigarette addicted bums!”, or strongly imply such.


    All of the “One year later” stories on TV Media in the last day or so regarding Hurricane Sandy, and the fact that many of the people affected are still Homeless, plus the daily disaster preparedness articles here on WSB, has brought a thought to mind I’ve had before; I hope that all of the people here, that claim they’ve worked hard for years, and have planned and saved for emergencies, don’t expect the Government to come to their aid, or even Charitable Organizations and neighbors of the type that have “foolishly” helped the Homeless , when “The Big One”, or some other natural disaster hits here.



  • JoB October 30, 2013 (10:33 am)

    What if all those assumptions you make about homeless people aren’t true?
    would that change how you view them?

  • D I D October 30, 2013 (11:48 am)

    Yet another reason why Illegal, means ILLEGAL.

    Homeless Campers’ Fire Caused Monday’s Light-Rail Shutdown:

    Try to explain to the thousands of commuters that were trying to get home on Light-Rail from their tax paying jobs, or doctors appointments, errands, visiting families, etc that they are a group of ‘entitled’ members of society and that they ought to have more ‘compassion’ for the trespassers who were illegally camping on Sound Transit or Metro property. Think how much money the major SFD response cost those of us that pay taxes. This is exactly why anyone who condones or supports illegal camps is misguided and until they have a transient camp or group of squatters in THEIR back yard or in a foreclosed house next to them their opinions and words are sanctimonious to the extreme.

    I have noted that most if not all of the louder supporters of this nonsense aren’t remotely close to the Duwamish Greenbelt, and I was particularly galled to learn of that one of the ‘religious’ leaders lives on a dead end bluff overlooking Puget Sound and Vashon. No way in he_l that they will ever have this crap next to them but they expect others to be ‘tolerant’ and ‘compassionate’. Barf-:(

  • Zero dacus October 30, 2013 (12:20 pm)

    Yes Job, prefer to be, those that choose to not use the services available to them for what ever reason they choose, too many rules, no pets, drug addiction,

  • JoB October 30, 2013 (2:56 pm)


    did you forget to add to that list no sleeping in the same facility as your spouse?

  • JoB October 30, 2013 (2:57 pm)

    D I D

    all the more reason to provide a legal place for those whose only option is to camp in the great outdoors a place to do so…

  • JoB October 30, 2013 (5:47 pm)

    D I D
    “I have noted that most if not all of the louder supporters of this nonsense aren’t remotely close to the Duwamish Greenbelt, and I was particularly galled to learn of that one of the ‘religious’ leaders lives on a dead end bluff overlooking Puget Sound and Vashon. No way in he_l that they will ever have this crap next to them but they expect others to be ‘tolerant’ and ‘compassionate’. Barf-:(”
    I can’t speak for whatever religious leader you are saying lives on a bluff overlooking Puget Sound and Vashon…
    but, if they live close to the park, there are people living there with their homes tucked under the evergreens.. you just don’t see them
    we did rent a house on California overlooking the sound for a while when we first moved to Seattle… it was a huge extravagant gift from my husband because i was left behind to sell the house in Minnesota while he came out to start his new job… the views were magnificent..
    we had racoons and coyotes and rats for neighbors.. not to mention a couple of transients and a rock star.
    we now live in a little house near Westwood Mall..
    which as i am sure you know has it’s fair share of panhandlers…
    and on any given day you will likely find a formerly homeless person helping out in the yard or with the dogs or …
    a homeless woman cleans my house when it gets deep cleaned. she is really into clean.
    and i would bet i have been in the greenbelt more often and more recently than you…
    implying that those of use who ask for compassion and tolerance for the homeless people who live among us are somehow removed from the realities may make you feel better…
    but is far removed from the truth.

  • D I D November 2, 2013 (8:42 am)

    @ JoB – Not really into tit-for-tat teenage antics, but you seem to enjoy it so here goes.

    Comment by JoB — 2:57 pm October 30, 2013 – “all the more reason to provide a legal place for those whose only option is to camp in the great outdoors a place to do so…”

    By this ^ reply you have shifted the fact that a fire that was caused by trespassers and illegal campers and could have morphed into a major tunnel disaster is somehow the fault of not providing enough ‘legal places to sleep’? WOW, is all I can say to that obfuscation. Atop the $30 million dollars that are spent annually by the City of Seattle, not counting the millions more that come in via King County, State and Feds on housing or services for transients, just where do you suppose more money for these ‘legal places to sleep’ is going to come from? Seriously, is there never a point where you would actually realize that one city, in this case Seattle, cannot and should not try to save everyone who straggles here? And by trying to do so is just creating more and more problems for Seattle’s social service and housing network and the pocket books of the tax payers that foot the bill for it all? Are you willing to at least contemplate that by continuing to make Seattle the regional, and by some accounts that I have personally witnessed, a national catchall for every down and out, addict, mentally ill or scammer is creating more animosity from the tax payers towards people you state you care so much about? I would suggest that your approach to the problem of transients will kill the goose that laid the golden egg because more and more tax payers are realizing the reality that Seattle over many years has now become a haven city and they don’t want to be paying for it any longer. You can see this in motion by what is going on downtown with concentrated numbers of belligerent drunks, mental cases and addicts preying on people, with Seattleites, myself included, saying enough is enough.

    As I expected, your home in Westwood means you do not live near any of the large West Seattle or other greenbelts in the city. You may visit them, but you do not encounter the regular crap that goes on within them and washes into the surrounding neighborhoods. Your occasional encounters with West Wood Village panhandlers is HARDLY the same level of 24/7 level of concern that affects those that have illegal camps or illegal squatters setting up near them. How do I know? Because I have lived it. I lived it until I put a stop to it within a radius of my home that has reduced the criminal activity that myself and my neighbors were experiencing on a regular basis. What was this criminal activity you may ask? No, it wasn’t limited to just the crime of trespassing or illegal camping and squatting, it was items being stolen from peoples homes and yards, and drugs being sold by the perps that were positively identified as being transients, trespassers, illegal campers and squatters. These people were not families who had lost their way, they were a__holes who didn’t care about anything except feeding their addiction or antisocial personalities.

    The WS bluff near that the pious WS religious leader lives does not have any camps living below it because they and their fellow upscale home owners that surround the bluff area would not allow it. Plus, there is no bus service to the area so transients cannot come and go with ease such as the case with the greenbelts near Myers Way and Highland Park Way. Walking or biking in and out of the exclusive bluff area where the religious leader lives is out of the question because the very savvy property owners would be onto it and stop it before it even got a teeny toehold.

Sorry, comment time is over.