Strategies For Dealing With Homeless Encampments

At last night’s meeting of the Victory Heights Community Council, we heard from the city’s point man on homelessness, George Scarola, about the recent situation in the Kingfisher green belt of Thornton Creek.

Read the entire minutes of the September meeting.

George said a rather large settlement of five homeless camps had been set up in the greenbelt south of 17th Avenue NE in recent weeks. After the city’s Navigation Team worked to arrange temporary housing with some of the campers, eventually they were given three day’s notice that everything would be cleared out. This was done with a large city presence last Friday, September 14th. As of Wednesday evening, the site was still all clear.  However, people are camping underneath the 15th Avenue NE bridge again. George said it would be “added to the queue” and the city would get to it in time. In the meanwhile, he had this advice:

  • If you see signs of encampment, report via the “Find It, Fix It” app or call the phone number listed at the trail head
  • Any suspicious activity, call 9-1-1
  • Illegal activity, call 9-1-1
  • Report any of the above concerns immediately to VictoryHeights.Seattle@gmail.com
  • Don’t take pictures of, or confront, people
  • Equipment for safely picking up needles is available in the job box at the head of the trail on 104th/17th or call (206) 684-7250

Ann Forrest, Chair of the VHCC, has put together a list of times that folks can use to help patrol the space. Please go to: http://signup.com/go/RXPppDv to sign up for the Thornton Creek Walkabout where neighbors will regularly patrol the greenbelt to prevent further beachheads of camps from forming.

In other news, the community council will be holding an Urban Survival Skills Fair on Sunday, September 30th on NE 106th Street on the west side of Victory Heights Park between 10 AM and 2 PM.  Booths will be set up on the (closed) street to teach useful skills to have during an emergency event.  You could be there for three hours and still catch the kickoff of the Seahawks game that afternoon, so stop on by.

The Parks Department will evaluate Victory Heights Park next week with a possibility of removing the fence around the new lawn.

Have you noticed this blog is loading much faster now? The community council took official possession of the victoryheights.org URL (previously owned and hosted by the folks at Pinehurst Seattle) and moved the blog over to a commercial web host where it now loads much faster and more reliably.  Thanks to Pinehurst Seattle for the many years they hosted our site.

Please take a moment to “Like” our Facebook Group for the Victory Heights Blog.

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