Following several weeks of intensive, repeated outreach to individuals camping near South Dean Street/Poplar Place South and along South Dearborn Street to 10th Avenue South, the City’s Navigation Team facilitated 19 of 34 people living unsheltered moving to alternative living arrangements during yesterday’s final push before the area is closed to camping. Ten of those individuals moved to City sanctioned encampments, three reconnected with family support systems, while the rest accepted spaces in other shelters.
This outreach success follow’s last week’s closure and cleanup of the I-90 Cloverleaf, where 26 of 56 individuals contacted accepted alternative living arrangements.
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 the area that stretches from the I-90 on/off-ramps at Rainier Avenue South (the “Cloverleaf”) north to South Dearborn Street. Union Gospel Mission and the Mental Health Outreach Team have provided essential support to these efforts. Additionally, City field coordinators assisted people with temporary storage of belongings.
Neighbors and other community members who have been generously supporting individuals living unsheltered in these locations with trash collection, meals and other supplies, again provided to-go bags of food and water to campers leaving the area. 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.
As areas were cleared of people and their belongings they planned to take or store, cleanup crews began removing trash and debris. Most of yesterday’s area of focus will be fenced for its next use – 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.