Color me pleasantly surprised that the City of Seattle quickly cleaned up and cleared out a dangerous and inhumane illegal tent city that was turning the neighborhood into what resembled a garbage dump.
Early this week, I posted a photo of a disturbing site in downtown Seattle on 7th and Cherry. Under the I-5 overpass, a number of illegal tents were set up and the mess they left behind was shocking. It’s a scene we’ve we’ve come to expect in some neighborhoods in Seattle that lessens our quality of life and is dangerous for the homeless to live in, as some activists would prefer.
Good news: the City of Seattle responded within 24 hours. I submitted the photo and conditions via the Find It, Fix It app and it was cleaned up within a day (photo above shows the new site). All but one of the tents were cleared out and the people living on the streets had access to resources to help their situation out.
This is quality, quick work coming from the City of Seattle and they deserve credit. They’re undoubtedly in a difficult position given there are so many local activists fighting their every move when it comes to addressing the homeless problem. The city makes some really bad moves, but when they do something positive, they should be congratulated.
What does this mean for you? It indicates you’re winning the battle. For the longest time, angry Twitter trolls and bloggers have been able to intimidate Seattle leaders into inaction (or the wrong action). They had so much power because they were the only ones speaking up.
But now, neighborhoods are coming together and mobilizing and putting the pressure on and you’re getting results. Keep it up. We need to demand clean and safe streets and long-term, meaningful solutions to the homelessness situation that takes people off the streets and into homes.