By Shane Harms
The issue of homelessness in Seattle has been coming to a head as both the Seattle Mayor's office and the Seattle City Council have grappled with how to deal with homeless encampments. The recent clearing of the "Jungle" an area under Interstate 5 near Airport Way South resulting in the death of a homeless man when he was shot in an altercation with Seattle Police. Media reports on homeless people camping out on playfields, near schools and in other public lands leaving behind refuse, human waste and syringes have raised the ire of the public and officials who have yet to come to a satisfactory way forward with this complex problem.
The Seattle City Council held a committee meeting Oct 14 to discuss enacting Council Bill 118794, the bill that would allow homeless people to camp in over 5,200 acres of city parks and greenbelts.
Councilmembers Mike O’Brien and Sally Bagshaw wrote different versions of the bill for consideration. The American Civil Liberties Union of Washington and Columbia Legal Services drafted the original bill.More ›