Police sweep Ballard Commons Park Monday morning

Update Monday PM: According to the City’s Homelessness Response Blog, there were 15 individuals living unsheltered in the unsanctioned encampment at Ballard Commons as of Monday morning. The removal was due to, “immediate and ongoing risks to the public health and safety of the community, including Hepatitis A,” the blog reads. “Living structures also obstructed public rights-of-way, which created further public health risks.”

The Seattle Navigation Team has been visiting the park for several weeks leading up to the cleanup today; they say that since March, 19 individuals in and around Ballard Commons accepted shelter space prior to today’s camp removal. This morning, the team offered shelter to all the individuals at the park when the cleaning started.

Original (Monday AM): On Monday morning, Seattle Police and other city workers were out cleaning up tents and other items from Ballard Commons.

A notice was posted on Saturday to campers who were set up at the park, and today, police were on-site for the sweep. Campers were allowed to take whatever they could carry with them; everything else was loaded into dump trucks and hauled away.

The City had already ramped up efforts to clean the Commons more regularly since cases of Hep A were traced to unsheltered people living in Ballard. In recent weeks, mobile hepatitis vaccinations have been ongoing and additional hygiene stations were added to the park to help ease both the spread of Hep A and COVID-19.

We have a call out to SPD to learn more about the Commons clean-up, and will update with any new information.

Featured photo by Erica C. Barnett

31 thoughts to “Police sweep Ballard Commons Park Monday morning”

  1. Ugh what a waste and horrible outcome for everyone. For those of you new to Ballard or Seattle here is how it works:

    (1) church and city provide services to the homeless at Ballard Commons and the library;
    (2) small homeless group becomes an unmanageable encampment (note many of the homeless who previously resided at the Commons were pushed out by safety concerns from the wave of new people who moved in);
    (3) community gets rightfully outraged by the increase in needles, theft, and general anti-social behavior;
    (4) media covers the issue and the collapse of Seattle and asks what the mayor and council are doing;
    (5) within a few days police respond with a sweep;
    (6) sweep happens with politicians smiling and taking all the credit for how they are doing great work;
    (7) within two days a small homeless group moves in for the homeless services;

    repeat, repeat, repeat.

    This is what our 8th time in the last 3 years?

    Instead of solutions we move the homeless around the City for some ridiculous amount of money to make their lives miserable and turn communities and council districts against each other to see who ends up with them this week and next week.

    We pay consultants and they tell us this isn’t working so when will we admit this isn’t working? I’m not saying I have a solution but nobody is paying me ridiculous money to come up with one, and for all the money we are spending to come up with solutions why do we keep using the same failed approach?

  2. The alternatives to sweeping the unlawful and unsafe encampments are to leave them or to relocate them close to the homes of Erica C Barnett, Mike O’Brien, Dan Strauss, Southeasterner and whoever else volunteers.

    All proposed solutions are flawed but this one has the advantages of consensuality and transparency.

    1. What are “all the proposed solutions?” I haven’t seen any from this city except for sweeps. You don’t have to move them close to my home, I live near Ballard Commons and I already step over them to get in/out of my place. I’m just sick and tired of the cycle and don’t know why Mike, Dan, Jenny, SHA, SPD, Parks and Recs, and everyone else thinks this is as good as it gets. For all the money and resources we dedicate to sweeps there has to be a better solution.

      And guess what. I’m looking out my window and the next cycle is already starting. I guess it’s now my responsibility to get on the phone with all parties because it “has the advantages of “consensu[s] and transparency.” Thanks a bunch!

      1. Good luck in your attempts with ANY common sense. That went out the freaking door years ago here in Seattle. The word “ideologue” fits, perfectly to these arrogant smug officials. If this simply doesn’t prove they want chaos and a permanent underclass, WTF will? The day Durkan wakes up with an “R” beside her name is the day this all ends. Umm, that is NOT going to happen.

      2. If you are stepping over people to get on YOUR house it’s on YOU. Start with a boot and a warning. Next turn on the hose. Have your neighbor as back up, Amazon has pepper spray for the rowdy, that’s where i got mine. I have personally found after a confrontation, the individual moved on. The pepper spray is for the one that doesn’t. Afterall the individual came into “your” space, spray is allowed.

  3. Disappointed to see you quoting Barnett. A very polarizing opinion writer who won’t give any credence to actual neighborhood impacts created by the encampment. We’re all “wealthy” and “don’t like looking at poor people.” Actually, I’m firmly in Southeasterner’s camp — very frustrated with the city’s lack of response that both reduces the harm the homeless endure and that we as neighbors endure…renters, owners and the homeless themselves. I wish you’d reported on this yourself instead of giving her divisive POV more airtime!

  4. Peaceful campers. I’d pay $1000 to see Erica C Barnett sleep in a tent with these “peaceful” campers for a week. No mace or knife allowed.

    1. The peaceful campers bit cracks me up. These people are not peaceful campers. Peaceful Campers don’t throw their garbage out their tent flap and let the wind take care of it. Peaceful campers don’t walk around the park throwing garbage at birds while their frank and beans is hanging out of their shorts. (I called 911. They never showed)

  5. Don’t be fooled anyone. If Dan “stop the sweep” Strauss had his way, the encampment would still be there. “…Strauss said he saw the Navigation Team’s work leading up to the removal as a good example of what the team can do to manage encampments, but was critical of the removal itself” … “ Encampment removals that move people around our community without addressing underlying issues are not in line with my values,” Strauss told The Seattle Times.


    1. Is Strauss principled or selective when he insists on “addressing underlying issues”?
      What would he do about repeat DUI offenders?
      What about sexual harassment? Do politicians who abuse their staff (or anyone else) have “underlying issues”? Seems obvious to me, but is that a justifiable excuse to anyone except Strauss and E. Crank Barnett?
      My hypothesis is that his preference is for ineffective posturing, but he’s a City Councilmember so he can be effective if he wants. Let’s insist!

  6. At the end of the day, homeless people are unlawfully camping in public spaces, spaces designed for everyone. Spaces provided by money collected from taxpayers but too often occupied by those who pay no taxes, those who take monies from social services funds.
    There’s a large segment of Seattle, like Erica Bleedingheart Barnett, that believe we should just hand over public spaces to the homeless, because ‘they have nowhere to go’. I agree, they have nowhere to go, but that doesn’t mean they get to live in the parks. I think it’s time the City try something else, because whatever they’re doing, it’s not working.

  7. It’s a clusterf-ck going all the way up to Pete Holmes and Dan Satterberg (sister is a heroin addict so he goes REALLY soft on prosecution and addiction counseling). Just enforcing the law is a good start. That’s a pipe dream for super liberal Seattle. City Council is full of buffoons as are judges. The answer is simple but implementation stifled by ideology. Glad the park is clear though.

    1. Can’t wait for your “Pete Holmes is smart” and “Dan Satterberg is smart” sockpuppet handles!

      That’ll show them that you mean business and aren’t a deranged fool 👍

  8. Has everyone seen the video seattle is dying ? Well if not watch it ! There is a fix for this problem and we should do it ! Mcneil island has everything we need to solve this problem ! Of course the buildings need work but we need to get these people out of our parks and off our streets even if we have to force them into getting help ! We don’t need to expose our children to the diseases these people spread ! Lock them up get them off our streets ASAP !

    1. Even Sinclair Media, who very openly hates Seattle, has moved on from their “Seattle is Dying” fluff piece as it became obvious in the days after, let alone a whole year, that Seattle is not in fact dying.

      The only people still spouting that trash are the low intelligence, gullible fools that will believe just about anythi…oh, this is awkward.

  9. Nelson Manor, low income senior housing on the Commons, is a prison for seniors when encampments rule. How St Luke can justify their total lack of caring for the residents of Nelson Manor is a mystery, No compassion for them! Close your eyes, I guess, to the collateral damage your “goodness “ causes. Would Jesus let drug addicts turn senior housing into a senior prison?

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