King County Council discusses policy for removal of homeless encampments – Seattle, Washington

Seattle, Washington 2021-07-27 16:00:00 –

The King County Council is discussing a motion to establish standards for the removal of homeless camps in public facilities in the county.

Councilor Reagan Dunn sponsored the motion, noting the number of homeless camps in the unincorporated area of ​​King County. According to council staff, the county currently has no rules for removing homeless camps.

Some cities, such as Auburn, have adopted ordinances banning public camps, but residents around the county are sufficient for local governments to remove camps adjacent to their homes, businesses, and parks. I feel I haven’t done it.

Dan’s motion aims to make safety a top priority and take several factors into account when deciding whether it is appropriate to remove the camp.

The motion emphasizes the quality of hygiene and the risk of exposure to infectious diseases such as hepatitis, the risk of fire, the prevalence of crime, and the consideration of whether vandalism is occurring in the camp. In addition, it will be considered whether the camp is interfering with public activities.

He also said the availability of local shelters should be taken into account when deciding whether it is appropriate to clean up campsites when alternative housing resources are not available.

He described it as a “balanced, but assertive” approach to this problem. The deletion must be “urgent” before it can be performed.

According to Dan, the move came after the county acquired housing facilities in Kent, Auburn, Redmond and Renton as part of a health-through housing initiative.

“King County has spent nearly $ 1 billion servicing homeless people since 2015. It’s starting to move this population to taxpayer-funded county shelters and housing options. Is not unreasonable, “Dan said in a press release statement.

The motion also calls for the development of procedures for the removal of camps. The motion currently includes measures to allow public notice and comment before making the deletion, but it is still unclear which agency is directly involved in the deletion.

King County Assemblyman Girmay Zahilay asked what the “execution mechanism” of the removal was, or whether police officers would be present. He asked what would happen if people resisted the removal of camps or referrals to housing services.

The motion does not specify who will be trained to carry out the removal of the camp.

It is also unclear how new state legislation that limits the conditions under which police can use force will affect the way police remove camps.

Dan added that he had heard that the removal of the camp faced armed resistance in an isolated case and emphasized the importance of avoiding this type of risk.

According to council staff, King County executives will be part of determining guidelines and enforcement conditions as part of the motion.

Councilor Joe McDermott expressed concern that the move would be a “duplication” of responsibility for the King County homeless authorities, the governing body established to address all the nuances of the homeless crisis in the region. did.

The motion is currently only being discussed, but will reappear before the council within a few weeks.

King County Council discusses policy for removal of homeless encampments Source link King County Council discusses policy for removal of homeless encampments

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