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Homeless camp cleanup
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Crews clearing large Seattle homeless camp along freeway interchange

A homeless camp along a Seattle interchange. (KIRO 7)

Seattle’s Navigation Team is removing a large homeless camp along the I-5 and I-90 interchange Wednesday.

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City officials said drugs and public safety led to the decision to clear out the Dearborn Street camp.

The city says it’s been working on shutting down the camp for the last several months, but it’s taken time to get people in touch with shelters and resources.

Work started in earnest Tuesday night.

There were as many as 80 people in 75 tents at the camp. About 30 people were still there when the team started clearing it out Tuesday.

Seattle police said they arrested seven people at the camp last week for dealing drugs as crews tried to steer people to nearby shelters.

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Police said officers recovered 19 grams of crack from a multiroom tent that included a waiting room for customers. Investigators said cocaine, heroin, and meth were being sold there.

Team members say they expect the process to take a few days because of the size of the camp and the large amount of garbage and waste there.

Meanwhile, on the statewide level, Governor Inslee in his State of the State address proposed spending $300 million to add 2,100 hundred shelter beds.

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