Following the closure and cleanup of camping at the I-90 Cloverleaf this week, City efforts will move north to South Dean Street and Poplar Place South, and along South Dearborn Street to 10th Avenue South, beginning on Tuesday, May 23.
Since May 1, the City’s Navigation Team of specially trained Seattle Police officers and outreach workers has been conducting repeated, intensive outreach to individuals camping in both the Cloverleaf area and up through the areas that will be addressed next week. Monday will be another day of concentrated outreach, with the Navigation Team offering alternative shelter, individualized services and storage of personal belongings.
On Tuesday morning, the Navigation Team will return to work with anyone still on site. City field coordinators will assist people with storage of belongings. If an owner is not present, trained staff will sort through items and collect personal belongings for storage, unless items are clearly refuse, hazardous or evidence of a crime. Once areas are clear of people and their belongings they plan to take or store, cleanup crews will move in to remove trash and debris.
With support from REACH, Union Gospel Mission and the Mental Health Outreach Team, the Navigation Team’s outreach at the Cloverleaf resulted in 26 of 56 people moving to alternate living arrangements, in addition to a number of others accepting various other services such as securing state ID, mental health evaluation and assistance, medical assistance, coordinated entry housing assessments, case management services and employment referrals. Similar services will be offered during next week’s cleanup.
Neighbors and other community members who have been generously supporting individuals living unsheltered in these locations with trash collection, meals and other supplies, plan to provide assistance to campers on Tuesday, just as they did during the Cloverleaf cleanup this week. The City welcomes these types of offers in advance, and can coordinate a space safely outside the work zone where volunteers can engage with people.
On June 1, per an agreement with WSDOT, Sound Transit will begin utilizing the area roughly between South Dearborn Street and I-90, from 10th Avenue South on the west to South Dean Street on the east, as a staging area for construction of the East Link Light Rail extension.
These areas will be designated emphasis areas, which means that they will be posted with signs and regularly monitored. The removal of tents and belongings from posted emphasis areas does not require notice as with other encampments, though personal belongings will be stored when found.