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Public meeting at Market Street encampment site this Monday

Posted by Halynn Blanchard on July 31st, 2015

A community meeting is being held this Monday August 3rd, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the parking lot of the Ballard VFW Post 3063 (2812 NW Market Street), next door to the proposed encampment on Market Street. The meeting has been organized by residents responsible for the online petition “Seattle City Council: Don’t Tell Ballard to Shut Up,” which has now surpassed 1,280 signatures.

Organizers have asked Mayor Ed Murray, City Councilmember Mike O’Brien and Diane Sugimura– director of the city’s Department of Planning and Development– to meet with Ballard residents at this time.

As for the RSVPs? Councilmember Mike O’Brien, running to represent District 6 on City Council, has agreed to attend the meeting. A definitive answer has not yet come from Mayor Ed Murray and his key city staffer.

The main question that the organizers hope to have answered will be of the city’s selection process for the Market Street Encampment site in particular.

Other questions on the agenda will include:
• What other local sites were considered?
• What steps were taken to inform neighbors and gather community input?
• Is there still time to find a location that will work better for Ballard and the homeless residents?
• And how will the city address the potential impacts to local residents and businesses?

The group says they plan to have a moderator to ensure the discussion remains on track, with as many residents as possible getting to ask their questions and have them answered directly from city leaders.

Additionally, donation barrels for the Ballard Food Bank will be on site for the meeting’s duration and attendees are encouraged to bring something to give.

Volunteers could be used for tasks including set-up and take down for the meeting. If interested, email

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23 reader comments so far ↓

  • 1 Profile photo of JM98107 JM98107 // Jul 31, 2015 at 11:00 am

    Seattle should discourage any camping within the city limits. Taxpayers are spending way too much enabling and attracting people with limited job skills.

  • 2 skipoar // Jul 31, 2015 at 12:33 pm

    ….job skills and desire.

  • 3 Julie // Jul 31, 2015 at 12:41 pm

    A applaud the efforts of everyone that has helped to make this meeting happen and coordinate the petition. I do wish the questions could be expanded to ask what other sites in other neighborhoods were considered and why Ballard seems to be receiving a disproportionate share (and burden) of homeless services. How will the CURRENT problems associated with concentrating homeless populations in Ballard be addressed (camping in public spaces; littering and trash heaps in street ROWs; car camping in violation of street rules and lack of oversight and enforcement; increased crime). I believe this encampment will make the situation worse. Those that don’t play by the rules will be kicked out and will live on the streets and in the parks of Ballard, contributing to the mess this place is becoming. As one example, there is a giant heap of stuff some guy has stacked up down near the post office in a public street ROW. It’s actually pretty crazy. Been there for weeks. City does nothing. WTF?

  • 4 Julie // Jul 31, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    sorry, that’s “I applaud…” Put in way too many hours at work this week and am tired.

  • 5 skipoar // Jul 31, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    Asking those questions is not gonna get rid of the encampment. It’s just gonna give these morons a topic to dance around without having to deal with the issue of shoving another homeless problem down Ballard’s throat.

  • 6 Profile photo of Compass Rose // Jul 31, 2015 at 2:36 pm

    “As one example, there is a giant heap of stuff some guy has stacked up down near the post office in a public street ROW. It’s actually pretty crazy. Been there for weeks. City does nothing. WTF?”

    WTF indeed. I saw it this morning. It’s unbelievable.

  • 7 The One // Jul 31, 2015 at 7:13 pm

    Please…everyone…vote Mike O’ Brien out of office. He is a terrible council member and will not stop until Ballard is overtaken by the homeless.

  • 8 Steve // Aug 1, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    Why not have all the bleeding hearts come over and offer their couches? That would fix seattle’s hobo problem overnight.

    Oh wait, their hearts bleed, they’re just hypocrites.

  • 9 Nick Hart // Aug 2, 2015 at 10:21 am

    Ballard already has a homeless problem you uninformed and prejudiced NIMBYs. The encampment will be regulated and is going to help marginalized people who can’t afford Seattle’s sky-high housing cost get back on their feet. Don’t like it? Then support measures to reduce housing costs and create more affordable housing. Otherwise STFU.

  • 10 Profile photo of JM98107 JM98107 // Aug 2, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    Seattle spends too much on helping the needy already. This camp will only fund the administrators and the tenants will freeze all winter. Shut this project down. If you can’t afford Seattle, then stay where you are. And Nick, have the lost hobos move in with you.

  • 11 Nick Hart // Aug 2, 2015 at 5:11 pm

    Hey genius: they’re going to freeze all winter anyway because of selfish entitled people like you. At least with a camp the conditions are better than a doorway.

  • 12 STFU Genius // Aug 2, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    Let’s camp on Mr. Hart’s lawn, shall we?

  • 13 Profile photo of JM98107 JM98107 // Aug 2, 2015 at 6:12 pm

    We’re ired of street people trashing the city and begging for beer and nicotine money. The hobo revolution is not welcome in Seattle.

  • 14 Profile photo of JM98107 JM98107 // Aug 2, 2015 at 6:13 pm

    We’re very tired of street people!

  • 15 Nick Hart // Aug 2, 2015 at 6:23 pm

    Tired of the homeless? Build some affordable housing. Too stingy to support that? Then at least let them camp out. If they don’t have a safe camp site then they’ll camp out in parks, doorways and alleys. Is that what you want, NIMBYs? Homelessness isn’t going to disappear just because you wish it would.

  • 16 Nick Hart // Aug 2, 2015 at 6:26 pm

    And BTW, letting them have an encampment is CHEAPER than paying the police to clear illegal encampments. So… I guess that makes you pretty stupid if you’re pissed about Seattle spending too much on the homeless. (Hint: if we spent enough money we wouldn’t have homelessness.)

  • 17 STFU Stupid Genius // Aug 2, 2015 at 9:29 pm

    If you spent every last dime on homelessness you would only attract ever more, ad infinitum. Where is your lawn? I need a squat and you seem to be open to it. Please order a porta potty and leave access to the hose bib. I’ll be as quiet as a mouse. My many friends, I can’t make any guarantees…you are so very accommodating, you won’t mind.

  • 18 An Observer // Aug 2, 2015 at 9:38 pm

    The Macefield house is going to be torn down, that lot is about 15% the size of the City Light lot, if we stack some shipping containers to a height of five stories that would be a splendid place for the vagrants, splendid! It does seem interesting that the City stymied the guy trying to play by the rules on the Macefield house, but lets the feral humans have the run of Ballard.

  • 19 Profile photo of JM98107 JM98107 // Aug 3, 2015 at 1:01 pm

    People need to take responsibility for their own lives and stand on their own two feet. State, county and city governments are not charitable organizations trying solve the hobo crisis.

  • 20 Nick Hart // Aug 3, 2015 at 1:40 pm

    Homelessness is caused by structural problems in our society. There are neither enough jobs nor affordable housing to go around. As long as the market fails to provide for people’s needs the only alternative is for the government to do so. Otherwise you’re left with the entirely predictable result of homelessness. If you want to look for people to blame, point the finger at the 1%.

  • 21 Profile photo of Compass Rose // Aug 3, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    Anyone who’s spent any time around Ballard Commons knows that chronic homelessness is not just about jobs or affordable housing; it’s also, and probably to a greater degree, about mental health and addiction. I wish it wasn’t so often portrayed at simply an economic issue. The causes are much broader than that. It is just as much a public health issue as an economic one.

  • 22 Nick Hart // Aug 3, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    True–and part of the problem is that not enough money is spent on public health and outreach. Getting people the help they need is not free.

  • 23 Reality Check // Aug 12, 2015 at 3:33 pm

    I have been reading up on the homeless situation in Seattle. It appears that we are getting way more homeless than other places in the nation. We have passed up San Diego acceding to a tourist who came here from that city who was appalled by what he saw. Also we have built a lot of low income housing and we are way ahead of other cities on that too. The city sponsored homeless camps attract people to our area. We need to love our city and take care of it. That means we can’t just give our parks, greenbelts, and civic spaces away to the homeless. And many of them do spread a lot of garbage. We need to take pride in what used to be an “Emerald City” that is now littered with tents and garbage.

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