The Jungle | KUOW News and Information

The Jungle

Donald Slyter, a resident of The Jungle, a homeless encampment in Seattle believed to have been around since the 1930s. It gets its name from the name for homeless encampments at the time -- hobo jungles.
Credit KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

The Jungle is the unofficial name for a sprawling homeless encampment underneath Interstate 5. It's estimated that 300-400 people have set up camps in the area.

The Jungle's was a place so notorious for drugs and violence that Seattle's Fire Department wouldn't respond without a police escort and outreach efforts were few.

The encampment has come under more public scrutiny since a shooting in January 2016 killed two and hospitalized three. Police have arrested three teenagers — ages 13, 16, and 17 — who are believed to have carried out the deadly attack.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and King County Executive Dow Constantine declared a state of emergency to combat homelessness in the region in November 2015.

See also:

Out of the Jungle: A special radio documentary about life in, and after, the Jungle.

PHOTOS: This Is Seattle's Notorious 'Jungle'

Heartbreaking dispatches from inside the Jungle

No End In Sight: an investigative project from KUOW about King County's 10-year plan to end homelessness

Kara Bernstine, who is homeless, said she knows the Jungle homeless encampment isn't perfectly safe, but it felt safer than other places in the city. Click on this photo to see more images of the Jungle.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Most people think of the Jungle as a scary homeless camp, a no man’s land under the freeway near downtown Seattle.

William Kowang lives in the area under I-5 known as "the Jungle."
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

The Washington State Department of Transportation has $1 million to spend on the Jungle, a homeless encampment in South Seattle where roughly 400 people live. The state Legislature approved the earmark late last week.

The Jungle, the morning after five people were shot at the homeless encampment. Officially the East Duwamish Greenbelt, everyone calls it The Jungle.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

Washington state lawmakers have passed the supplemental transportation budget. It is now headed to Governor Inslee's desk for approval.

How to spend a chunk of that money is a contentious topic in Seattle: $1 million is set aside for safety improvements at the Jungle homeless encampment. That money could be used to build a fence around the camp under Interstate 5.

'Week in Review' panel Joni Balter, Michael Maddux, Randy Pepple and Deborah Wang.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

What should Seattle do about the homeless encampment known as the Jungle? How are your friends reacting to the success of Donald Trump? Is Washington State Bernie Country or Hillary Country? And finally, what makes this city great?

KUOW's Deborah Wang leads a discussion on all these questions with Seattle Channel's Joni Balter, Republican strategist Randy Pepple and Democratic activist Michael Maddux. 

The Jungle, the morning after five people were shot at the homeless encampment. Officially the East Duwamish Greenbelt, everyone calls it The Jungle.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

A new report from city officials looks at conditions in the Jungle - a large area south of downtown Seattle that is home to an unauthorized homeless encampment. The basic message is that this place is not fit for humans. So what should we do about The Jungle? 

Bill Radke speaks with Pat Murakami and Tsunika Blessing to get two different opinions. Murakami is with the South Seattle Crime Prevention Council and Blessing is with the street newspaper Real Change. 

A latrine in the homeless encampment known as the Jungle.
Courtesy of City of Seattle

Bill Radke speaks with KUOW law and politics reporter Amy Radil about what the city found after an examination of the homeless encampment known as the Jungle. The encampment is now infamous for a fatal drug related shooting last month. 

The homeless encampment known as the Jungle was he scene of a Jan. 26, 2016 shooting that killed two and wounded three.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

Charges were filed Thursday in Seattle against three teenage brothers for the shootings in the homeless encampment known as the Jungle. The two older siblings will be tried as adults for first-degree murder and assault. Their younger brother will face the same charges in juvenile court.

About 20 people stood vigil to mark two recent deaths at a homeless camp in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

A silent vigil Wednesday in downtown Seattle marked the deaths of Jeannine Zapata and James Tran. The two were fatally shot last week at a homeless encampment known as the Jungle.  

Since the year 2000, the local group Women in Black has organized similar vigils since for homeless people who die outside or due to violence. Group leaders say they held vigils for 66 homeless people in 2015, the highest death count since the group started. 

Two of the three brothers accused in last week’s fatal shooting at a Seattle homeless encampment have juvenile records. But neither qualified for supervised parole after they were released from juvenile lock-up.

Police tape marks the scene of a shooting the left two people dead and three wounded in a homeless camp known as 'The Jungle,' under Interstate 5 in Seattle.
KUOW photo/Gil Aegerter

Seattle police say they’ve arrested three teenagers in connection with last week's multiple shooting at the homeless camp known as "The Jungle."

Police have arrested three teenagers — ages 13, 16, and 17 — who are believed to have carried out last week's deadly attack on a homeless camp in Seattle known as "The Jungle." Two people were killed in the shooting; three more were hospitalized.

Last week, the authorities said they believed the victims were targeted; today, the AP reports that the police think the crime "stemmed from a drug-dealing dispute."

The Jungle: a green beltway east of Interstate 5 where dozens of homeless people live.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

Advocates for the homeless have welcomed Seattle’s new tent cities and RV parking for homeless people. But they condemn the ongoing sweeps of illegal campsites. Mayor Ed Murray said Tuesday's shootings in a homeless encampment only reinforced the need to move people out of them.

Darcie Day heads out to sell Real Change newspaper in Seattle after shooting in the 'Jungle.'
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

Word of the shootings at the homeless encampment known as the Jungle on Tuesday spread quickly among the vendors for the weekly newspaper Real Change. Many of them are homeless or have been homeless. They spoke to KUOW’s Amy Radil in the newspaper’s offices in Pioneer Square about the danger of being homeless.

Included in this audio postcard are Darcie Day, Nick Maxwell and Susan Russell.

A Washington State Patrol trooper looks on as a homeless camp is cleaned out at the corner of Airport Way South and South Royal Brougham Way on Wednesday, January 27, 2016. That's a short way from where two people were shot to death in 'The Jungle.'
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

Tuesday’s shootings in a homeless camp in Seattle added to the sense of crisis on the issue of homelessness. They took place just as Mayor Murray prepared to deliver a speech on the problem.

Nearby, state and city officials continued to clear homeless encampments.  

Donald Slyter, a resident of The Jungle, a homeless encampment in Seattle believed to have been around since the 1930s. It gets its name from the name for homeless encampments at the time -- hobo jungles.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

There’s a reason it’s called The Jungle.

It’s a stretch of woods between Seattle’s Beacon Hill neighborhood and Interstate 5.

James Q. Tran, 33, and Jeannine L. Brooks, 45, also known as Jean Zapata, were fatally shot there Tuesday night; three others were wounded.

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