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.
I’m working on story at http://fixhomelessness.org, 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.
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.
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.
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.
@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.