After intensive outreach, 20 people previously unsheltered at I-5 & Northgate are housed, with an additional three people using hotel vouchers and in process for housing. Our approach works.
This is the fourth encampment in King County resolved under Gov. Inslee’s Right of Way Safety Initiative, for a total of over 110 people moved to safe lodging, from encampments at the 520 interchange, at I-5 & Olive Way, Dearborn, and Northgate. There are two keys to this success: the funding and support provided by the state for outreach work and lodging facilities, and the collaboration and partnership across agencies and organizations.
You can read more about our approach and the details of the Dearborn resolution here, and see pictures of Gov. Inslee’s visit to one of the lodging facilities here. The Washington State Department of Transportation, Department of Commerce, and State Patrol are all partners in this work, along with our outreach leads at PDA (CoLEAD) and REACH.
We use the word “resolution” or say that an encampment is “resolved,” to differentiate this work from “sweeps.” When we work towards an encampment resolution, that means we take the time for intensive outreach, learn what each individual needs, connect them with appropriate services, and provide safe, stable and dignified lodging for everyone.
In the medical sense, a resolution means healing; in the musical sense, a resolution means harmony—our hope is that this approach to encampments creates healing and harmony for our communities as we help people on the path to rebuilding their lives.