FOLLOWUP: Get your vehicles out of the Myers Way woods by Wednesday, state tells campers

(Photos sent by Diane)

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.

38 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: Get your vehicles out of the Myers Way woods by Wednesday, state tells campers"

  • Pinto July 18, 2023 (5:54 am)

    What about the Fentanyl pipeline? Shuffling homeless people around the city only creates more encampments and more damage. They’re just gonna go somewhere else. Probably back to the first Avenue bridge. The problem is the massive amount of highly addictive drugs. 

    • Derek July 18, 2023 (8:48 am)

      No the real problem is why does drug dealing exist? It used to be crack, whack, cocaine, GHB, etc. etc. Before fent, it was something else, and something else. Fent pipeline is stopped, pretend for a minute, do you think drugs go away? The problem is Big Pharma and black markets existing in hypercapitalistic societies. This is why we will never fix it without fundamental changing of the economic system to give people better lives. 

      • tim July 18, 2023 (10:12 am)

        everything i don’t like is capitalism

        • Scarlett July 18, 2023 (11:45 am)

          You think you’re living in anything close to resembling true capitalism? We just witnessed the greatest “melt-up” of unearned wealth into the pockets of the upper middle class and wealthy – those who are the first to complain about taxes, hypocritically 

        • WS Guy July 18, 2023 (2:53 pm)

          Studies show that centralized economies totally eliminate the self-esteem and psychiatric issues that lead to drug use.  When government autocrats replace corporate autocrats these problems disappear.  It’s in the science.

        • Rug July 18, 2023 (3:08 pm)

           I do like  capitalism (and personal responsibility).   So there’s nothing you don’t like that has nothing to do with capitalism??  well that’s rhetorical obviously.  

    • Brian July 18, 2023 (9:34 am)

      studies show that, time and again, the main problem facing the homeless is not having a home (it’s in the name even).house people. Don’t shelter them. Give them a place to live that is theirs. 

    • Neighbor July 18, 2023 (11:52 am)

      This is false.  Every site clearing has people who move to permanent housing or at least move toward a more stable life.  The best thing we can do is to continue to harass these people until they get their acts together.

  • Jeepney July 18, 2023 (7:22 am)

    What will happen to the swimming pool?

  • Sillygoose July 18, 2023 (7:43 am)

    “move your vehicles off this site”  hummmmm has WSDOT, SDOT even gone in and ran vin or plates numbers?  If none are visiable then clearly stolen and the city needs to get in there and have them removed, stop coddling!!!! 

  • Mr Henry July 18, 2023 (8:14 am)

    I will believe it when I see it.  The whole darn camp needs to be moved or destroyed.

  • Alki resident July 18, 2023 (8:25 am)

    Lol the key words “ your vehicles”. Laughable when the majority of these cars have been stolen. Us tax payers as usual with be paying for every single car to get towed. I’m sure the “ fee” will also be inflated for obvious reasons. 

    • Lauren July 18, 2023 (10:09 am)

      Laughable when the majority of these cars have been stolen”How do you know this, Alki Resident? Have you seen data indicating this?

      • momosmom July 18, 2023 (1:08 pm)

        @Lauren 🌹👓

      • Alki resident July 18, 2023 (2:06 pm)

        Go visit the camp. Not one plate on a vehicle. Every encampment in our state has multiple stolen cars . Wake up

  • Curious July 18, 2023 (8:40 am)

    Can’t the city buy a used cruise ship or  a ferry to house them?Cheaper and easier to manage 

    • BINGO! July 18, 2023 (10:51 am)

      Yes please!

  • Derek July 18, 2023 (8:46 am)

    So you just move encampments somewhere else? When will we finally learn that sweeping does not work. 

    • Jeepney July 18, 2023 (10:25 am)

      Derek, what kind of realistic solution can you provide?

      • WestSeattleBadTakes July 18, 2023 (1:15 pm)

        Give them in stable dignified housing. Not shelters, tiny homes, hotels, dehumanizing places like DESC, etc.

        The list of what is needed will be different for everyone but hopefully you can get the vibe of what we’re trying to do here.

        Give them support.
        Give them time.
        Give them psychological safety.
        Give them freedom, not conditions. 
        Give them education – dealing with finances, healthcare, housing, etc. People are not born with this knowledge.
        Give them comfort.
        Give them kindness.
        Give them opportunity.
        Give them hope.

        Stay out of individual peoples business. Leave this to professionals.It may take many years for people to turn into the person you expect them to be, for some it may never happen. If it doesn’t, we should reflect on where our society is failing so many and fix it (so that this problem doesn’t continue or get worse).

        This isn’t meant to be a comprehensive list, but the vibe here is that we give these individuals everything they need. For many of them, the same things we had that help us to NOT become homeless.

        We can differentiate between individuals struggling, individuals doing fine for themselves, and individuals that have been completely defeated in our system. We can hold that people should work – and our goals should be the ensure that people are treated well, paid well, etc. We can hold that the people doing fine for themselves should educate themselves enough to understand our systems and identify their failures by listening to those struggling. And we should believe that our society should work to continuously lift everyone up, even those who have made bad choices (that includes you too).

        At the end of the day, I can’t guarantee this will work 100%, but I think it would help A LOT. And this is the position that should help us sleep at night. That if things go sour for you, you won’t be left to fend for yourself. And I would hope that the only one that is morally justifiable.

        And for those it doesn’t fully help – I won’t keep myself awake in anger over the idea that someone is getting a “free ride.” Honestly, I would only really do that if I myself was struggling or really hated the fact that I had to work. The latter, I mean, is that the whole argument made by those placing such requirements on the homeless?

        There are many places to go from here, you might say “well nobody will work.” In which case, I have to ask what value is there in work if it only done to simply exist? Is that the best system we can come up with? One that coerces people through the threat of destitution?

        We can most assuredly be better and do better. This issue will continue to get worse if we continue to willfully misunderstand the problem. And even if it is swept away, we can only hope that it isn’t one of us, our family, or our friends that are swept away as well.

        • Jeepney July 18, 2023 (2:40 pm)

          But what if some unhoused individuals don’t want what you would like to provide for them?  What if they prefer to live on property that doesn’t belong to them?  How do we help them?

          • WestSeattleBadTakes July 18, 2023 (4:16 pm)

            What would you like to do with them? I’ve given my position, we continue to help and assess our society. My position doesn’t change.

            So, if we go with what I’ve suggested, and we have some people who are doing what you suggest, which is incredibly leading, simplified, and generic mind you.

            What would you do?

          • Jeepney July 18, 2023 (5:54 pm)

            What I will do is simplify the question.  How do you help those that do not want help?

        • Scarlett July 18, 2023 (2:57 pm)

          Well put. Thanks. 

        • WS Guy July 18, 2023 (2:58 pm)

          Can you give us a price quote on that?

        • Kim July 18, 2023 (7:07 pm)

          What a deeply thoughtful response. Thank you for taking the time. Absolutely agree with everything you’ve stated.

    • KYS July 18, 2023 (11:25 am)

      Derek how do you always manage to be on the wrong side of EVERY discussion here?  Even a broken clock is right twice a day.  You can’t even manage that much.

    • Derp July 18, 2023 (11:49 am)

      As noted above they want to put them up in shelters or other,  before they will move them out. What is your big plan Derek ? The idea is to make them go away,  period.  I know that’s a big step.  But you have to start somewhere.  Not all,  but most don’t want help.  That would change their life style,  a hard thing to change over years. Why do we need to supply them housing ? They need to make better choices,  but here we go back to the beginning again. I think Bruce Harrell has done a good job on city spots and getting them cleaned up. 

    • Spooled July 18, 2023 (12:09 pm)

      Derek, sweeping works for the elderly residents across the street and the landowner enduring the trespass.  Are you ready to host this camp on your block?  Even if you are I doubt your neighbors are so naive.   When I am dead, or retired and moved away, seattle will still be arguing about or studying the root causes of poverty, crime, drugs, traffic, speeding, and all the other things.  In the short term these activities need to have consequences again.

      • Jethro Marx July 18, 2023 (2:23 pm)

        “Poverty needs to have consequences again.” This, besides being mind-blowingly dumb, will also make a great slogan, if you ever run for office!

  • snowskier July 18, 2023 (10:34 am)

    Half way there.  How about “We’re putting up blocks so move all your stuff by this date and whatever is left will be removed and destroyed”.  If you come back, it’ll be removed and destroyed but we won’t give you a date, it’ll just be thrown out. 

    • anonyme July 18, 2023 (12:50 pm)

      Double thumbs up, Snowskier.

  • Admiral-2009 July 18, 2023 (12:26 pm)

    Derek – I just walked by Met Market and they have jobs available, $19 hour to start with benefits.  

  • ltfd July 18, 2023 (12:38 pm)

    Sweep earlier next time, and more often.    

  • aa July 18, 2023 (3:49 pm)

    There is no sweep!  Thats why it is taking so long.  They  are talking about  removing  vehicles that don’t  work, people are not being moved until housing is found so lighten up on the sweep drama.  personally I wish they were sweeping. This group has shown so little regard for this land I think they should be treated as well as they have treated the area they have chosen to destroy. If any tax paying person with a home decided to  surround their home with even a portion of this crap there would be criminal consequences.

  • Admiral-2009 July 18, 2023 (5:20 pm)

    Jethro/Derek – my old man grew up dirt poor on the wrong side of the RR tracks, a religious minority and did not resort to theft et al.  He worked his tail end off and made it to the middle class.  There is support available for those willing to make it work. Whatever happened to personal responsibility?

    • Jethro Marx July 19, 2023 (10:25 am)

      That’s great, Admiral-2009.  I find that people often resort to some sort of inspirational and vague anecdote like this when discussions of poverty and homelessness come up.  The fact is, we have to decide what to do with people who aren’t currently meeting society’s expectations and aren’t going to just American Dream themselves into wealth and splendour. 

      We can dismiss both extremes (“this is all your fault, you’re sub-human, go away or go to jail,” and “this is all Amazon/AirBnB’s fault, capitalists are evil.”)  I don’t think jailing people for living on the margins is right, and it’s definitely not economical or likely to improve their lives long-term.  And no matter how many goofballs say “get a job and a microapartment, it’s easy!” there are reasons people end up homeless and they are not easily addressed. 

      Waving that away and talking about some BS bootstrapping lore from fifty years ago does nothing for those who are struggling with real issues of addiction, mental illness, and trauma, which tend to form a vicious cycle on the streets.

  • N Admiral July 18, 2023 (10:16 pm)

    Get off drugs, get an education, and get a job like everyone else does in society. It’s not that deep

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