Homeless RV camping back in spotlight

KING 5's Jake Whittenberg reports.

The controversial issue of whether to allow homeless residents to park their RVs on city streets is back in the spotlight, with both candidates for Seattle mayor addressing the issue at the most recent debate.

Cary Moon and Jenny Durkan both agree something has to happen to protect the homeless, but also protect citizens who are affected by eye sores parked in front of their home or business. Many have complained that 'RV camping' creates a haven for drugs and crime.

"If we are making it harder for them to live in their RVs we're pushing them into homelessness," said Cary Moon.
Jenny Durkan also says she believes there should be empathy for people living in their vehicles.

"We are discussing not just where cars should park, but we're really talking about what should we really do with those people who live in those cars," Durkan said at the debate.

Some businesses are outspoken about problems they're seeing with RV camping.

Owners of Pacific Iron and Metal in Seattle have called police many times with problems on their property. Managers are often picking up heroin needles, trash and human waste.

"We have been working with law enforcement in the area," said Chris Helbacka, one manager who safely collects the needles. "Officers we've talked to feel that their hands are tied."

Currently, Seattle city council members have tabled an idea to allow RV campers on city streets.

© 2017 KING-TV


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