Seattle has a major homelessness problem (shockingly, their progressive policies have not solved the situation). In January I reported on how Mayor Ed Murray issued an emergency order on homelessness in November and opened “safe lots” for homeless people living in RVs.
The city also has a serious (ongoing) problem with “The Jungle”, a homeless encampment area that is approximately 100 acres in size. The Jungle is generally considered unsafe at any hour.
Last Tuesday, city officials laid out a plan to first urge people camped in the area to find shelter elsewhere, then clean up the area and — through an as-yet-unreleased plan — secure the space against future encampments.
The “residents” of The Jungle have a different plan in mind…
Via MyNorthwest.com: Residents of The Jungle sent a message to the Seattle City Council Monday along with a list of demands.
A crowd of Jungle residents attended the city council’s Monday meeting to tell members that they have been communicating with other homeless campers in the Seattle greenbelt along I-5 — and they are organizing. They want the city to include them in any future decisions on the fate of The Jungle, and do not want the area’s encampments cleared out.
That’s not all they want. “I am a representative of The Jungle; I used to live there,” said Andrew Collins in front of the crowd before reading a list of demands.
“We the housed and un-housed people of Seattle demand the city, one, stop all the sweeps of the homeless on the streets of Seattle and encampments city-wide, especially The Jungle, and return all seized property to its owners or compensate them for that loss,” he said. “Two, enact a housing-first program for all houseless in the city. Three, stop paying taxpayer money on privatizing homeless issues, such as for-profit sweeps and contractors.”
The last two demands regard allowing the city’s homeless residents to use vacant buildings.
“Four,” Collins continued. “Provide 24-hour living areas, and the right to rest in unused buildings public or private in the Seattle area. Five, spend the $1 million for The Jungle fence to revitalize any neglected public or private property — such as unused fire stations, vacant buildings or The Seattle Times building — for those without housing.”
Council member Sally Bagshaw requested the crowd to leave their contact information so she can follow up.