Highland Park resident: ‘No one comes to help’ after encampment death

Jun 2, 2023, 2:37 PM | Updated: 2:38 pm

highland park encampment...

(Photo from Seattle Police Department)

(Photo from Seattle Police Department)

After a suspicious death at an encampment in Seattle’s Highland Park neighborhood, a group of residents are wondering when the city or county will actually do something about the encampment that they say is getting increasingly more dangerous.

Seattle police say a homicide investigation is now underway after a suspicious death in the Highland Park neighborhood. Officers said they found a body around 8 p.m. Tuesday at an encampment along Myers Way South. Police are unsure how the victim died, but observed “signs of trauma” on the victim and are investigating the death as a homicide.

Seattle police investigating death at encampment in Highland Park

On The Gee and Ursula Show, Diane Radischat, a resident of a senior living community in south Seattle Arrowhead Gardens, said while there have always been homeless people in the area, the situation has been getting worse.

“We had quite a number of homeless over there for a number of years, we work together with many agencies, trying to figure out how to help them properly,” Radischat said. “And including educating our residents here about homeless issues and how people become homeless. The change is that the people are different, we can see different behavior, gunshots, which we’ve never had before, in all of these years.”

Radischat claimed a big part of the issue is the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) is in charge of the land where the encampment is, and has not been responsive to the community. She highlighted how the situation has evolved, stating the amount of violence and crime has increased in the past six months alone.

“We’ve been through these cycles before, through a lot of patients education and working together. That is no longer the case. No one comes to help us. No one responds to us.” Radischat said. “We had a meeting here about maybe a month ago, the mayor’s office didn’t show up at that meeting, the city council person didn’t show up at that meeting, even though they were invited. And of course, WSDOT absolutely didn’t show up or respond.”

More from Gee and Ursula: Seattle City Council has been ‘way too dysfunctional’

So what is her message to the city council and the agencies responsible for addressing homelessness?

“My message to the city is $50 million is in a bank account that helps to clear these encampments that are along the freeways. So you can’t say they’ve said that there’s no money. That is not true,” Radischat said. “$50 million is a lot of money and can go a long way, if you stop having committee meetings.”

Listen to Gee Scott and Ursula Reutin weekday mornings from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Highland Park resident: ‘No one comes to help’ after encampment death