Sodo Rv Encampment
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Updated: Massive SODO RV Encampment to be Cleared Tuesday

Originally published at Twitter


Massive SODO RV encampment along 3rd. Ave S. will be cleared TUESDAY. Dozens of vehicles. Many RV owners here say, “WE ARE NOT HOMELESS” because they live in vehicles and want to be left alone. @MayorofSeattle @KCRHA @CMTammyMorales

Tons of Action

Parallel streets have all kinds of businesses. Owners complain about drug dealing, violence, theft, fires, human trafficking out of RV’s. But not everyone here is a criminal. I have built numerous friendships over the past few months tracking this situation.

It’s Happening

I’m working on story at, going more in-depth on dynamics within the RV community. Many of them just want to live on the streets and have “the freedom.” This SODO area is also home to several food banks, helping them maintain lifestyle.

Fights and Violence

Past few months, I’ve been tracking this SODO RV encampment in Seattle. Aside from open air drug use, most common issue I have personally witnessed are street fights. This RV owner was holding a rock, accused young man of theft.

Eve of the Sweep

This evening, RV owners acknowledge city is cracking down. But they assure me they will come back in few days. This is the true test. What is the plan if the RV’s and vehicles return?

Eve of the Sweep Cont’d

Just got back from SODO RV encampment that will be cleared TUESDAY morning. Many vehicles already gone. Others packing. Then there is a group daring city to move them. Raw emotions this evening.

Rare Look

For months I documented stories in Seattle’s RV community. Many say they are NOT HOMELESS because they live in vehicles and want to be left alone. They KNOW Seattle provides a CONSTELLATION of services supporting this lifestyle.

Here We Go

City crews now in SODO, lined up and will clear and tow RV’s/abandoned vehicles. Many say they will not take shelter or services and will just move to another part of the city. However there are some people in tents here who seem open.

Happening Now

Massive RV/homeless encampment clean up in Seattle’s SODO neighborhood. Officials say at least 8 people accepted shelter options but vast majority have DECLINED and already relocated to other parts of city. Cycle continues.

Removals Continue

Far left activists with Stop The Sweeps Seattle have called on @MayorofSeattle to pause encampment clearings during Seattle’s HEAT WAVE. But Mayor’s office says 3 scheduled for this week will go on.

Running Point

@KCRHA is primarily responsible for EMERGENCY response+monitoring situation on streets during Seattle’s HEAT WAVE. Agency says it made available emergency FUNDING to outreach providers and now working on opening cooling centers this week.


LATE Tuesday night, I went back to check on few people I got to know well at this SODO encampment. They are 100% committed to staying on the streets VS. taking support services and shelter options from @kcrha and @MayorofSeattle. Frustrating.

No One Size Fits All

Talk to people living in RV’s, and many will say they are NOT HOMELESS. The vehicle is their home. They just want a place to park it. County+city discussed RV lots as options. But LOCATION will play huge role in success or failure.

Jonathan Choe

Journalist and Senior Fellow, Center on Wealth and Poverty
Jonathan Choe is a journalist and Senior Fellow with Discovery Institute's Center on Wealth and Poverty, covering homelessness issues for its Fix Homelessness initiative. Prior to joining Discovery, Choe spent several years as one of the lead reporters at KOMO-TV, consistently the top rated television station in Seattle. His in depth stories on crime and deep dive investigations into the homeless crisis led to measurable results in the community, including changes in public policy. Choe has more than two decades of experience in television news behind the scenes and in front of the camera for ABC, NBC, FOX, CBS, and Tribune. He has also been nominated and honored with multiple industry awards including an Emmy. Choe spent several years teaching classes on emerging media and entrepreneurship to under privileged youth in inner city Chicago. As an independent journalist, Choe also contributes regularly to the Mill Creek View and Lynnwood Times and has reported on exclusive stories in the past year for Daily Wire and The Postmillennial.