Thanks for the tips. One of West Seattle’s most visible tent-encampment sites, at Rotary Viewpoint Park (35th/Alaska), has been swept, the city confirms, saying campsites at nearby West Seattle Stadium were swept too. This notice was still up on a pole by Rotary Viewpoint Park when we went over Wednesday for a look:
Several tents had been in view around the park’s totem-pole plaza for at least the past several months, but as of yesterday, they were all gone:
The grassy area around the plaza had a few obviously cleared spots in view:
The question is, what kind of notice did people living at the park get? Keith Hughes, who runs West Seattle’s only severe-weather shelter barely a block away, says the park’s residents did not get notice: “No prior notice posted. No warning on the day of. No first thing in the morning while the residents are there to gather their personal belongings. Middle of the day. More police on site than residents – suddenly the police have nothing to do?? – No offers of alternative shelters/living spaces for their stuff to be moved to. Just everything confiscated and thrown into compacting type garbage trucks and hauled away, and huge red ‘Park Closed’ signs put up.”
The city says it did give notice. We sought comment yesterday and received this statement from Seattle Parks and Recreation this morning (published below exactly as received – we are asking for clarification on the notice date, as Monday was June 6th, not 3rd; 6/3 is the date on the notice we showed above, but we have no independent verification of when it was actually posted):
On Monday, June 3, 2022, the City posted a notice at West Seattle Stadium (4 tents) and Rotary Viewpoint (1 tent) that all personal items must be removed by June 7, 2022, when tent obstructions were removed.
The HOPE Team, a City of Seattle program within the Human Services Department that coordinates homelessness outreach and referrals to shelter, and outreach providers intensified outreach to these two locations to connect those residing onsite with offers of shelter and services. They began visiting these sites on May 26 and visited several other times leading up to the removal.
On the day of the removal, the HOPE Team identified four people experiencing homelessness onsite, all were offered shelter, and resulting in three referrals to 24/7 enhanced shelter options.
Any personal items remaining on June 7, 2022, were stored per City policy. People can retrieve their items by calling 206-459-9949, and we will work with individuals to make arrangements for delivery.
Though the city statement says one tent was at the viewpoint, we’ve consistently noted a higher number when driving by in recent months. Meantime, this sweep came exactly one week after Mayor Bruce Harrell went public with a new “dashboard” for data including “verified” and “closed” RV and tent encampments; it’s clearly missing some West Seattle sites but lists a “tent encampment” at Roxhill Park as having been swept last month.