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2nd community meeting about homeless encampment coming to near Aurora Avenue and 86th is Feb. 7

The second community meeting about a city-sanctioned homeless encampment coming to 8620 Nesbit Ave. is at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 7, at North Seattle Community College, 9600 College Way N., College Center, Room 1161.

The homeless encampment will be “low-barrier” with 50 tiny homes serving between 60-70 people. It is scheduled to open in March.

From the city:

What is a low barrier encampment and how will be it different from the other sites?

One of our new encampment locations, the 86th & Nesbit site, will operate as a low barrier encampment. Low barrier sites are designed to meet people as they are and have fewer restrictions than traditional shelters. Residents may bring their partners, pets and possessions. Residents with substance use disorders are not barred. Because we are relaxing restrictions in this location we will also increase staffing to increase access to critical services and provide security.

Does an authorized encampment result in an increase in neighborhood crime?

A review by the Seattle Police Department on managed encampments, sited at faith-based organizations, showed no significant uptick in crime, nor have the authorized, managed encampments in Ballard and Interbay seen an increase in criminal activity.

What will the City do to ensure the encampments and surrounding communities are safe and clean?

The Seattle Police Department will increase patrols in the immediate area, and the Community Policing Team will work closely with staff and residents and neighbors of the encampments. All sites will have regularly scheduled garbage pickup. Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) is stepping up its efforts to pick up garbage in rights of way, and has initiated a program to pick up needles within 24 hours of notification. Citizens can report garbage or needles in right of ways to the City’s 24-hour reporting line for illegal dumping at 206-684-7587.

Are encampments an effective way to address homelessness?

Encampments are emergency survival services and not a solution for homelessness. As laid out in our Bridging the Gap plan, we must provide a safer alternative for individuals who are not ready to come inside during the interim as the city implements its Pathways Home plan to address the homelessness crisis.

Who can community members contact if they have questions or want more information?

While the encampments are being planned, please contact George Scarola, Director of Homelessness. Email: george.scarola@seattle.gov. Or call 206-727-8514. Once an encampment is opened, the community may contact the operator directly. Each encampment will establish a Community Advisory Committee, whose members will include representatives from stakeholder group in the area. The meetings will be monthly and open to the public.

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