Saturday, April 12, 2008

20 beds and 60 days-- Seattle's homeless policy goes too far and not far enough

Last year, after much criticism of the vicious destruction of personal property at one of Seattle's homeless encampments, the city agreed to develop new rules for the sweeps of encampments. Yet even as of last month, the destruction continued. Seattle MetBlogs.

Now the new rules have finally been issued. Sweeps will continue, but for any three or more encampments:
  • Campers on public property will get 72 hours notice that a sweep will take place.
  • Personal belongings will be stored for up to 60 days
  • Outreach workers will be sent to the camps before the sweep to help plug residents into services.
  • The city will add 20 more shelter beds.
Problem is, there are 6,000 to 8,000 people homeless in Seattle.

Graphic from the August, 2007 Civil City Sleep-Out at the Anti-Poverty blog.

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