DORI MONSON

Homeless tent pitched on tennis court at Green Lake

Jun 1, 2017, 2:23 PM | Updated: Jun 8, 2017, 9:50 pm

Green Lake...

A Seattle woman encountered this tent on a tennis court at Green Lake in June 2017. (Courtesy photo)

(Courtesy photo)

Jean decided to enjoy the nice weather with her nieces in Seattle by hitting some tennis balls on the courts at Green Lake on Thursday. At least, that was the initial plan.

“And there is a tent on the court,” Jean told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson. “We couldn’t play tennis there because of that tent. It might sound pompous to say that, however, I’ve seen people sleeping in our parks that we pay high taxes for and we can’t use our parks.”

RELATED: More than 11K homeless counted in King County

For Jean, the tent was another sight of daily Seattle life; an example of the growing homeless issue that isn’t being solved. For her nieces, it was a shock for how far the city had degraded.

“There were other people sleeping in the park elsewhere today, it wasn’t that one person,” Jean said. “And I know that they make an effort to clean it up, but they just come back. And I see the syringes around. I do think they have a drug problem. I think it’s more than just not being able to afford rent like they say.”

“The population in Seattle makes you feel terrible for saying anything about that,” she said. “I can’t use my parks like I want to that I’m being charged for. If you want to let the homeless sleep in the park, but don’t charge me such high taxes. I’m paying to use that park.”

Jean and her nieces left Green Lake that day and made other plans.

RELATED: Kids play around tent on Interbay play field

She told Dori that she wants the homeless to have a helping hand and a way out of their situation. But sleeping on a tennis court is not part of that.

“It’s a matter of your belief system and consequences for your actions,” Jean said. “You can’t just live off the government and you can’t just live anywhere you want to live.”

Seattle has considered various rules for how to deal with homeless camping on public property. The most recent regulations state that a camper has 72 hours to move after being given notice. But if a camp is set up in a hazardous location or is an obstruction, it can be removed immediately.

Listen to Dori’s conversation with Jean here.

UPDATE: The Seattle Police Department reports that the North Precinct sent officers to Green Lake after this story was published. The tent has since been removed from the tennis courts. SPD says that that if someone doesn’t feel safe or comes across a similar situation at any Seattle park, they should call the city or the police about the matter.

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Homeless tent pitched on tennis court at Green Lake