Mayor Ed Murray announced today an emergency order to create two “safe lots” for homeless people living in RVs and other vehicles. One of those lots will be located in Ballard in the old Yankee Diner parking lot at Shilshole and 24th Ave. The other Seattle lot will be in Delridge.
The Ballard lot is owned by Seattle Public Utilities, and it will hold an estimated 50 vehicles. The city is aiming to open the lot in 30 days.
From the mayor’s announcement:
Each site will have sanitation and garbage service, as well as case management assistance for those experiencing homelessness in order to build pathways to permanent housing. All residents must abide by a code of conduct policy that will prohibit drugs and violence, and require residents to be good neighbors.
Until the lot opens, temporary parking areas are available — with sanitation services — at 45th St. at 14th Ave in Ballard and W Armory Way at 15th W. in Interbay. Here’s a map of the temporary Ballard location:
“These are not long term solutions to end homelessness, but temporary locations that can be managed to provide a safer environment for those living on our streets and have less impact on our neighborhoods,” said Murray about the creation of the two safe lots. “The City’s active case management services will reach out to those experiencing homelessness and living in their vehicles, with the goal to help move them to permanent housing as quickly as possible. These safe lots will also help reduce the public health issues currently impacting several of our neighborhoods.”
“Pacific Fishermen understands and shares the social responsibility and importance to the City of helping those experiencing homelessness,” said Doug Dixon, GM of Pacific Fishermen Shipyard next door. “We support the Mayor’s approach and the use of the Yankee Diner site. If these lots are managed properly, good folks will get the services they need and there will be a reduced impact on businesses.”
Dixon was quoted in the mayor’s press release on the announcement.
The mayor declared a homeless state of emergency in November. There’s no word on how long the safe lots will be in operation.