Tag Archives: Homeless Encampment Sweeps

Compassion Seattle Amendment Faces Scrutiny From Democratic Group and Homeless Advocates

by Chetanya Robinson


During a June 16 town hall discussion organized by the 43rd District Democrats concerning Compassion Seattle’s proposed charter amendment on homelessness, critics who have personally experienced homelessness decried the details and general approach of the proposal. 

As the South Seattle Emerald previously reported, if Compassion Seattle’s amendment passes in November, it would force the City of Seattle to carve a new approach to homelessness directly into its charter. Compassion Seattle is a coalition of nonprofit, business, and community leaders. 

Continue reading Compassion Seattle Amendment Faces Scrutiny From Democratic Group and Homeless Advocates

Sweeps Continue in Seattle: Perspectives From the Street

by Luke Brennan


According to Public Health – Seattle & King County, more than 68% of the county is now fully vaccinated. This news, along with warmer weather and the CDC’s update that fully vaccinated people can start to safely resume pre-pandemic activities, has encouraged many to head to parks and sports fields. But for the unhoused, the return to normalcy brings precarity as the City of Seattle has resumed its controversial sweeps of homeless encampments.

As the pandemic has eased this year, some parents and community members made complaints to city officials concerning encampments in Seattle parks. This was the case at Gilman Park, where one parent reported that her child had received threatening comments from a homeless man who was living in the dugout. Gilman Park was swept on April 30, with 46 people offered referrals for alternative shelter in hotels or tiny villages by the city’s HOPE team. 

Continue reading Sweeps Continue in Seattle: Perspectives From the Street

Homeless Outreach Providers Say New Rules Would Put Them at City’s ‘Beck and Call’

by Erica C. Barnett

(This article originally appeared on PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.) 


Homeless outreach agencies that contract with the City’s Human Services Department have threatened not to sign their 2021 contracts over new requirements that they argue would harm their relationships with clients and give unprecedented new power to the City.

Agencies that provide outreach and engagement to homeless encampments, including the outreach that happens before the City removes an encampment, have been operating without contracts since January. Late last month, HSD sent out new contracts that included requirements — not included in previous contracts — that would effectively subordinate the agencies to HSD’s HOPE Team (formerly the Navigation Team) and require them to create detailed “supplemental daily outreach reports” about who they contacted and what services they offered each day.

Continue reading Homeless Outreach Providers Say New Rules Would Put Them at City’s ‘Beck and Call’

As Summer Approaches, Encampment Sweeps Ramp Up

by Erica C. Barnett

(This article previously appeared on PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.)


As summer approaches, the City has accelerated the pace of homeless encampment removals, which declined dramatically during the pandemic thanks in part to public health guidelines that cautioned against moving people from place to place.

But now that many people are vaccinated and students are returning to school, notices of impending encampment removals are starting to show up again in parks and other public spaces around the city. The Parks Department, which is in charge of removing most homeless encampments, will post notices like the one below at seven “high-priority” encampments this week. If people are still on site on the day of a posted removal, the department can remove their property, including tents and survival gear. The encampments are:

  • Madrona Park (Madrona)
  • Albert Davis Park (Lake City)
  • Second Avenue Extension (Pioneer Square)
  • Hubble Place/Convention Center (Downtown)
  • Amy Yee Tennis Center (Mt. Baker)
  • Broadway Hill Park (North Capitol Hill)
  • 8th Avenue and King Street (Pioneer Square)
Continue reading As Summer Approaches, Encampment Sweeps Ramp Up

Lived Experience Coalition Says No One Asked Them About Homelessness Initiative

by Erica C. Barnett

(This article originally appeared on PubliCola and has been reprinted under an  agreement.)


Proponents of a proposed amendment to the Seattle City Charter that would mandate (but not fund) spending on shelter and enshrine encampment sweeps in the city’s constitution have argued repeatedly that the proposal isn’t about sweeps.

Continue reading Lived Experience Coalition Says No One Asked Them About Homelessness Initiative

Group Seeks Amendment to Charter Requiring Homeless Services and Clearing of Parks

by Ashley Archibald


A coalition of nonprofits, business organizations, and community leaders calling itself Compassion Seattle filed a charter amendment initiative Thursday, April 1, that they say would improve the existing response to homelessness in the City of Seattle. However, the measure does not specify the sources of funding for the ambitious package of housing and services it would offer. The measure will require a little over 33,000 signatures from Seattle voters to qualify for inclusion on the November ballot.

The amendment — which in its early stages was first reported on by Erica C. Barnett at PubliCola — would amend the City Charter, the foundational document of a city analogous to the U.S. Constitution at the federal level. The charter spells out the powers, functions, organization, and “essential procedures” of a city, according to the National League of Cities.

The heads of 11 organizations in Seattle’s business and nonprofit communities announced their  support of the measure, praising it as a valuable framework for addressing homelessness in the city.

Continue reading Group Seeks Amendment to Charter Requiring Homeless Services and Clearing of Parks

Volunteer Group That Removes Trash From Homeless Encampments Draws Criticism

by Ashley Archibald


Mutual aid practitioners who have long worked with homeless individuals have called on the Seattle City Council to disavow We Heart Seattle (WHS), a volunteer group that removes trash from homeless encampments across the city. WHS’s critics insist the group has illegally removed belongings, focused more on cleaning up sites rather than the welfare of unsheltered residents, and used inappropriate tactics to remove people experiencing homelessness from public spaces. 

Continue reading Volunteer Group That Removes Trash From Homeless Encampments Draws Criticism

COVID’s Heartbreak Half Mile: What Lessons to Take Into 2021?

by Sarah Stuteville


A decade ago, I went through a brief period of long-distance running. During that time, I was introduced to the idea that, no matter the length of the run, it will be the last half mile that nearly kills you. My father, a man who has made a personal study of physical endurance in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest, often refers to this phenomenon as the “heartbreak half mile.” It is when we see the light at the end of a challenge that we start to fully experience the cost of the miles behind us, exponentially compounding the effort ahead. The last stretch may be short, but it is intense as hell and is often where we most squarely face ourselves.

Continue reading COVID’s Heartbreak Half Mile: What Lessons to Take Into 2021?

The Morning Update Show — 12/18/20

The Morning Update Show — hosted by Trae Holiday and The Big O (Omari Salisbury) — is the only weekday news and information livestream that delivers culturally relevant content to the Pacific Northwest’s urban audience. Omari and Trae analyze the day’s local and national headlines as well as melanin magic in our community. Watch live every weekday at 11 a.m. on any of the following channels, hosted by Converge Media: YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, Periscope, and whereweconverge.com.

We’ll also post the Morning Update Show here on the Emerald each day after it airs, so you can catch up any time of day while you peruse our latest posts.

Morning Update Show — Thursday, Dec. 17

Today on the show:

LIVE

#SeattleSweep at Cal Anderson Update | Local & National Headlines

Continue reading The Morning Update Show — 12/18/20

OPINION: I Was a Teenage Runaway — How I Found Home in a City Park

by Marti McKenna

Content warning: This article contains references to sensitive topics such as sexual assault.


This week activists and advocates rose up to protect the controversial encampment in Cal Anderson Park. The same day, in a neighborhood Facebook group, a neighbor — one of those infamous “Seattle progressives” — responded to a post discussing a small encampment that recently appeared in Beacon Hill’s Jefferson Park, writing, “It’s the people that refuse help. They want to stay outside so they can continue their lives of crime.” 

I am here to prove her right — but also, I hope, to prove her wrong.

Continue reading OPINION: I Was a Teenage Runaway — How I Found Home in a City Park