Seattle homeowners say city not doing enough about RVs, homeless in neighborhoods

SEATTLE -- At a community meeting at Seattle Pacific University Thursday night, homeowners from several north Seattle neighborhoods told police the city is not doing enough about the number of homeless people living in RVs on their streets.

Cindy Pierce was shocked when she heard about the homeless people shot in ‘The Jungle’ on Tuesday night.

“It’s sad, probably more sad than scary to me,” she said. “I hated to see that happen.”

She’s also concerned about the homeless who are living right in her Magnolia neighborhood. The mayor has announced plans to create safe lots where RVs can park legally. But Pierce said that’s not enough.

“We still have RVs on the streets, we still have garbage.”

Many homeowners say property crime seems to be going up, as the number of homeless in the city rises. Some say they’ve seen drug deals taking place near the RVs. Police say they’ve stepped up patrols and have made some arrests in recent weeks.

“When you do an enforcement strategy, it has to be part of a plan, not part of a reaction,” Assistant Police Chief Steve Wilske told the homeowners.

Mayor Ed Murray says he has a plan. This week, he proposed increasing the housing levy, so more money could be put towards programs for the homeless.

“The problem is growing in this city, and up and down the West Coast,” Murray said Thursday night. “It’s going to take time.”

But many homeowners at the meeting aren’t sure money is the answer.

“We spent $50 million, the third most out of any city in the country,” said Interbay homeowner Harley Lever. “Our homelessness went up 21%, so the current strategies are just not working.”