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City Council earmarks $500,000 to move Nickelsville residents

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nickelsvilleSEATTLE — The city council voted unanimously to allocate $500,000 to relocate residents of Nickelsville in West Seattle.

The monies earmarked with Council Bill 117815 will be used to fund the outreach, engagement, case management, shelter, housing and other services to Nickelsville residents. The Human Services Department will oversee implementation of the program.

After West Seattle residents near Nickelsville complained about public safety and the cleanliness of the encampment, city leaders met to find a solution. A statement from council president Sally Clark’s office said the passage of the bill “underscores a majority of council members’ long-standing position that encampments are not an acceptable response to homelessness in Seattle and that providing housing, treatment services, and shelter are the most appropriate assistance to set homeless individuals on a pathway to ending homelessness.”

The city of Seattle currently invests more than $30 million annually in homeless programs and services throughout the city. In the past two years, the council has provided an additional $1 million for shelter, re-housing and other services.

“Our goal is to provide safe, secure housing, to anyone at the West Marginal Way SW location who is willing to accept it,” Clark said.

Earlier this month, council members requested that Mayor Mike McGinn direct the Human Services Department to prepare a plan that would provide immediate, targeted outreach and services for Nickelsville residents by Sept. 1. Other metropolitan areas such as New Orleans, Baltimore and San Francisco have implemented a similar approach in providing outreach and engagement, along with housing, shelter and services to address homelessness.

The Housing, Human Services, Health and Culture Committee will hold a meeting about alternatives for encampments on June 25 at 5:30 p.m. and will hold another meeting on June 26 at 2 p.m. where the committee may pass legislation that broadens the ability of encampments to locate on public or private property in Seattle.

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