West Seattle, Washington
Tonight we have a two-part update on the Delridge Way repaving/utilities project that’s preparing for the conversion of Metro Route 120 to the RapidRide H Line next year.
THE MEDIAN PLAN – AND PLANTING STRIPS: As part of the work, medians have been created along several stretches of Delridge. The concept for these dates back long before the RapidRide plan – neighborhood advocates had envisioned Delridge as more of a “boulevard.” But as the project progresses, the median spaces have lain empty, and readers have wondered what’s the landscaping plan, including maintenance. We took the question to SDOT, and here’s their response via spokesperson Madison Linkenmeyer:
We will install landscaping in the medians that will ensure year-round evergreen coverage, including species that are low-growing and derived from Pacific Northwest native plants. These plants were chosen due to their tolerance to mowing, which can help protect the plants from invasive weeds. This vegetation will be maintained by our contractor and the Urban Forestry maintenance team for the first three years after planting to ensure that the landscaping has been properly established in the medians and crossing islands.
After this three-year period, we will continue prioritizing maintenance in areas to ensure sightlines are clear for people traveling along the corridor. This maintenance includes trimming trees in the planting strips and other public right of way as needed. This type of maintenance is consistent with all landscaping throughout the city. We will mow and control weeds as needed in the medians.
In addition to the landscaped medians, the planting strips between the curbs and sidewalks along Delridge Way SW will be restored with grass lawns. Grass lawn is the standard type of landscaping to be used for permanent erosion control in Seattle. As with all properties across Seattle, it is the property owner’s responsibility to maintain the planting strips adjacent to their property. For people living in apartments or renting, it is the responsibility for the property owner/landlord, property management team, or homeowners association to maintain the public right of way. You can read more about these responsibilities on our website.
If residents are concerned with maintenance of the grass lawn, they are able to request that we look into installing wood chip mulch in the planting strip instead of grass. A planting strip with wood chip mulch would limit the maintenance needs and be helpful to those without lawn mowers. Residents would be responsible for planting their own landscaping in these planting strips in order to help with erosion control.
THIS WEEK’S PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS: Here are the key zones for this week’s work:
*Final channelization in Zones A and B will be wrapping up next week
-We will begin painting lane markings south of SW Orchard St later this year
*We are continuing to upgrade sidewalks, curb ramps, and electrical utilities at SW Findlay St through July, and will begin demolishing the sidewalks between SW Juneau St and SW Graham St through June. Paving for this work will occur later this summer.
*Bus stop upgrades at SW Myrtle St and SW Holly St continue. We will begin pouring the cement bus pads next week.
*Bus stop, sidewalk, and curb ramp upgrades at SW Thistle St on the west side of Delridge Way SW continue next week
-Additional sidewalk and curb ramp work will happen at SW Thistle St later this summer. The street will remain closed as we rebuild sidewalks and relocate pedestrian signal poles in the area. We will reopen the street as soon as possible.
*We will begin restoring the street between SW Holden St and SW Thistle St next week
-Driveways will be temporarily closed while we pour concrete in the street
*Intersection upgrades and road closure at SW Henderson St continue
-Please reference this detour map for additional details
Full details for this week’s work zones and closures can be found here.
While a long-in-the-works development plan proceeds for the north side of SW Orchard just east of Delridge Way, there’s now a new one for the south side of the street.
An early-stage site plan has just been filed with the city for 2051 SW Orchard (the site highlighted yellow in the screengrab above from King County Parcel Viewer). The site plan shows 39 townhouses, with offstreet parking in “shared underground garages.” The prospective development team is currently the most prolific in West Seattle – an entity of STS Construction (WSB sponsor) is listed as the owner (though not yet in county records), with architect Atelier Drome. Since this is an early-stage plan, there’s no timetable yet for feedback, reviews, and public comment.
As for the proposal on the north side of the street – city files indicate the 18-townhouse project, which hasn’t yet finished Design Review, is still being actively pursued. That project has a different owner/architect team.
Just announced by the Seattle Public Library – it’s reopening more branches next week, including Delridge (5423 Delridge Way SW) and High Point (3411 SW Raymond), as well as the Central Library downtown. Here’s the announcement we received:
On Tuesday, June 22, the glass and steel walls of The Seattle Public Library’s Central Library will fill with visitors for the first time in 15 months when three levels of the internationally acclaimed building reopen to patrons. Nine other Library branches will also reopen the week of June 21.
The Columbia, Delridge, Greenwood, High Point, International District/Chinatown, Magnolia, Queen Anne, South Park, and University branches all join the Library’s growing list of reopened locations.
Patrons can browse books, pick up available holds, use computers or Wi-Fi, speak to Library staff, charge devices and more at these locations beginning the week of June 21. A complete list of reopening dates and operating hours is provided below. Meeting rooms, study rooms and in-person programs are not yet available at these locations.
At the Central Library, Levels 1, 3 and 5 will be publicly accessible and will include access to the Children’s Area, Adult Fiction and World Languages, as well as computers, Wi-Fi, self-checkout, reference assistance, Library card sign-ups, device charging, courtesy phones, the FriendShop, restroom access and more. Other levels of the Central Library are not yet available to the public, but will reopen in coming weeks.
The Library is making other changes: Reopened locations will no longer close for a one-hour midday cleaning break, as routine cleaning will occur during open hours. This will allow for uninterrupted service throughout the day and more open hours. All open libraries will continue to operate under Gov. Inslee’s currently mandated Phase 3 guidance for Washington state libraries until at least June 30. Physical distancing and mask requirements remain in place until further notice.
With this latest expansion, 17 of 27 Seattle libraries are reopened in advance of the governor’s anticipated statewide reopening on July 1. In addition to providing In-Building Services at these 17 reopened libraries, The Seattle Public Library will continue to provide Curbside Services at the Northeast, Northgate and West Seattle branches; material return service at the Green Lake Branch; and returns service and public restroom access at the Capitol Hill Branch until these libraries are able to reopen. Five libraries – the Fremont, Madrona-Sally Goldmark, Montlake, NewHolly and Wallingford branches – have not been able to provide services during the pandemic due to either staffing constraints or spatial limitations that cannot accommodate physical distancing.
Several more libraries are expected to reopen the week of July 5. The Library will announce those locations the week prior to reopening.
The Library will continue to reopen additional locations as staffing levels allow. The schedule of newly reopened libraries will vary depending on staffing. Open hours for Library locations are expected to increase throughout the summer.
Delridge and High Point will open on Wednesday, June 23rd. Right now the Southwest Branch (9010 35th SW) is the only one in West Seattle with in-building services.
From flowers to food, the inaugural vendors at the South Delridge Farmers’ Market are there for another half-hour plus!
We dropped by a little while ago and were told things had gone so well, at least one vendor had already sold out. They’re also taking suggestions for what future markets should offer:
A special addition for the first time out – a Seattle Fire Mobile Vaccination Team is there with all three vaccines, too. The market is coordinated by African Community Housing and Development:
They’ll be back on the second Saturday every month through November, 11 am-3 pm, at the courtyard of Hope Academy (9421 18th SW), so the next one will be July 10th.
Friday afternoons bring the latest update on the Delridge Way repaving/utilities/more project preparing for RapidRide H Line. Today, there’s word of weekend work and more overnight work. First, the key points highlighted by the project team:
*SW Barton Pl intersection upgrades are nearly complete and the street will reopen soon
*The east side of the SW Henderson St and Delridge Way SW will be closed as early as Monday, June 14 for upgrades.
-This work will last approximately three weeks. I’ve also attached a detour map for this work to this email.
*Seattle Public Utilities will be demolishing areas throughout the corridor for underground water utility upgrades this weekend, June 12 – 13
*We are continuing to paint final lane markings along the corridor. Parking restrictions will be in place while this work occurs. As a reminder, we will be working overnight.
*Bus-stop upgrades continue at SW Myrtle St and SW Holly St at the site of the future RapidRide stations
*We are wrapping up electrical utility upgrades between SW Holden St and SW Thistle St
-We will begin restoring the street as early as June 21
Today is the first day without the city-run vaccination hub in West Seattle, but Seattle Fire‘s Mobile Vaccination Team will be back in two days for a pop-up:
The new South Delridge Farmers’ Market was announced 2 1/2 weeks ago. It’ll happen on the second Saturday each month through November.
New info on two long-term east-west road closures – the results of separate, unrelated projects – that we’ve been tracking:
SW YANCY CLOSURE WEST OF 28TH: This closure is part of the Rise at Yancy Street supportive-housing project for local nonprofit Transitional Resources. TR CEO Darcell Slovek-Walker has just sent word that the contractor says the street is now scheduled to reopen June 19th – one week from Saturday.
SW THISTLE CLOSURE ON EAST SIDE OF DELRIDGE: This closure is part of the SDOT repaving/utilities project preparing for Metro Route 120 to become the RapidRide H Line in fall 2022. The SDOT project team says it is still closed because “we are currently evaluating a slight design change to the southeast corner which will require us to keep SW Thistle St closed to through traffic. This evaluation may result in some additional work in this area. If a design change is needed, we will follow up with more specific details on this work and the schedule.”
That rendering from Atelier Drome Architecture is part of the “early design” proposal for 9038 21st SW [map], an apartment building planned for rapidly redeveloping South Delridge. It’s on a site that’s been upzoned from single-family to lowrise. We first mentioned the plan last September. Now it’s going through the city’s Streamlined Design Review process, which means public comments are accepted but no public meeting will be held. As part of that, the design packet is available (90 MB document). The plan is for a 3-stories-plus-basement building with about 24 apartments, no offstreet vehicle-parking spaces (none are required because of transit proximity), 24 long-term bicycle-parking spaces. The formal notice isn’t out yet but if you have comments on the project, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
8:46 PM: Thanks to Matthew for the photo and report from Delridge/Trenton:
Not sure what happened here, but the bus appears to have come down the alley between 22nd and Delridge heading north and can’t make the turn out to delridge heading east because of a car parked in a temporary no-parking spot (not pictured). I don’t know how this bus managed to get through the alley to begin with.
Radio communication indicates police are trying to find the mis-parked car’s owner.
9:22 PM: All clear, Matthew reports in a comment.
Another Pride Month event in West Seattle: An exhibition opens tomorrow at Nepantla Cultural Arts Gallery in South Delridge. Here’s the announcement:
Pride art exhibition featuring art from queer BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) artists that embody what queerness means beyond rainbows. Queerness is embodied and full and this art exhibition is meant to give queerness room to breath, in all of its beautiful layers.
Come see and/or purchase artwork and visit the gift shop for art from other BIPOC artists as well!
The Divine: Beyond the Bounds of Queerness
June 5 – June 27, 2021
Nepantla Cultural Arts Gallery
9414 Delridge Way SW,
Hours: Thursdays – Sundays 12 PM – 6 PM
The weekly update for the Delridge Way repaving/utilities project, preparing for RapidRide H Line, is in. Striping and related work will start next week in the areas where paving is complete – here’s the SDOT list of project focus areas for next week:
Final channelization and striping is scheduled to begin next week starting at SW Dakota St and moving south
-This work will happen overnight between 7 PM and 6 AM
-The trucks used to complete this work are large, and thus will require us to temporarily limit street parking in areas where work is taking place
-This work is anticipated to be completed in North Delridge in July
-Visit our final design website to get a refresher on what the project will look like once it is complete
Bus stop upgrades continue at SW Myrtle St, SW Holly St, and SW Thistle St
Duct bank work resumes between SW Holden St and SW Thistle St
-Electrical upgrades are nearly complete
-We will begin restoring the roadway as early as June 11
SW Barton Pl upgrades continue through the end of next week
-Once this work is complete, we will shift to the east side of Delridge Way SW and begin demolishing and upgrading the roadway
-SW Henderson St will be closed as a part of this work
-We will provide a new detour map in our update next week
See the full update by going here.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Mac McElroy was not impressed.
Two-thirds of the sidewalk-blocking tent encampment across Delridge Way from his establishment, the Triangle Pub, is gone. But three tents remain. And when a delegation of outreach workers and City Councilmember Lisa Herbold stopped by his place last night, he didn’t get a commitment on how long they’ll be allowed to stay.
“Nobody’s accountable,” he observed.
McElroy is one of the South Delridge business owners who have been asking the city for months to tell the campers to clear the sidewalk.
As we reported two weeks ago, the CoLEAD program – part of a nonprofit – started working with the campers about a month ago, and got several to agree to accept shelter. They’re doing well, said the four people from outreach programs who were at Wednesday night’s sidewalk chat outside the Triangle Pub. Two of them went over to check in with what they say is just one actual remaining resident of the three tents – the others are for her stuff, they said.
With the June 30th statewide-reopening date (if not sooner) in view, some businesses are making changes. Like Ounces in North Delridge, whose co-proprietor Lauren Trujillo tells WSB, “We’re gradually getting back to normal(ish) at Ounces … Obviously we’re still being very COVID-conscious, but with the 30th opening date approaching, we’re starting to ramp back up a little.” So here are some free events they have planned:
Sunday Run Club
Takes place every Sunday at noon at Ounces.
Run is open to all running levels and starts/finishes at Ounces. Runners can go at their own pace and distance. Just show up at Ounces at noon on any Sunday to run! Strowlers and pets welcome.
Every Tuesday at 7 pm
FREE to play! Just show up by 7pm and test your brainpower and have some beer!
Merrell Great Outdoors Day at Ounces!
Several FREE Events happening on Sunday, 6/13
Alki Fun Run (Plus a free beer post-run!)
6/13 — starts at 12 pm; all running levels welcome! Just show up to run or you can reserve your spot on our webpage. Run will start/end at Ounces. Runners will run along the Alki trail and can choose their distance (1-4 miles). Strollers, pets, walkers welcome! Merrell is buying all runners a beer post-run, plus you can demo their running shoes if you’d like!
Urban Hike thru Camp Long (Plus a free beer post-hike!)
6/13 — starts at 2 pm; Meet at Ounces then Merrell will lead hikers on an urban trek from Ounces thru Camp Long, ending back at Ounces! Hike will approximately be 3-5 miles. Plus, you can demo some of Merrell’s hiking shoes if you’d like, and Merrell will pickup your first beer after the hike! Just show up by 2pm to hike, or you can reserve your spot online.
Great Outdoors Trivia! (plus your first beer FREE!)
6/13 — starts at 5 pm! Just show up at Ounces by 5 pm to play! Bring a team or come solo — either way, Merrell will buy your first beer!
Something new happening with YOUR business? Email us at email@example.com – thank you!
Shown at the White Center welcome sign in South Delridge are three of the 65 volunteers who answered the call (published here two weeks ago) for volunteers to help with Spring Clean/Refresh the past two weekends. The photo is courtesy of Mark Ufkes, who sent a full report and words of gratitude from the White Center Community Development Association – see it on our partner site White Center Now.
After one month of Saturday operations, the Delridge Grocery Cooperative store at 5444 Delridge Way SW will add Sundays starting next weekend. The co-op announced the plan in its newsletter (which you can read here even if you’re not on the mailing list). Starting next weekend (June 5-6), the store will be open 9:30 am-1:30 pm Saturdays and 11 am-3 pm Sundays. They’re still selling weekly “essentials boxes,” too. On June 6th, and on the first Sunday of every month thereafter, member-owners will get a 10 percent discount at the store; here’s how to become a member. They’re working toward fully opening the store in the fall and are also conducting a survey right now for input as they take the next steps – you can participate by going here.
10:47 PM: Seattle Fire is on the way to a possible residential fire in the 8400 block of Delridge Way. Updates to come.
10:52 PM: The fire is out (“tapped”) and SFD is downsizing the response. No injuries reported.
That’s a photo sent recently by John, showing a beaver along Longfellow Creek, which parallels much of Delridge Way. In some areas along the creek, beavers are just part of the ecosystem – but Seattle Public Utilities says their work is posing a potential problem in one area, and is pursuing this project, announced in a recent Land Use Information Bulletin (note that the same notice covers the West Seattle proposal and a similar one elsewhere in the city):
Beavers have recently constructed dams immediately upstream of the pedestrian footbridge over Longfellow Creek … and dams in SPU’s Meadowbrook Pond Stormwater Detention and Flood Control Facility in the Meadowbrook neighborhood.
The dams may lead to localized flooding of nearby residential properties during the rainy season. This proposal would deploy beaver dam management interventions at the dams at both sites. Specifically, the proposed work would install four pond levelers by notching the dams and then installing exclusion fences. The fencing would extend 16-feet upstream from the top of the dam. Notching assists in
preventing beavers from detecting stream flow through the dam and the fencing prevents them from effectively plugging the notch.
These interventions are intended to control water levels and flows in Longfellow and Thornton creeks and are preferred alternatives to relocating the beavers or removing or breaching an established beaver dam that maintains hydrology of a nearby wetland or pond. The proposed design provides unimpeded fish passage while preventing beavers from constructing effective dams at the pedestrian \ bridge at the Longfellow Creek site and in Meadowbrook Pond at the Thornton Creek site.
The Project includes the following major work elements:
1. Creating a notch in the beaver dam
2. Installation of metal t-posts and welded-wire fencing with a mesh size of 4 inches by 6 inches to create a box in the notch of the beaver dam.
3. Extend the wire fencing box 16-feet upstream from the beaver dam.
This is in/near the 2500 block of SW Graham [map], according to the city notice. What the city published, specifically, is a Determination of Non-Significance, meaning it doesn’t believe a formal environmental-impact study is needed for this. Here’s the full-length “checklist” document, below and here:
You can comment by June 3rd by emailing Kevin Buckley at SPU, firstname.lastname@example.org; you can also formally appeal the Determination of Non-Significance, deadline June 10th, as explained in the notice.
Just in, the weekly preview of what’s next for the Delridge repaving/utilities work in advance of RapidRide H Line‘s launch next year. Crews will be off Memorial Day. Here’s the highlight list after that:
Final channelization and lane striping is beginning!
*Trucks will complete this work at night over the course of the next month starting at SW Dakota St and moving south
*Parking restrictions will be in place as a result of this work
Overlay paving between the West Seattle High Bridge and SW Dakota St is complete
Intersection upgrades at SW Orchard St and Delridge Way SW are complete
Roadwork paving and electrical upgrades between SW Holden St and SW Thistle St continue
Intersection upgrades at SW Barton Pl and Delridge Way SW continue for several weeks
*SW Barton Pl and the 21st Ave SW slip lane from Delridge Way SW will remain closed during this work
Though SDOT had told us SW Thistle would reopen east of Delridge by now, that’s not happening: “The work has fallen behind and the east side of the roadway intersection remains closed. However, we still anticipate wrapping up this work soon – there are just a few outstanding tasks remaining.” As for other details – here’s the complete preview.
Frances Gifford has just opened The Clay Cauldron, a pottery studio, in North Delridge, and plans a Memorial Day open house to introduce her new business to the neighborhood. Stop by 5214 Delridge Way SW between noon and 8 pm on Monday (May 31st). You’ll be able to sign up for classes or studio use. She’s also planning a drawing for 25 percent off a class of your choice. And if you’re there between 4 and 6 pm, you can enjoy live music by Sundae + Mr. Goessl. (You might already know Frances from local involvement including the Alki Art Fair and Fauntleroy Fine Art and Gift Show. If you have questions, email email@example.com.)
Thanks to Mark for the photo and tip: Paving work is under way tonight at the north end of Delridge Way, and that has traffic down to one lane each way. This work was supposed to start last night, but SDOT announced it was postponed until “the next dry night.” Apparently tonight qualifies. This work, scheduled for 7 pm-6 am on work nights, is part of the repaving/utilities/more work to prepare for the conversion of Metro Route 120 into the RapidRide H Line next year. Here’s the project’s full work plan for this week.
South Delridge is about to get a farmers’ market. Here’s the announcement we just received:
On June 12, 2021, the Delridge Farmers Market opens in the South Delridge neighborhood of West Seattle. A USDA-designated food desert, the area has long struggled with food access for its diverse population; this market seeks to put fresh, local food produced by BIPOC-owned businesses directly into the hands of the neighborhood’s residents.
With a mission to serve the African Diaspora immigrant and refugee community in King County, nonprofit African Community Housing & Development, led by Executive Director Hamdi Abdulle, has heard from the community for years about the need for food access programs in Delridge. Thanks to support from several new funders, the pilot year of the Delridge Farmers Market is the first step in that direction. The Market is designed to provide a wide array of culturally appropriate foods for the immigrant and refugee community in the area. Featuring robust food access programs, the main goal of the market is to bring local, nutritious food to everyone, especially families for whom fresh produce is a financial struggle.
The majority of vendors are people of color; many are immigrants and refugees themselves. Small-business development is another goal of the market; unlike most Seattle-area farmers markets, vendors are not charged a stall fee to participate, and are provided with resources, equipment, and technical support as they build their capacity to sell at farmers markets. In addition, ACHD seeks to reduce the economic risk of selling at a farmers market and eliminate food waste by purchasing any leftover product at the end of the market day. That food will then be delivered to members of the African Diaspora immigrant and refugee community who are unable to attend the market due to mobility or transportation barriers. “We hope to create a market model that is a win-win-win for customers, vendors, and the community,” says ACHD Associate Director Bilan Aden.
Throughout 2021, a variety of different vendors will be present at the market, including: Afella Jollof Catering (African spice mixes), Chef Jalissa Culinary Co (Southern-inspired baked goods), CityFruit (fruit from Seattle’s urban orchards), The Grub Bus food truck (inventive comfort food), Lillie’s Passion (lovingly-crafted sauces, pickles, and jams), Moonvillage Bakery (delicious baked goods), Regeneration Farm (sustainably grown produce from Woodinville), Sariwa Farm (Filipino vegetables), Seola Bee Company (hyper-local honey from West Seattle hives), Small Axe Farm (produce grown by the Black Farmers Collective), Umoja Ni Nguvu (produce grown by Burundian immigrants), and Wakulima (culturally-relevant African produce).
The market will occur on the second Saturday of each month from June – November 2021, from 11 am – 3 pm in the courtyard of Hope Academy (9421 18th Ave SW). Everyone is welcome to attend, and robust food access programs are available to all food-insecure families (including SNAP/EBT, WIC/Senior, SNAP Market Match, and Fresh Bucks). Masks are required, and social-distancing protocol will be enforced.
The Delridge Farmers Market is made possible by King Conservation District, Albertsons Foundation, and the City of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. Individuals interested in attending or volunteering at the market should visit achdo.org/delridgefarmersmarket. Businesses interested in sponsorship opportunities can contact Rachel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s been 20 years since our area’s last major earthquake. The next one could happen in 20 more years, or 20 decades, or 20 minutes. Preparedness is vital. It can also seem overwhelming – where do you start? Spend a little time at 7 pm Wednesday (May 26th) getting some inspiration with HPAC, the community council for Highland Park, Riverview, and South Delridge. Here’s their preview:
We’ve been coping with a pandemic, and a major bridge closure, but are you ready for our next big seismic event?
If we had a major earthquake tomorrow that left us without water for several weeks would you know how to harvest water from your hot-water tank or make a makeshift toilet?
Both before and after a disaster, reliable information about services and supplies is just as important as preparedness for keeping people safe. The Highland Park Improvement Club is a member of the Seattle Emergency Hub Network, whose goal is to train Hub Captains and community volunteers to help provide important information both before and after a disaster strikes. Erika, one of the HPIC Hub Captains, will join us to give an overview of the Emergency Hub network, HPIC’s role, and give a preview of the types of events we have planned with the HUB in the coming months.
Other neighborhood concerns are welcome as always, HPAC says. Info on watching/participating via videoconferencing, or calling in by phone, is here – where you’ll also find info on the first in a series of upcoming webinars on the city’s earthquake plans.
We’ve been reporting on the sidewalk camp along the west side of Delridge Way just north of SW Roxbury. At one point, more than a dozen tents were blocking the sidewalk there, but as we reported last week, it’s shrunk to just a few tents. That happened without a city “sweep” removal operation, though one was pending until outreach workers learned of a gastrointestinal-illness outbreak among people living there. Seattle-King County Public Health was investigating the outbreak. We finally got an update from Public Health spokesperson Kate Cole, who tells WSB, “We have completed this investigation. Based on gathering illness reports from outreach workers familiar with the encampment, we believe it to have been an outbreak of norovirus-like illness based on the clinical and epi picture. There does not appear to be any evidence of ongoing illness at this time and we are considering the cluster of GI illnesses resolved.” But that hasn’t led to a renewal of the original plan to clear the camp, according to SDOT, where spokesperson Ethan Bergerson subsequently told us there is no current plan for that, despite an outreach worker telling us they believed the city might seek to “post” the remains of the camp for removal.
As for those who left, here’s how it happened, according to Jesse Benet of CoLEAD, the program that worked with people camping at the site. Benet sent outreach workers to the site two weeks earlier to get to know the people there. Eventually, Benet said, after talking with people at a site like this, they “bring out the clipboards” and start talking about options. Once they have shelter for someone, they set a “moving-out day,” and talk with the person about what they want to bring to the shelter and what they don’t want to bring. Benet’s team is there on moving day; whatever is left behind is handled by city workers who are part of the Clean City Initiative.
The people they work with have been generally moved into hotel rooms that have been funded temporarily by federal dollars. But they’re not just delivered to the rooms and left alone. Benet says they have case managers who work with people in the program to get them health care and housing assessments, for example. The CoLEAD work at this camp was part of the LEAD (Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion) program’s long-planned expansion into the White Center area, Benet said, adding that the program had been collaborating with City Councilmember Lisa Herbold, who talks about it in her latest weekly newsletter.
As for what happens with the small camp that remains at the south end of the block, that’s not clear, but we will keep following up.