Sanctioned Homeless Encampment On Meyers Way

Are you aware of the City’s plan to install a sanctioned homeless encampment on Meyer’s Way? 

On December 8th, George Scarola, Director of Homelessness, held a community leaders meeting to start the process outreach to our communities. The West Seattle Blog covered this meeting, and coverage with public comment can be found, here. 

Additionally, Amanda Kay-Helmick, the WWRHAH Chair has now responded to Scarola, on behalf of our committee and community, copy here.Amanda took the initiative of writing today, as WWRHAH is not meeting in January.

Please take the time to consider what Action Steps You Can Take  as part of our community.

Your Voice Counts!

Here are some steps you can take in order to make your voice heard:

Get Informed:
Read the meeting coverage, courtesy of the West Seattle Blog, here.

Read WWRHAH’s Response to the December 8th meeting, here.

Tell Your Story:
Write to the Director, our District Council Rep and the Mayor.

Tell them where you live, what your concerns are about the Meyer’s Way Sanctioned Encampment, and, what our community needs to achieve a reduction in homelessness:

Appointed Director of Homelessness,George Scarola: george.scarola@seattle.gov
Elected D1 Rep Lisa Herbold: Lisa.Herbold@seattle.gov
Elected Mayor Ed Murray: http://www.seattle.gov/mayor/get-involved/contact-the-mayor

Share With Your Neighbors:
Forward this newsletter to your neighbors. Tell them why it’s important they get informed and why they need to take action.

Show Up and Be Counted: 
Attend the Highland Park Action Committee Meeting in January.

Read the Open Letter from the Chair of HPAC, here.

Meeting Date:
Weds, Jan 25th 2017
Location:  
Highland Park Improvement Club
1116 SW Holden
Seattle, WA 98106
*****

Letter from WWRHAH to the Director of Homelessness, December 12, 2016:

Good Morning Mr. Scarola,

Thank you very much for having a community meeting regarding the sanctioning of Camp Second Chance.

I wanted to express in writing, the concerns that our Community has:

  • All sanctioned camps should be low barrier.  There are homeless people in West Seattle who are drug and alcohol addicted. Exclusion from Camp Second Chance has created many area satellite encampments.  Our neighborhood in the past three years has seen an increase in encampments in Roxhill Park.  From people just moving through, to people living there and setting up permanent residence.  From drinking on the bleachers in the ball field, to rampant visible drug use. Roxhill Elementary School shares space with Roxhill Park and has borne the brunt of sweeps with people doing drugs and leaving needles, condoms and garbage at the back entrance of the school.  This has created a sense of fear, and no child should be afraid to come to school.  You cannot exclude the part of homeless that is the most damaging to the Community from sanctioned help.
  • Priority Policing.  Assistant Chief Wilske mentioned an additional nine officers for the SW Precinct.  Our Community would like to see calls related to encampments, sanctioned or unsanctioned, get highest priority.  As this sanctioned camp in on the border with unincorporated King County, a coordinated plan with King County Sheriffs Office as well as King County Heath must be in place.  The people of unincorporated King County have no voice in this plan as they cannot vote on Seattle matters.  It is imperative they are heard by the City of Seattle.
  • There will not be tiny houses at this site.  It is not okay to expect people to live in tents outside for any length of time.  Other sanctioned locations have “tiny houses”, why not this location?
  • The City must take serious steps to significantly reduce homelessness and drug abuse within two years. We support the Mayor’s efforts to create performance based analysis of existing organizations that receive City dollars. This step is crucial in the accountability of the tremendous amount of money we are spending on .005% of Seattle’s population. Opioid addiction is a nationally recognized epidemic, and this City is no exception.  The LEAD program has been proven to work, and we need it now in South Delridge.  If you ask us to host this encampment, we need the City to invest in our long underserved Community. 

The Westwood/Roxhill/Arbor Heights Community Council has been committed to making improvements to our area that help all of our residents.  We have brought many things to light in the four years we have existed, with positive feedback from the various government agencies we have contacted. This should be no exception.

In Community,
Amanda Kay Helmick
Chair
Westwood/Roxhill/Arbor Heights Community Council
wwrhah.org

**** end letter***
In community,
The WWRHAH Community Council

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