Seattle Mayor Ed Murray is worried that the issue of homelessness is dividing the city. He said there are two conversations happening in Seattle, and neither of them are productive.
"One is that the homeless are criminal drug addicts, and the other is that the city is just trying to sweep the homeless out of the right-of-way of the freeway or off our sidewalks to hide the problem."
Murray said neither of these schools of thought are correct. He acknowledges that some crime is committed by homeless people, but he said the police are taking action in those cases, contrary to the belief in some neighborhoods.
He also said the city is not sweeping people out of unauthorized tent encampments to hide them, but rather that the city is offering services and is trying to address serious public health and safety issues.
The Mayor will address the polarization of this issue and criticism of the city's response in a live address to Seattle residents Tuesday night. The address can be viewed on Seattle Channel.
Murray said Seattle has done all it can do and the city requires help from the state and federal governments to properly address the issue of homelessness.