Crews prepare for ‘major’ clean up at Green River homeless encampment

Jul 13, 2022, 1:22 PM

(KIRO 7)...

(KIRO 7)

(KIRO 7)

The King County Road Services Division will begin clearing garbage and debris that has accumulated on a section of Green River Road between Kent and Auburn in unincorporated King County on Wednesday, July 13.

This clean-up effort follows Councilmember Reagan Dunn’s recent proposal to create an interagency task force to clean up the Green River encampment and connect those living there with shelter and services.

“This is a good first step — but there is more to be done to fully address the sprawling string of homeless encampments in this area, connect more individuals experiencing homelessness with the services they need to get their life back on track, and maintain the safety and security of the surrounding neighborhoods,” Dunn said in a press release. “This is an important task and one that I will continue to focus on.”

Longtime homeless camp along Green River becomes focus of proposed pilot program

There are an estimated 30 encampments and up to 100 homeless people living in the wooded areas, along with large piles of trash and debris along a stream pouring into the Green River.

A chop shop is allegedly located at the Green River encampment, but it is unconfirmed. The King County Road Services Division previously removed stolen vehicles from the area in preparation for Wednesday’s cleanup.

“The conditions we are seeing at the Green River encampment are deplorable and inhumane — littered with human feces, infested with pests, and filled with stolen goods,” Dunn said in a June 28 media release. “This is no way for anyone to live, and certainly not fair to the surrounding community that deserves a neighborhood that is safe and clean.

Dunn said the Green River site is a pilot project because of its size and longevity. Not only is it the largest encampment in unincorporated King County, but it has drawn complaints from the community for more than three years, according to Dunn.

The county began clearing the area Wednesday morning.

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Crews prepare for ‘major’ clean up at Green River homeless encampment