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King County Says it Will Clear Notorious Encampment

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The no parking signs are up, and the concrete blocks are out. 

It appears that King County crews will clean up the Green River Road encampment on Monday. 

When I ask a homeless woman living along the road what she plans to do come the clean-up, she tells me she doesn’t know.

Some of the homeless are already preparing to leave, but Dean Aldridge, CEO of Valor Soccer, is doubtful that the signs and notices mean anything. 

“Just them saying they’re going to do something and posting some signs, they’ve done that before,” Aldridge tells me. “We end up with a bunch of hallow empty promises.”

The county has cleaned Green River Road before and the homeless “always come back,” says Aldridge.

Since we first reported on this story last month, the trash piles have grown and more people have moved in. 

“People pull up with their dump trucks and just dump here,” Aldridge remarks, “it’s not all from the homeless encampment.”

In fact, there is no clear game plan from King County Executive Dow Constantine to prevent the campers from coming back. I asked his office for details but have not received any comment. 

Aldridge is accusing Constantine of failing to address one of the most dangerous encampments in the state. 

“We don’t ask the county for a whole lot,” he says, “just keep our kids safe.”

Neighbors say drug deals and shootings are a common occurrence and it’s attracting all kinds of crime.  

“it’s not the parks department that’s the problem, it’s not the King County Sheriff, it’s Dow Constantine,” claims Aldridge.

Last month, vandals destroyed the soccer field nearby, disrupting the season for Valor’s underprivileged youth. And that’s why Aldridge says his league is leaving for good.

“Even people dying isn’t enough, so does it take a child getting hurt?”

Aldridge is so frustrated by what he calls an unacceptable response that he is taking the story national and publicly calling out elected officials. 

On Fox news, Aldridge told viewers that kids “shouldn’t see this stuff that looks like a third world country.”

As for the clean-up Monday, crews are expected to line the streets with concrete blocks hoping to prevent new RVs from moving in. 

“It’s not going to cure the problem,” Aldridge tells me.

He also points out the new fencing and armed security guards protecting heavy machinery near the road. 

Aldridge laments that while, “we’ve been asking for a fence for five years,” the county has set one up to protect its own property.

He says this is proof once again that Executive Constantine prioritizes the safety of county property over the kids. 

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.