One day before state officials meet with Arrowhead Gardens residents about the encampment across Myers Way from their homes, WSDOT put up warning notices – telling the campers to get their vehicles out by Wednesday, because that’s when they’ll be blocking access. The notices that went up Monday followed an update sent to Arrowhead Gardens residents last week, including these promises of action, though not a full site clearance:
Restricting access – WSDOT, in coordination with service providers and the city, are planning to set barrier along the east side of Myers Way to eliminate vehicle access on and off the site and prohibit parking on the shoulder. The goal is to better manage ingress and egress to the site and ultimately restrict growth.
Site clean-up and planning for reduction in footprint – There are a number of abandoned tents and vehicles on site and we are working to identify and tag those items for removal. Outreach providers are also working with those living onsite to do a major trash/debris pick-up.
The WSDOT update also talked about efforts to house the campers:
Service providers have identified 48 individuals living unsheltered at the site and housing and service efforts will focus on placing these individuals. New people are being turned away. Resolution of the entire site won’t commence until we have identified adequate viable housing and shelter resources for the remaining individuals staying at the encampment. We have some, but not all, of those housing resources in hand, and are establishing a plan for site resolution based on when the needed resources will be available. From experience, we’ve found that relocating the majority of residents at the same time minimizes confusion and anxiety and is safer for the outreach teams. Outreach continues to regularly work with the people at the site to focus on understanding the dynamics and needs in the encampment which informs the housing placement plan.
Later today (Tuesday), WSDOT will meet with AG residents; the last meeting two months ago was with city officials (WSB coverage here), and the camp has continued to grow, with some elaborate additions such as fencing and an inflatable pool.