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City of Seattle

June 26, 4:32 PM click here to comment > 3

Providing clarity and stability for tent encampment regulations

For the last decade, tent encampments in Seattle have existed in a sort of limbo. They had been allowed by a legal consent decree that came about as a result of a lawsuit by El Centro de La Raza ten years ago – but that consent decree recently expired. We proposed and passed legislation last year that allowed religious facilities to host tent encampments, but that left behind secular organizations who have been sheltering people in need at their tent encampments for decades.

Yesterday our office transmitted legislation to the City Council that would allow transitional encampments, provided they meet certain standards, on private property in some zones. This is just a small way of helping some of the many people in Seattle who lack housing and other basic necessities on a daily basis.

Religious institutions are not the only entities that can or should work towards providing for basic human needs, but now that the consent decree has expired, private entities do not have a way to host an encampment. We have been working for some time to develop reasonable legislation that would honor the intent of the consent decree and codify standards for non-religious sites to act as hosts.  I hope the City Council gives our proposal careful consideration – for the hundreds of people living in and supporting tent cities in Seattle, this legislation is a very important step forward.

Posted by: Mayor Mike McGinn


Comment from Dave
Time June 27, 2012 at 10:39 am

It is important that religious institutions NOT be the only service providers…

Comment from Frederick Koester
Time June 27, 2012 at 11:04 am

No one has greater empathy for the homeless than I. I donate clothes, food, etc to all that I can, and I want these people to be as comfortable as they can possibly be, under the circumstances.
My question is” Why do they have to be so filthy? There is a mainstream of dirt, garbage, debris, trash, etc that abounds wherever these people go. I’m sure that if they are able to pitch a tent, then they are able to clean up after themselves. I believe that if these unfortunate persons were to be more respectful of the locations wherein they camp, they would be greeted more cordially. Clean it up “GOOD PEOPLE”, the citizens will be more helpful.

Comment from Jesse
Time July 6, 2012 at 11:05 am

Does that mean you will be leaving the residents of the jungle alone?