Last fall when the City Council wrote the budget for 2018, it inserted a proviso on funding for removal and cleanup of unsanctioned homeless encampments. That proviso requires all such funding to be spent in conformance with the Multi-Department Administrative Rule (MDAR) established in January of 2017 that specified the specifics of how cleanups should be carried out.
The proviso also spoke to the unease that some of the Council members feel toward that MDAR, and demanded that the executive branch review it and recommend changes by:
Furthermore, the Council intends that the Executive shall review MDAR 17-01 and FAS 17-01 protocols to improve the unauthorized encampment removal process and reduce harm to unsheltered individuals and provide a report by April 6, 2018, to the Chair of the Human Services and Public Health Committee and Council Central Staff Director. Recommendations for changes to the existing policies, proposing new policies, or legislation should also consider input from the Advisory Committee on Implementation of Rules of Removing Unsanctioned Homeless Encampments and the Office of Civil Rights’ encampment monitoring reports.”
That report was due last Friday. And it now looks like we won’t see it until the end of July.
Continue reading Review of homeless encampment protocols gets stuck in the mud
The ongoing debate over how to handle unsanctioned homeless encampments has become deeply entangled in this year’s budget process, with both sides engaging in a war of words and with competing budget proposals attempting to enforce or modify the encampment removal procedures.
Continue reading War of words over unsanctioned encampment “sweeps” heats up
This afternoon the Seattle Office of Civil Rights (SOCR) issued a report on its monitoring of the city’s removals of unsanctioned homeless encampments between May and September of this year. Their conclusion: the city is complying with the MDAR rules, but problems still persist.
Continue reading Office of Civil Rights report on encampment removals is a mixed bag
Earlier this year, the city issued an update to its protocol for cleaning up unsanctioned homeless encampments. Notably missing from those rules was a formal role for the Office of Civil Rights in monitoring implementation and compliance, as it had been doing last fall when the city was accused of not following its own rules. The Office of Civil Rights stopped its monitoring work in January, but after public outcry the city backtracked and said that it would use the department in an “audit capacity.”
Last month, three city departments quietly signed a Memorandum of Agreement re-establishing a formal monitoring role.
Continue reading Office of Civil Rights once again monitoring homeless encampment cleanups
This afternoon U.S. District Court Chief Judge Ricardo Martinez issued an order denying the ACLU a temporary restraining order (TRO) to stop WSDOT and the City of Seattle from seizing and destroying personal property without due process in cleaning up unsanctioned homeless encampments in Seattle.
Continue reading Judge denies ACLU’s motion for temporary restraining order on sweeps
Chris Hansen’s surprise announcement yesterday dominates the news this morning.
Continue reading News roundup: the SODO arena roars back
With the Council heads-down on the budget (me too), there isn’t much news this Friday morning.
Continue reading News roundup: a quiet Friday
Yesterday’s vote on the move-in fees cap headlines the morning news.
Continue reading News roundup: move-in fees, and more
I’ve been scratching my head all afternoon and evening trying to figure out how to write something coherent about what was fundamentally an incoherent, chaotic meeting of the Human Services and Public Health Committee this morning to discuss the pending homeless encampment legislation.
I’m going to give a quick rundown on what happened (ok, maybe not so quick) then share some thoughts and observations.
Continue reading Homeless encampments meeting enters bizarro world
There’s only one thing being talked about in the local media today, and you know what it is.
Continue reading News roundup: a one-topic day