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“Trap Tents” Back After Third Avenue Encampment Sweep

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Happening Now

Earlier in the week, the notorious 3rd Ave and Cherry St. encampment near #Seattle City Hall was gone. Once again removed by crews and proof that it can be done right away if @Mayorofseattle wants immediate action. But as I predicted, within days the so called “trap tents” are now back.

@Virgofolkie decided to tag along so she could see the madness for herself. Literally in the first two minutes of our walk through, a guy tried to snatch the iPhone out of my hands, then another dude tossed fireworks at us, and a well known fella on this street tried to peg us with a bottle of rubbing alcohol. Most of the people we saw today were not homeless. Just regulars who cause chaos and destruction. Some were just hanging out from the @DESCSeattle Morrison and Lyon buildings.

@downtownseattle association CEO John Scholes recently told the Seattle Times, there needs to be a distinction made between the homeless who want help VS. these street thugs. “We can all see with our own eyes whether there are few people or not living on sidewalks and alleys and doorways. The complicating factor is that some of the disorder in downtown has been called “homelessness” but is not caused only by people without housing.” -John Scholes, CEO Downtown Seattle Association.

If @CMAndrewJLewis wants a similar tour, I would be happy to walk with him down this street. FYI, @SeattlePD will find a lot of interesting things inside that brand new orange tent. Guarantee it’s worth a look. #DrugDen#Seattle @GovInslee @kcexec @SeattleCouncil @KCCouncil @CMSaraNelson @CMTMosqueda

I called it

I was out and about doing my thing this past Tuesday evening. It was all clear aside from a few fellas hanging out. But once again, tents are starting to build back up. Most of these people are not homeless. Just there to do drugs and hang out. #Seattle

Teen Runaways

Last month, police arrested 15 year old Marcelles Orr at this 3rd Ave and Cherry st encampment. He was struggling with a devastating fentanyl addiction at the time. His grandmother is begging city officials to shut down this drug den for good. Don’t assume a tent means everyone on site is homeless. This is not a housing issue. Orr has a loving home and family who wants him to get better. #Seattle @mayorofseattle @GovInslee @kcexec @KC_RHA @CMAndrewJLewis

Recurring Nightmare

Crews cleared tents on 3rd Ave. near City Hall at least 20 times now since last year. But encampment is back again. Real question, why does this place get priority for sweeps while other #Seattle neighborhoods wait for months? @MayorofSeattle @CMAndrewJLewis @KC_RHA @GovInslee @kcexec @SeattleCouncil @KCCouncil

No End in Sight

I have never witnessed a tent encampment return to downtown #Seattle this often like one along 3rd Ave near City Hall. More than a dozen sweeps in past year including last Friday. NO END IN SIGHT. But axe man is gone. @MayorofSeattle @KC_RHA @CMAndrewJLewis @GovInslee @kcexec @SeattleCouncil @KCCouncil

Staying Vigilant

On Super Bowl weekend, 3rd Ave and Cherry St encampment near #Seattle City Hall was out of control. Fentanyl, fights, stolen goods, runaway teens in tents. No end in sight after multiple sweeps. But the city is aggressively sweeping this one. This is a no brainer because many of the folks here are not homeless.

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.