Since 2008, the City has had specific rules – Multi-Department Rules (MDARs) – for the removal of encampments that balance providing services and alternatives to people living in encampments with the health and safety benefits of removing encampments. In 2016, the increasing homelessness crisis affecting our community led the City to not only review our process for encampment removals, but to expand our broader response as we implement our comprehensive strategy to combat homelessness in Seattle, “Pathways Home.” Mayor Ed Murray formed a Task Force on Unsanctioned Encampment Cleanup Protocols to make recommendations on improving the encampment removal rules. Following the work of the task force and public feedback, new protocols were implemented on April 3, 2017.
To ensure continued improvements, Mayor Murray and Council Member Sally Bagshaw, Chair of the Human Services & Public Health Committee, are jointly convening the Advisory Committee on Unsanctioned Encampments to review and evaluate the implementation of the City’s new MDARs addressing unsheltered homeless individuals, and specifically to review current policies and practices by the City of Seattle related to removal of unsanctioned encampments, and associated outreach and services to the people living in them. The committee will pay particular sensitivity to race and social justice issues associated with these actions, the unsheltered people who are affected, and the communities surrounding the encampments.
The MDAR Advisory Committee will hold its first meeting on July 11, 2017, 6-8 p.m. in the Boards and Commissions Room (L280) in City Hall.