The Seattle City Council has approved the mayor’s emergency plan to set up two so-called “safe lots” for homeless people with cars and RV’s to stay.
The two lots will be set up in Ballard and in Delridge in West Seattle. Together, the lots can accommodate up to 50 vehicles. Under the mayor’s plan, homeless campers can stay for up to 30 days, instead of 72 hours. The city will also provide water, sanitation and garbage collection.
Councilmember Lisa Herbold called for the mayor to provide regular updates to the council on how these emergency actions are playing out. The report back should include “demographics on people served and how they were served, including barriers to serve them,” said Herbold, “to perceived impact on communities and the city’s response to those impacts, how the executive intends to address those perceived impacts.”
While the city sets up the two safe lots, people have been allowed to park in temporarily designated right of way. These lots are not permanent. The mayor’s emergency order is good for six months, and could be extended for another six if necessary.
The mayor’s order pointed out that last year 66 homeless people died on Seattle streets.