Seattle neighborhood saw homeless population quadruple last year

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by DCG

ballard homeless

Homeless tents in Ballard

Like many other proggresive-run cities on the west coast, Seattle has a serious homeless crisis. A neighborhood north of downtown Seattle, Ballard, is experiencing a growth in homeless as well as crime.

This past Monday, a four-year-old girl was assaulted at a Ballard community center by a person who is believed to be homeless. The woman was intoxicated and after the assault she attempted to shoot up heroin behind the center. It was reported that police took 20 to 30 minutes to respond.

In May, a homeless man attempted to rape a woman in the restroom of a Ballard auto dealership. Fortunately dealership employees were able to thwart the attempted rape attack.

Now comes this story from the Seattle Times, “Ballard’s homelessness quadrupled last year, and anger is spilling over,” which highlights the homeless situation in Ballard.

Excerpts from the story:

“As Seattle’s homelessness crisis continues to grow, Ballard is experiencing an influx larger than almost anywhere else in King County. The annual Point In Time count found a fourfold increase in homelessness in central Ballard in just one year, with 214 people tallied there on one night in January.

The rise is testing the traditionally liberal politics of Ballard, and the loudest voices are now talking about crime. Fear of crime in south Ballard is higher than the average in Seattle, according to a recent city survey. Property crime rose 11 percent last year, and the number of dispatched calls to 9-1-1 are up in the neighborhood, but the violent-crime rate has been steady since 2015, according to Seattle police data.

Residents complain about a slow or lax police response, and they feel the city isn’t listening to them. Facebook pages and Ballard’s Nextdoor site are flooded with photos and footage of homeless people in an effort to make noise.

Mike O’Brien, who represents Ballard on the Seattle City Council, knows the neighborhood’s patience has worn thin in the 2½ years since Seattle declared a state of emergency on homelessness.

“That’s a long time to be living in ‘Hey, it’s a little bit of a crisis. Let’s get through it,’ and the numbers continue to increase — and in some neighborhoods, like Ballard, significantly,” O’Brien said. “The length of this crisis and the lack of the city’s ability to create a comprehensive strategy to reduce the crisis is really pushing people’s buttons.”

Homeless people are coming to Ballard, caseworkers say, to flee tent-camp cleanups in other parts of the city and often to stay away from downtown, where many have had anxiety-inducing experiences with other homeless people.

RVs can legally park overnight in the industrial areas near Ballard’s waterfront. There’s a food bank and Urban Rest Stop in Ballard, and until earlier this year, it had a city-sanctioned tiny house village.”

Read the Time’s whole report here.

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