Since its inception last fall, the City of Seattle’s “Bridging the Gap” interim plan for addressing the homelessness crisis in the city has had its ups and downs — and mostly downs. But based on the team’s report to the City Council last week, it may finally be finding its feet.
This afternoon, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Martinez had his first hearing on the ACLU’s lawsuit on behalf of Seattle’s homeless to try to stop the so-called “sweeps” of unsanctioned homeless encampments. It didn’t go well for the ACLU.
This morning the city posted for public review and comment a draft of its rewritten rules for removing unsanctioned homeless encampments from city-owned property.
On September 8th, the Mayor rolled out the city’s Pathways Home plan to address the homeless crisis. It’s almost five months later, and last week the Council got its first status update on how things are coming along.
Short answer: they’ve been doing a lot of talking with their partners and with the public, they’ve made a few decisions, but very little has happened that actually makes things better for homeless people in our city.
Last Friday morning, Seattle and King County did its annual “One Night Count” of homeless people living here. A lot changed from last year in the way they performed the count, which partially explains why you haven’t heard a result yet. Here’s what the City Council was told about it last week.
A few quick notes from this morning’s Council Briefing.
Today a class-action lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court by the ACLU on behalf of Seattle’s homeless, against the City of Seattle and the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT). The suit charges that the city and WSDOT’s “sweeps” of homeless encampments violate the constitutional rights of the encampments’ residents by
seizing and destroying the property of people who are living outside without adequate and effective notice, an opportunity to be heard, or a meaningful way to reclaim any property that was not destroyed.
As promised last week, Mayor Ed Murray issued emergency orders this morning to allow permitting of three sanctioned homeless encampments in the city.
Wednesday afternoon, the Council’s Human Services and Public Health Committee was briefed by the Mayor’s office on the short-term steps being taken to address the homeless crisis.
Yesterday the Human Services and Public Health Committee heard its first update of the Mayor’s “Bridging the Gap” plan, intended to be the interim response to the city’s homelessness crisis until the full “Pathways Home” plan can be rolled out in 2018.