Ballard group starts petition in support of Market St. homeless encampment

Update: Click here to view the petition, as the original post was regrettably missing the link.

Original: A group of Ballardites have signed a petition in support of the city’s proposal to develop a homeless encampment on NW Market St. In the first 36 hours, the petition was signed by about 400 people who say they stand behind the city’s highly contested efforts to bring a tent city to Ballard’s front door. The petition in support of the encampment comes after a tense meeting at the Leif Erikson Lodge last week, in which several hundred people gathered to challenge the city and voice concerns over the proposal.

The petition, featuring the slogan “Love your neighbor as yourself,” is in response to a large backlash from Ballard business owners and residents who argue that the proposed encampment location will be a detriment to the vibrancy and safety of the area. The “Don’t Tell Ballard to Shut Up” petition to urge the city to reconsider the tent city site was created early last month, and now has about 1,500 signatures. Opponents of the plan say the location isn’t ideal because it’s next door to two bars and a liquor store.

The petition in support of the encampment argues that homelessness will continue to be a problem and applauds the mayor and city council for their efforts to develop safe places for those unable to find housing.

From the petition:

“Tent Cities are not the solution to permanently end homelessness. They do however provide a safe community for people to live in while they work on finding permanent housing. The streets are a dangerous place and Tent Cities provide a warm place to sleep and a place to store your belongings during the day without fear of theft. The new Tent Cities will be run like the current sanctioned encampments, Tent City 3 and Nickelsville, with a strict code of conduct and sobriety.”

The city has expressed that there are other potential sites, but there’s no hard timeline for a decision on a Ballard encampment location, Department of Planning and Development Director Diane Sugimura told the Seattle Times. But, she told the Times that officials want to open a tent city in Ballard this year.

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