Seattle Mayor says no ‘sweeps’ of ‘Jungle’ will be made
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray says the city started cleaning up the homeless encampment known as the “Jungle.” However, the work being done should not be called a “sweep.”
Murray says unless people living in homeless encampments are breaking laws, they will not be criminalized.
Last week, Murray issued a statement saying the City would transition people out of the illegal homeless encampment within the next few weeks before State crews clear the area of all debris, fire hazards, and brush.
“We should try to remove as many people as we possibly can,” Murray said Wednesday.
However, he added, “We are not going to do a sweep. I have said to folks again and again … it will take an extensive amount of time for us to empty out the ‘Jungle.'”
Murray says the City doesn’t have the resources to house all the people in the encampment.
Murray’s statements Wednesday somewhat contradict what was said a week ago during a joint conference with various city, state and nonprofit leaders. During that conference, representatives of the City and State gave an approximate two-week deadline for people living in the Jungle. After that, according to information from the conference, state workers would move in and clean up waste and repair damaged infrastructure. Additionally, it was announced that a “combination of deterrents” would keep people from returning to the Jungle.