Hello Highland Park Neighbors
Happy Holidays! Thank you for supporting HPAC and our neighborhood.
As many may have learned, Mayor Murray has announced that Myers Way Parcel will be one of the three new homeless encampments sites. HPAC was given notice of this at approximately 7p via email the night before the announcement. Over the last day, we have reached out to our neighbors in Highline/Top Hat/White Center, as those communities surround the area, but do not have representation as they are part of unincorporated King County.
Currently, Camp Second Chance has been in that location and the intention so far we have heard from the city is that Camp Second Chance will continue to be there, with an expansion.
HPAC is looking forward to working with Highline Neighborhood group, along with our neighbors in Delridge area to gather information about the plan for this encampment, what the needs will be for our communities in terms of police/security, unauthorized camping in other sections of the Greenbelt, mitigating the environmental impact of the wetlands and Hamm Creek, addressing the issues of dumping and RVs along Myers Way, and other needs that may arise.
As we know the issue of homelessness is complex and complicated – there is no quick or easy fix. Our intentions are to be a supportive community to all of our neighbors, with the understanding that we all want safe, peaceful, and welcoming neighborhoods and streets.
HPAC is disappointed that no other West Seattle location was chosen, we see this as an issue of parity with the rest of West Seattle. We are being asked to host another encampment when no other West Seattle neighborhood has done so. As you know, Highland Park was the site of Nickelsville for three years and was a potential site for an RV safe lot. While this is not on the same location, the same factors are in place and much like the concerns we had with hosting the RV site at the bottom of Highland Park Way, the Myers Way site is far from ideal, with limited transit options, a significant distance from food options, and lack of connection to surrounding communities and services. For further background see West Seattle Blog’s coverage.
HPAC will continue to advocate for neighborhood and our homeless neighbors, but without the City of Seattle addressing our lack of overall infrastructure improvements for the Highland Park area and without parity with the rest of Seattle, it feels as though our neighborhood continues to a bear burden that more resourced areas of Seattle do not.
Highland Park is a mixed race/mixed income community that has faced historic redlining, has a lower median income as compared to Seattle overall (22% lower than Seattle overall), with 81% of students at Highland Park Elementary on Free or Reduced lunch (May 2016), higher percentage of single parent families (13% as compared to 8% in Seattle overall), and higher percentage of those who speak little to no English (10% vs. 5% for Seattle over all) and 28% of our neighbors are immigrants as compared to 18% for Seattle over all.
With this in mind, HPAC will continue to aggressively advocate for increased resources for Highland Park Elementary school, address the dangerous intersection of Highland Park Way and SW Holden, and Highland Parkway overall, a major egress out of West Seattle, again request the LEAD program to implemented in our neighborhood, increased transit including reworking the 131 bus route, increased buses overall, and finishing installing sidewalks and drainage, to name a few.
Over the next few weeks, we will have the opportunity to discuss with city leaders our community concerns and needs. I would like to represent and reflect these questions, requests, and concerns as accurately and authentically as possible. I also request that you also directly address city officials with your concerns and needs.
We have been alerted that there will be a community meeting, sometime in December or January and we will notify the community once the date and location are set.
My ask of you:
- Please email me in the next week with your questions, concerns, needs, and requests regarding the encampment at firstname.lastname@example.org so that I may compile them and bring to meetings with city officials.
- Attend our next HPAC meeting – January 25th – We have asked Councilmember Lisa Herbold to present on the “State of Delridge” and her priorities for 2017.
- Comment on the HALA recommendations
- Learn more about Camp Second Chance – http://greaterseattlecares.org/encampments/camp-second-chance/csctg-code-of-conduct/
- Consider joining HPAC’s steering committee, elections take place in February, email me for further information or come to our next meeting.
- Volunteer with HPAC – We are also in need of a graphic designer and members for our community survey committee.
In addition, you can reach out to:
You can contact the Mayor’s office via this form http://www.seattle.gov/mayor/get-involved/contact-the-mayor
How do I report a problem encampment site?
Seattle’s Customer Service Bureau (CSB) works with city, county, and state agencies to coordinate unauthorized encampment response. Please report unauthorized encampment sites to CSB at 206-684-2489 or online at http://www.seattle.gov/customer-service-bureau. CSB will coordinate cleanup and outreach services with the appropriate agency.
Reminder for Upcoming Open Houses on HALA: What to expect
Presented by City of Seattle
December 7: SW Neighborhoods
5:30-7:30pm, Shelby’s Bistro and Ice Creamery
Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda: DRAFT Neighborhood proposals to create more affordable housing. See a city-wide map HERE.
Parks and Recreation: Come and learn about using walkability and other transportation metrics to map how new parks and green spaces will be chosen in the future.
SDOT: Learn about how Move Seattle is shaping transportation projects and programs in your neighborhood. Also, shape your Greenway by telling us where you want to see new connections and safer crossings for people walking and biking.
SDCI: Rapid Ride and Parking Reform are in the works. Learn more about flexibility and sharing off-street parking, on-street parking, carshare and bicycle travel choices and frequent transit service.
Thank you for being a part of our HPAC community and working for a vibrant, safe, and livable neighborhood.