Seattle dad says local park is ‘completely encased with encampments’

Apr 1, 2021, 4:10 PM | Updated: 4:12 pm

After hearing about the homeless encampments that have taken over fields in Ballard and are preventing local Little League teams from being able to play, others have spoken up about similar problems in different neighborhoods of Seattle.

A listener named Erick contacted KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson Show and shared photos from Miller Playfield, near Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood.

Dori had previously said that he’d like to think that when his kids were young, the dads (or moms) would have removed the tents from the field and got back to the game. But he realized maybe he was just “talking tough” since he doesn’t know the situation as it is today. Erick is also a dad, and says his family used to use the space at Miller Playfields nearly every day.

“About three years ago, and this is long before COVID by the way, there was an occasional tent there, and maybe an occasional disruptive homeless person, but it wasn’t really a problem,” Erick said. “And it’s gone straight downhill ever since, to the point where you literally can’t run around the perimeter of the field.”

“It’s completely encased with encampments, and even in the dugouts,” he added.

He says there’s no way for sports teams to play at the field as it is, plus it’s a safety hazard.

If parents were to step in and remove the tents, Erick says there is a chance that someone would get hurt, or there would be a physical altercation. In addition, there’s a lot that would have to be moved — it’s not just one tent.

“You could definitely get injured,” he said. “Especially if you’re not adept at defending yourself. I mean, you don’t know what they have in those tents.”

He also said a lot of the people living at the field are younger, and it could end poorly for any 40, 50, or even 60-year-old parent that tries to step in.

“It just simply isn’t like it was when you came across a homeless person 20 or 30 years ago,” Erick said. “There’s all different reasons why somebody can become homeless, I understand that. But in today’s world, it’s a completely different crop of people, and many of them are extremely dangerous.”

“In terms of removing the tents, you’re talking about literally truckloads to remove some of these tent encampments,” he added, noting that there’s also needles and dangerous objects involved as well.

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Erick told Dori that he has bought a house in Lake Forest Park and is planning to move with his family.

“I thought this was going to be my final place. This was paradise to me. The city was beautiful,” Erick said. “… It just deteriorated to the point where I really didn’t feel like I had much of a choice, unfortunately.”

“I haven’t given up hope, but something has to be done because it’s certainly pushed us out,” he said.

Listen to the Dori Monson Show weekday afternoons from noon – 3 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Seattle dad says local park is ‘completely encased with encampments’