Tuesday PM update: The city of Seattle said its “navigation team” — specially-trained police officers and outreach workers — discovered two people and three structures in Ballard Commons Park on Monday morning. Both people declined the city’s offer for shelter.
Spokesperson Will Lemke tells My Ballard that the city visited the unsanctioned encampment earlier this fall and were able to convince two others to accept the team’s offer of safer shelter. He said the city posted notice of the impending sweep on Dec. 6.
“Even with the authority to remove the encampment immediately, the city chose to conduct outreach to campers in hopes of connecting people living unsheltered to services and shelter and provided notice a week in advance of yesterday’s activities,” Lemke said. “The navigation team, which was launched earlier this year, has been able to successfully move 38% of the people they’ve contacted indoors, which is higher than previous efforts which saw acceptance rates for shelter in the single digits.”
Tuesday AM update: Police officers are keeping an eye on the park this morning. Just a little trash is left behind from Monday’s sweep:
Earlier: After posting a warning several days ago, the city removed several tents in the north end of Ballard Commons Park this (Monday) morning.
Four or five people have called the tents home, but some neighbors have complained about the unauthorized encampment. Others have been supportive, including one neighbor who gave the campers $60, according to a post in the My Ballard forum.
— Rob Munoz (@RobKIRO7) December 11, 2017
Meanwhile, the Ballard Alliance says the park is “underutilized,” and the merchant group is asking for ideas to make a new children’s play space.
The park will be on the agenda at the next Ballard District Council meeting, December 13 at 7:00 p.m. at Merrill Gardens, 2418 NW 56th St.