It’s Vancouver’s sister city in many ways, right down to a housing and homelessness crisis of it’s own. Now, Seattle is trying an innovative solution to homeless camps — by bringing them into the light of day.
Now, Seattle is trying an innovative solution to homeless camps – by bringing them into the light of day.
Since 2015, the Emerald City has had three sanctioned homeless camps but they don’t look like some might imagine: Clean, secure, and filled with tiny houses instead of tents – and now three more are on the way.
Sharon Lee with the Low Income Housing Institute says it’s saving lives.
“Too many homeless living on the streets, too many people dying of weather, exposure, and violence because they’re on the streets. It’s much safer to have a managed, safe encampment or village.”
Lee says the initiative is getting people off the street.
“We have a tiny house village, we have an alternative for you that’s better and safer than where you are now. And as you know, many people don’t like going to shelters, they refuse to go to shelters, and shelters don’t meet the needs of lots of people.”
Lee says the partnership between campers, non-profits, and city is also helping people transition into long-term housing.