Seattle City Council discusses 'The Jungle' homeless camp

The Seattle City Council is a step closer to dealing with the homeless encampment known as "The Jungle."

SEATTLE - The City Council may be getting closer to making recommendations about what to do with "The Jungle."

The homeless encampment, under Interstate 5, has been part of a renewed focus since the January murders of two people who lived there.  Since, the Seattle Fire Department, Seattle Police Department, and other City agencies have assessed the gravity of the problem.

According to the City sanctioned assessment, roughly 400 people live under the stretch of the interstate south of downtown.  Seattle Police Assistant Chief Steve Wilske told the Council on Monday that his officers have found numerous, perhaps, stolen bikes, laptops, and other merchandise during a recent survey.  

Other city managers noted a large amount of propane tanks, garbage, and human waste in the unsanctioned encampment.  City health supervisors noted tests which showed a potential for fecal coliform bacteria to make its way from the site, to the Duwamish watershed.

That alarmed multiple council members, including Tim Burgess, who called it a "clear public safety threat to our city" and urged action.  His colleague, Kshama Sawant suggested "isn't it better that we install bathrooms with access to the sewer system rather than have the conditions you described, and what would it take to have some dumpsters?"

Seattle Fire Chief Harold Scoggins is expected to present his group's assessment to the State Senate Transportation Committee on Thursday, and says he hopes to give some recommendations for the next step soon.

 


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