In mid-August, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced a task force to review the city’s homeless sweeps practice, but homeless advocates are plowing forward with their own plan.
The advocates aren't pleased with Seattle's approach to helping people who live on the street. Specifically, they're concerned about the practice of sweeping homeless camps with little advance notice.
The advocates have proposed a city ordinance and want the city to adopt it before winter hits. The groups behind the proposal include the ACLU, the Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness, the Public Defenders Association and others.
The plan would allow homeless sweeps, but only after crews have given 30 days’ notice and spent that time doing direct outreach to try to place people into housing or shelters. If the city violates the ordinance, it would be required to pay $250 to each homeless person affected.
The group of advocates says the city does not offer enough beds, which is one reason Seattle has seen a rise in unauthorized camp sites.
The mayor's office says it is reviewing the proposal. Council members weren't available for comment this week.