For decades, Seattle had a reputation for being one of the most caring, beautiful and clean cities in the world. Today there are no words to adequately describe what Seattle has become. Even the photographs below cannot come close to capturing the scale of the crisis that continues to unfold here. There are now thousands of people living in parks, under bridges, in greenbelts, on sidewalks and in vehicles in cold, wet, rat-infested squalor.
For 15 years the response to this crisis has failed to meet the need. In 2015, five years before the pandemic, Seattle and King County declared a homelessness ‘state of emergency’. In 2016 Seattle hired a renowned national expert consultant on homelessness. She told Seattle to “Act now, act strategically and act decisively”. In 2018, three health professionals on the King County board of health recommended a FEMA style response to the growing ‘public health disaster’. In 2019 King County and Seattle agreed to create a regional homelessness authority. In 2020 Seattle defunded the homeless outreach team that offered services to people in the hundreds of improvised unsanctioned encampments throughout the city.
No one in Seattle should be living in these conditions. We invite you to sign the petition calling for a true emergency response to this humanitarian crisis.
Ballard Commons Park
Albert Davis Park
Green Lake and Woodland Parks