ANDOVER ENCAMPMENT: Councilmembers’ visit; precinct commander’s assurance

One week after word that another “remediation” is planned for the Andover RV encampment, it’s getting more advance attention.

West Seattle/South Park Councilmember Lisa Herbold and citywide Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda – a North Delridge resident – visited the encampment today with other officials, including King County Regional Homelessness Authority CEO Marc Dones, and local volunteers. We learned this when Herbold mentioned it to her colleagues during the council’s weekly Monday afternoon “briefing” meeting.

Herbold said she also has a meeting ahead with the mayor’s office about what the encampment residents need as the city gets ready to enforce the 72-hour parking rule. After the council meeting, we asked her via email for more on what the encampment visit was about. Her reply:

I organized a visit to the Andover site for the Regional Homelessness Authority director Marc Dones and some of their staff, along with REACH outreach workers and St. Vincent De Paul outreach workers who regularly serve the residents, as well as members of West Seattle Mutual Aid (neighbors in the area who volunteer their time to help the residents). Councilmember Mosqueda also joined us. A resident in one of the RVs has been in touch with my office and I also have regular contact with the outreach workers who have been working with the residents there already for several months if not longer. I wanted the KCRHA to hear directly from the people living in their RVs at Andover as they consider how to develop the RV Safe Lot program. I also want to be able to share some of what I could learn from both outreach workers and RV residents when I and CEO Dones meet with the Mayor’s Office again this week to discuss planned enforcement of the 72-hour parking rule at this location.

Residents need free or low-cost repairs for vehicles that are inoperable, dumpsters, as well as case management to help residents with stolen IDs and accessing services.

The Regional Homelessness Authority is now the agency responsible for addressing homelessness, rather than a patchwork of city and county departments, though government entities provide funding.

The upcoming remediation was mentioned by Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Martin Rivera during his guest appearance at last Thursday’s Alki Community Council meeting. When the Andover encampment came up, he assured attendees, “They’re going to start moving those RVs out of there.” He later broadened his comments to other (albeit unspecified) encampments in the area, saying that “our whole purpose lately has been to get those encampments moved, and four or five of them are going to be acted on.” We noticed this afternoon that some of the RVs on Harbor Avenue have been orange-tagged; we had heard a parking-enforcement officer radio in a few days ago about being out on that detail. The RVs there come and go more often than the ones on Andover, where there’s been a steady presence going back six-plus years.

P.S. This is likely to be one of many topics Mayor Bruce Harrell is asked about during his virtual visit to the District 1 Community Network‘s June meeting, 7 pm Wednesday, June 1st. (Watch our calendar for the link.)

56 Replies to "ANDOVER ENCAMPMENT: Councilmembers' visit; precinct commander's assurance"

  • Concerned on the fence May 24, 2022 (12:10 am)

    “Case management…” for people with stolen id’s? What does that mean? Identity theft is a felony in Washington State. Anyone caught with stolen ids needs to be prosecuted. Even if sentencing is light, there is no excuse for stealing someone’s identity for your own personal gain. None. That felony should be made to stick, and yes, to set an example. The lawlessness of this city is intolerable and unsustainable.

    • WSB May 24, 2022 (1:08 am)

      I believe she meant people who are victims of identity theft. Case managers at places such as Camp Second Chance have often spoke of trying to straighten out ID situations so people can get into the system. But I’ll ask.

      • Concerned on the fence May 24, 2022 (1:27 am)

        Thank you.

        • Rocket May 24, 2022 (8:18 am)

          Your bias against impoverished losers and the role of city government in offering services for ALL residents (productive or not) makes your reading comprehension nil.This was clearly in regards to helping people who had their ids stolen, not to help people with the IDs they stole.

    • Derek May 24, 2022 (7:39 am)

      There’s lawlessness then there’s being poor, I’m not speaking to ID theft or anything but prosecuting people for being homeless is a losing game and cruel. There’s no other way around it. Compassion based solutions or leave them alone.

      • Thomas Wood May 24, 2022 (8:35 am)

        Derek every time you respond you always make these claims about poor people being prosecuted  for being poor.Where does this come from? Please offer proof.The real crime is allowing  people to exist in these crime ridden squalors. Many are either addicted or have mental issues.

      • Wseattleite May 24, 2022 (10:23 am)

        Leaving them alone is one of the most compassionless acts I can even think of.  I am shocked there are people that think this should continue on. 

        • Don May 24, 2022 (11:05 am)

          Forcing someone to do something is fascism last I heard. So I am not sure that is a solution either. Need to be more creative. 

        • sargh May 24, 2022 (11:58 am)

          100%, I cannot understand the reasoning behind “leave them alone”.  It’s a losing situation for everyone, but especially those who are homeless.

          • Homey May 24, 2022 (6:22 pm)

            Derek said ‘compassionate solutions’ then followed with ‘or leave them alone.’ Did you all miss the point here? The only way to really help people in such difficult circumstances and suffering is with compassionate solutions. Criminalizing, punishing, and hatefulness of the homeless and poor, adds to their heavy load of difficulty and suffering, which works against them bettering their lives and situations. Consequences for actual crimes, yes, compassionate solutions for homelessness, poverty, and suffering.

  • Jay May 24, 2022 (6:14 am)

    Yup. It would be hard to access assistance programs, and impossible to get a legitimate job, without ID. Good luck to any case manager who works on this, dealing with ID theft can be a full time job. Without secure mail service and an address I don’t know how someone would even start.

  • flimflam May 24, 2022 (6:20 am)

    if the 72 hour rule is going to be enforced why the need for dumpsters there? Once a dumpster goes in its essentially a sanctioned camp.

    • JulNJer May 24, 2022 (9:21 am)

      Flimflam, I oversee an area in the CID next to a couple encampments. Having dumpsters placed is an effort by SPU to reduce unsanitary and unsightly conditions that are significant burdens to private owners as well as the public. Getting a site dumpster placed does NOT legitimize or sanction an encampment in any way, nor does it establish residency. 

    • CheeseWS777 May 24, 2022 (9:22 am)

      R u also one of the people who complain about the trash on the side of the road where they were told to leave it? Cus its got to b one way or the other… Which one do you prefer?

    • WS Res May 24, 2022 (9:53 am)

      So you don’t want there to be trash around, but you also don’t want dumpsters. Got it.

      • flimflam May 24, 2022 (12:41 pm)

        Wow, lots of conclusions being jumped too by a few responses. I said nothing other than questioning the need for a dumpster if the 72 hour rule would be enforced, making the trash issue a seemingly moot point. 

    • MyThruppence May 24, 2022 (10:59 am)

      I agree with you on this FlimFlam. Temporary dumpsters are great, if it’s in furtherance of immediately and permanently getting rid of the encampments along the sides of roads, public green spaces, sidewalks, parks, and schools. Accept help, move along, or go to jail. It’s literally that simple.

  • Graham May 24, 2022 (7:09 am)

    Glad that the council member is now, finally  bringing attention to this situation. However, it’s unfortunate that it had to be necessitated by gun violence when this has been a dangerous and untenable situation for years. It was neglected for too long by our council member, and she was not ignorant to the situation.

  • Morgan May 24, 2022 (7:21 am)

    “Safe lot”? If there’s a magic lot, build multistory shelter. Don’t just recreate tv encampment.

    • Jay May 24, 2022 (8:54 am)

      There are so many properties basically falling apart in West Seattle because investors are sitting on them. The city should buy a couple via eminent domain and build transitional and long-term housing.

    • BB May 24, 2022 (11:32 am)

      It takes two years to get permits to build in this City, then add 12-24 months construction time depending on the size of the building….so 3-4 years.  So, just build housing is a LONG term solution,

      • Jethro Marx May 24, 2022 (1:15 pm)

        As long as a ten-year plan to end homelessness that is 10% complete in its 17th year?  It would have been cool to start building that housing in 2005 though, what?

  • Morgan May 24, 2022 (7:50 am)

    If there’s empty lots lying around then build new structures to house, don’t park RVs.

  • Mark47n May 24, 2022 (7:54 am)

    Sounds a lot like more of the same, to me. It also sounds like permanent installations, such as dumpsters, which acknowledge, quietly, that this little scene isn’t going away.

    • WSTB May 24, 2022 (8:54 am)

      I hear that these days there are not only dumpsters with wheels, but vehicles that can deliver them when needed and haul away when no longer needed. No more permanent dumpster installation required. You can even rent one for your own use! Science is amazing!

    • JulNJer May 24, 2022 (9:30 am)

      Mark47n, can you please explain how a dumpster is considered a permanent installation as opposed to a temporary public benefit? The alternative to having no place for people to put their garbage is for it to end up in streets, people’s yards, parking lots, etc. where paid or volunteer workers face significant health and safety risks to remove it by hand. I seriously don’t get how anyone could think this is a bad thing but maybe I’m missing something?

    • WS Res May 24, 2022 (9:54 am)

      So would you just like everyone rounded up and shot then? Please be clear about what you would prefer to have happen.

  • snowskier May 24, 2022 (9:00 am)

    “Residents need free or low-cost repairs for vehicles that are inoperable”  Does this mean you’re going to pay to fix everyone’s car Lisa?  I’m sure lots of other residents would appreciate free auto work.  What a joke.How about this idea instead?  Tow cars and vehicles that are inoperable off of the public streets and enforce a 72 hour parking rule.

    • Don May 24, 2022 (11:39 am)

      And impound lots can just magically absorb this and the costs? Okay.  Everyone seems to think everything can be conveniently and magically done for free. It is much easier just leaving the poor alone if they want to be left alone. Housed people trash more than anyone else. I am tired of seeing my neighbors park their ugly Subarus. Does that mean I whine to Lisa Herbold about it? No one lives by the Andover Encampment. It’s insane people care this much.

    • zark00 May 24, 2022 (12:00 pm)

      Then what?  Just do it again, and again, and again, and again…. and hope that magically “solves homelessness”?  It’s a pretty simple concept. Fix the RVs, then they can move, give them a lot to park in, then they won’t be on your street. 

      • Thomas Wood May 24, 2022 (2:37 pm)

        They could start by not allowing these RV’s  sold at auction!

      • snowskier May 24, 2022 (5:20 pm)

        You do need to set the rules and consistently enforce them.  Without any enforcement, you end up in the situation we are in where the broken vehicles and trash overwhelm the street adjacent to those neighbors that play by the rules.  We need to continue with the “carrots” of treatment, services, etc but we also need to bring out the “stick” of towing, no living in the parks, etc if we want to see actual change.  The current ‘offer help and hope for the best’ situation isn’t working for anyone.

        • anonyme May 25, 2022 (6:25 am)

          Well said, Snowskier.

  • breadhead May 24, 2022 (9:04 am)

    Soooo are they removing it or what? Sounds like the plan is to do their housekeeping and give them dumpsters? 

  • Mj May 24, 2022 (9:52 am)

    Enough already, it’s time to enforce the parking and littering codes.

    • Don May 24, 2022 (11:06 am)

      Then enforce it on my housed neighbors with garbage overflowing weekly. And maybe don’t just zero in on the poor. Let’s see it happen to the rich too. 

    • zark00 May 24, 2022 (12:06 pm)

      So you’d like to see parking tickets and littering tickets issued?  Brilliant. That’ll be super effective. Tow RVs?  Then what?  You really think towing an RV and issuing a littering ticket will ‘cure homelessness’? Tax churches, use the money to subsidize housing.

  • North Admiral Resident May 24, 2022 (10:15 am)

    Property values will go down in that area due to an encampment. Will the city compensate affected homeowners? 

    • WSB May 25, 2022 (10:59 am)

      Not true. The RVs have been there since 2015. I checked two adjacent parcels at 28th/Yancy. Both have increased in valuation by more than 50 percent since then. – TR

  • WS Resident May 24, 2022 (11:32 am)

    Perhaps she should have spoken to the neighbors of this encampment to see what they would need. I am sure the fitness center would like portable toilets for the campers. I am sure the neighbors in non-moveable residences (houses) #sarcasm would like the campers to keep the neighborhood a little cleaner by keeping their clutter to a minimum and picking up after their pets. If they want people to consider them as neighbors, then they should maintain the grounds they live on, just like any neighborhood would expect every resident to do. The campers aren’t the only people that live in the area. Maybe her addressing the whole neighborhoods requests would make it seem like all of her constituent’s matter. 

    • WS Res May 24, 2022 (1:15 pm)

      Portable toilets would be a great idea and should have been put out long ago.

    • neighbor May 24, 2022 (4:59 pm)

      That’s the LEAST I would ask for… what about the fact that I don’t ever feel safe outside or I can’t sleep bc EVERY night I hear a cart rattling down the street pushed by an encampment resident looking for stuff to steal from properties?? How are we supposed to ask for anything when the bare minimum of safety and respect from these fellow neighborhood “residents” isn’t even considered???

    • Titanic May 25, 2022 (9:08 am)

      Let’s make sure the first class passengers on the upper deck of the ship are most comfortable and have music and tea and their concerns are heard, before we rescue the 3rd class passengers below.

  • Bill May 24, 2022 (12:47 pm)

    Why am I not holding my breath in believing the RVs will actually be removed?

  • DR May 24, 2022 (1:45 pm)

    I agree with WS RESIDENT.  This issue must be addressed by looking at all parties perspectives and taking action using a collective approach.  

  • Chris May 24, 2022 (3:23 pm)

    I think it would be great if they could find a better location for people in RVs where they can spread out, and have access to water, power, bathrooms, etc. That sounds like an RV park which are located all over the state. Can we just pay for their stay at RV parks. It seems better for them and is probably less expensive than whatever politicians have been trying to accomplish for several years with no improvement at all. In fact I just see it getting worse. Otherwise, we will be playing the never-ending game of chasing the 72-hour RV parking spot up and down Harbor Ave and Alki. When are they going to open up the rarely used safe street on Alki Point and start letting RVs park there? It seems wasteful when we already have a safe bike and walking trail on Harbor Ave being taken over by RVs and their stuff. Are we protecting Alki Point residents from living with the RV situation we deal with on the other end of Harbor Ave?

  • Mickymse May 24, 2022 (3:39 pm)

    The Councilmember is not “now, finally” taking a look at this area of concern. She and her staff have been working to assist this particular community for some time, as well as addressing other issues of concern to those experiencing homelessness around West Seattle.

  • WSRes May 24, 2022 (5:02 pm)

    Our city is in this situation because of the elected representatives we placed in office. Elections matter and every vote counts. Write them when you have concerns and vote.

  • Mj May 24, 2022 (5:58 pm)

    zark00 – it’s past time for the City to enforce the law equally to everyone!  Enough already. I was assaulted at my house by a homeless person several years ago and the City still has not prosecuted the perp. This incident still infuriates me.

  • Homey May 24, 2022 (6:49 pm)

    I don’t hate the idea of creating large rv lots and providing basic services, for existing rv’rs needing such a place as an interim solution, not a long term solution. Might even take the idea a step further and suggest looking into procuring more rv’s to provide and use as short term housing at these lots for homeless folks currently outdoors. Rv housing would be better than no housing, providing a legal pace for these people and access to services would be an improvement, and bringing all these folks together would help to bring other services and coordinated care and case management. Also, it might be revelatory to see just how large the need would be, once these lots fill up. Another idea, if there are any shopping malls struggling, maybe the county could buy out these facilities and transform them into centers for the homeless. Again as an interim, short term solution, to help people, to work towards individual housing. Not saying this would be the right direction, just ideas for discussion.

  • Alki Resident May 24, 2022 (7:20 pm)

    While I appreciate her compassion, enough is enough. Outreach needs to happen like the other areas the mayor is clearing out. Either they accept the housing options available or move on (and abide by the 72 hour enforcement). Rules and taxes apply to everyone. 

  • Not an enabler May 24, 2022 (7:44 pm)

    A care-aratarian society, would get in front and confront each and every one of these individuals. It would be compulsory to submit to evaluations, and be housed in a locked down environment while they get their issues addressed, co-create a plan of health and vocational recovery and remain in rehabilitation until such time they are capable of contributing fully to their own health and well being.They would be required to have a sponsor that’s willing to commit to proper enablement. That is where some of the people that decry others for being firm, can stand up, step up and be part of the solution, not an enabler of this sh*t-show, status quo. I am talking to every person that says this is a homelessness issueUse existing facilities, such as military bases, and prisons. Yes prisons. Many need to be held accountable to the rule of law. The outcome…this is the EMPATHY PART.  We no longer accept living, essentially in a dumpster full of stolen property, used needles, your kids chopped bicycle, in a disgusting glide-path to insanity and death is compassion. It is the opposite!Empathy is getting in front of these people and helping them commit to their own well being. And a structure of familial, cultural, avocational supporters that help them be true to the person they once were and can be again.

    • Pessoa May 27, 2022 (10:32 am)

      What you’re trying to explicate is a the idea of a communitarian society.  This kind of society is based on the neighborhood model of neighbors looking after each other, encouraging and expecting a certain level of behavior and respect,  But it also relies on honesty and forthwrighteness of community members who realize that they may be as much a part of the problem, as the solution.  The federal policies, for example, that propped up the value of your home may result in inflation that hurt the less affluent in your community.  But no, communitarism doesn’t involve the heavy hand of the state intervening, nor does it involve herding the less affluent into prisons where they can be “rehabilitated” to fit some arbitrary definition of what is acceptable behavior.   

  • Mj May 24, 2022 (10:30 pm)

    zark00 – politicians keep talking about treating everyone equally yet when it comes to basic enforcement of parking and littering codes they employ a double standard.  Either enforce the SMC for everyone equally or don’t enforce it at all.

  • Ws May 25, 2022 (10:05 pm)

    So, will it be like a trash and garbage collecting or rv removal on June 16th?

Sorry, comment time is over.