Rantz: Days after cleanup, homeless return to dangerous Seattle encampment

Jan 15, 2019, 6:14 AM | Updated: 6:14 am
homeless, northgate...
(Tom Amato, KTTH)
(Tom Amato, KTTH)

It hasn’t even been a full week, but a previously-cleared homeless encampment is returning to a north Seattle neighborhood.

RELATED: Business owner says cop bought homeless criminal cheese burgers
RELATED: Cleaning up the homelessness crisis in Northgate

The encampment, off of I-5 in Northgate, has been a constant problem for nearby businesses and residents. One resident allegedly threatened to pepper spray a nearby businessman. Another nearby employee was reportedly punched in the face after confronting a homeless man stealing a car. Finally, on the morning on January 10, Seattle’s Navigation Team came by — after 72 hours notice — to clean up the area of dangerous debris and offer services to people camping there.

Only one of the approximately 10 homeless individuals accepted an offer of services, even though there were beds available for everyone on site.

The encampment was cleared, but now at least one tent is back up. More are likely to follow. While the Navigation Team has been working hard to clean up the encampments, they quickly reappear.

“It is not uncommon for the team to see the same people living unsheltered at new or returning encampments across the city,” Will Lemke, Navigation Team spokesperson, told the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH. “There are countless factors to why people do not accept shelter or return to an area that was recently cleared. Regardless, the team will continue to remove encampments that pose public health and safety concerns and try everything they can to get people the help they need to get out of homelessness.”

The City of Seattle’s lax enforcement means that most of the homeless know that they can just come back to the exact same spot to camp out — or move just a few blocks away. And if the Navigation Team pushes too aggressively to clean up these encampments, and get vulnerable people into shelter, they seem to have activists and council members to contend with.

Councilmember Kshama Sawant has leaked clean-up schedules to professional activists so they can interfere. Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda tried to severely cut funding to the Navigation Team.

From what I can tell, there’s growing frustration with nonprofits, city workers, and officers who are trying to connect those experiencing homelessness with services. Some parts of the city are covered with everything from litter to human waste, or stolen, useless bike parts, and used needles. Indeed, blocks away from the encampment, at the Northgate Mall, a woman claims she was stuck with a dirty needle. This seems to betray the idea that we cherish the environment around here.

“It gets old,” one city worker told me. “We are trying to address it head on and we have people who just discovered homelessness as an issue and want to drop in and tell us what’s up.”

Perhaps it’s time to let the professionals do their jobs?

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show, at his new time, weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.

Jason Rantz on AM 770 KTTH
  • listen to jason rantzTune in to AM 770 KTTH weekdays at 3-6pm toThe Jason Rantz Show.

Jason Rantz Show

Jason Rantz

Keith Wagoner, Secretary of State...
KTTH staff

Washington Republicans set sights on reclaiming secretary of state seat in 2022

State Sen. Keith Wagoner is hoping to become the next Republican to serve as Washington's secretary of state in the 2022 election.
15 hours ago
King County Courthouse...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Prosecutor wants bulletproof glass to protect from criminals it lets out

The King County Prosecutor's Office is advocating for bulletproof glass to protect its offices from some of the very criminals it refuses to prosecute.
2 days ago
Aki Kurose Middle School...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Seattle school violence surges after police ban, district won’t reconsider decision

Violence is nothing new for South Seattle. It prompted extra police patrols near at least four schools in the district, according to a police source.
3 days ago
Everett homeless camping, no sit no lie, Snohomish County...
KTTH staff

Councilmember: Snohomish County sales tax increase getting ‘rushed with minimal transparency’

Snohomish County Council could soon pass a 0.1% sales tax increase, as part of a process Councilmember Nate Nehring says is littered with issues.
6 days ago
Jason Rantz

Rantz: WSU amplifies claim that farmers markets, food charity are ‘white supremacy’ in action

Washington State University is amplifying claims that farmers markets and food charities are examples of "white supremacy" and "white dominant culture."
7 days ago
Kshama Sawant recall debate...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: There’s only one Kshama Sawant recall result that truly matters

Socialist Seattle City Council firebrand Kshama Sawant faces voters on Dec. 7 for her recall election. There's only one result that tells us something.
8 days ago

Sponsored Articles


COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.

Delayed-Onset PTSD: Signs and Symptoms

Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers SPONSORED — You’re probably familiar with post-traumatic stress disorder. Often abbreviated as PTSD, this condition is diagnosed when a person experiences a set of symptoms for at least a month after a traumatic event. However, for some people, these issues take longer to develop. This results in a diagnosis of delayed-onset PTSD […]

Medicare open enrollment ends Dec. 7. Free unbiased help is here!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
Rantz: Days after cleanup, homeless return to dangerous Seattle encampment