Seattle clears Ballard Commons homeless camp, relocates 66 into shelter options

Dec 7, 2021, 11:41 AM | Updated: 1:57 pm

Tents at Ballard Commons Park. (Jason Rantz/KTTH) Ballard Commons Park. (Jason Rantz/KTTH) Tents at Ballard Commons Park. (Jason Rantz/KTTH) Tents and other belongings at Ballard Commons Park. (Jason Rantz/KTTH) Tents at Ballard Commons Park. (Jason Rantz/KTTH) Ballard Commons Park. (Jason Rantz/KTTH)

The City of Seattle has officially closed the Ballard Commons for damage assessment, with Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) crews installing fencing around the park until maintenance concludes.

In the process, the city’s Human Services Department (HSD), in partnership with community organizers, relocated “at least 66 people” into low income housing or shelter options.

“In August we created a census of everyone living in the park, in September we created a needs assessment to match people with shelter that was right for them, and in October we began moving people inside. We continued moving people inside in November and December, and this is how we can remove an encampment without pushing people down the street or into the neighborhood,” Councilmember Dan Strauss wrote in a statement.

HSD’s Homelessness Outreach and Provider Ecosystem (HOPE) Team was successful in relocating 60 individuals from the commons into 24/7 enhanced shelters with wraparound onsite services, which will include case management and housing navigation intended to help end individual homelessness. Another four people were referred to housing. The remaining two used either Diversion or supportive services as they were relocated out of the Ballard Commons.

The aforementioned community organizers include REACH, Catholic Community Services, DESC’s HOST, the Scofflaw Mitigation Team, the Ballard Alliance, the HOPE Team, SPR, and Councilmember Strauss.

“The strong partnership between the Mayor’s office, Councilmember Strauss, REACH, key City departments and the Ballard Alliance provided an intensive and thoughtful outreach process that has resulted in a successful transition of unhoused individuals living in Ballard Commons Park into appropriate, needs-based housing and shelter options,” wrote Ballard Alliance Executive Director Mike Stewart in a statement.

“We are very appreciative of the City’s intensive work over the past eight weeks to address the needs of unhoused individuals living in Ballard Commons Park and, at the same time, address the needs of surrounding businesses and residents,” he added. “We look forward to the rehabilitation of Ballard Commons Park, a vital amenity for the community that provides much-needed green space within a dense, residential environment.”

As of 3 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 6, the city reports that its HOPE Team identified three people residing onsite who have not yet accepted shelter offers.

Years-long saga of Ballard Commons homeless encampment ends, but why now?

The encampment removal marks another success in the city’s work to expand its human outreach efforts, relocating homeless individuals into shelters with access to wraparound services.

Seattle reports that its HOPE Team has made over 1,000 shelter referrals since the year’s start, among 105 citywide encampments. This fall, Seattle has opened over 350 new shelter spaces, and anticipates another 2,837 by year’s end, a 530 unit increase over pre-pandemic levels.

Local News

FILE - The Senate Judiciary Committee's ranking member Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. returns on C...

Associated Press

Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, an advocate for liberal priorities, dies at age 90

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, a centrist Democrat who was elected to the Senate in 1992 in the “Year of the Woman” and broke gender barriers throughout her long career in local and national politics, has died. She was 90.

2 hours ago

(Photo from KIRO 7)...

Colleen West, KIRO 7 News

Bellevue Police warn of jewelry-for-cash scam targeting good Samaritans

Police are seeing a retuning scam in Bellevue that preys on good Samaritans, and it’s similar to one that’s been happening for years.

2 hours ago

BRAZIL - 2023/09/26: In this photo illustration, the Microsoft Bing logo is displayed on a laptop s...

Associated Press

Apple leverages idea of switching to Bing to pry more money out of Google, Microsoft exec says

Apple was never serious about replacing Google with Microsoft’s Bing as the default search engine in Macs and iPhones, but kept the possibility open as a "bargaining chip'' to extract bigger payments from Google

3 hours ago

Image: A Seattle Police vehicle...

Frank Sumrall

Report: Seattle Police ended contract with AI service after Auderer’s comments

SPD canceled its contract with Truleo less than a month after Officer Daniel Auderer's comments about Jaahnavi Kandula's death were captured, a report says.

13 hours ago

Washington wildfires...

Ted Buehner

Maui and Spokane: 2 public warning systems and the need for preparedness

The tragic wind-whipped Maui wildfire last month took many lives. How does the public warning system here shape up in comparison?

15 hours ago

spd auderer...

Frank Sumrall

Seattle Police Officer Daniel Auderer reassigned

Daniel Auderer, the officer who made inappropriate comments over the death of Jaahnavi Kandula, has been reassigned to a non-operational position.

17 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Swedish Cyberknife...

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

September is a busy month on the sports calendar and also holds a very special designation: Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

Ziply Fiber...

Dan Miller

The truth about Gigs, Gs and other internet marketing jargon

If you’re confused by internet technologies and marketing jargon, you’re not alone. Here's how you can make an informed decision.

Education families...

Education that meets the needs of students, families

Washington Virtual Academies (WAVA) is a program of Omak School District that is a full-time online public school for students in grades K-12.

Emergency preparedness...

Emergency planning for the worst-case scenario

What would you do if you woke up in the middle of the night and heard an intruder in your kitchen? West Coast Armory North can help.

Innovative Education...

The Power of an Innovative Education

Parents and students in Washington state have the power to reimagine the K-12 educational experience through Insight School of Washington.

Medicare fraud...

If you’re on Medicare, you can help stop fraud!

Fraud costs Medicare an estimated $60 billion each year and ultimately raises the cost of health care for everyone.

Seattle clears Ballard Commons homeless camp, relocates 66 into shelter options