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Councilmember Bagshaw backs Seattle’s secret encampment for addicts

Eighth Avenue and Aloha Street in Seattle's South Lake Union neighborhood. (Matt Pitman, KIRO Radio)

While the Department of Neighborhoods still refuses to confirm plans to install a low-barrier homeless encampment in the heart of a densely populated mixed-use neighborhood, the Seattle City council member who represents the area is a supporter.

RELATED: Seattle hiding details on homeless encampment for drug users

Under the guidance of the Low Income Housing Institute, the City of Seattle will set up a Tiny Home village on Aloha and 8th in South Lake Union. This spot is surrounded by restaurants, coffee shops, a hotel, thousands of apartment units and is one block away from Lake Union. It will serve drug users and alcoholics, allowing them to keep substances in their homes.

Businesses and neighbors were not informed about the project, nor did they have a say in its location. Indeed, the city refuses to even confirm a meeting, slated for May 31, where the project was supposed to be presented to the public. And while the not-so-widely released flier promoting the meeting says the village will happen, Meg Olberding, a spokesperson for Seattle, says there’s “nothing definitive at this point.”

But Councilmember Sally Bagshaw says she supports the plan — the plan the city says doesn’t really exist yet. In a statement released to the Jason Rantz Show, Bagshaw explained:

I am supportive of this and other creative solutions to homelessness in Seattle. I’d be happy to hear what the neighborhoods have to say, and while I wasn’t made aware of this particular meeting, I encourage members of our community to take the Department of Neighborhoods (which serves at the pleasure of our mayor) up on their invitation to share their concerns for public health and safety with the organizers of the event.

As an actual constituent of Bagshaw, I’d like to tell her what I have to say. Unfortunately, the city has yet to confirm the May 31 meeting to me. And, apparently, the city didn’t even alert the council member whose district is impacted. But I’ll take Bagshaw up on her recommendation: I’ll be at the meeting.

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