Bryant Calls for End to Seattle Homeless Proposal

Bryant Calls for End to Seattle Homeless Proposal
As Governor, Bryant would cut any funding that
allows homeless to live in parks, playgrounds

 

(Seattle, Wash.) – Today, former Seattle Port Commissioner Bill Bryant called for an end to the Seattle City Council’s proposal that would open up 167 miles of public parks, playgrounds, and sidewalks as sanctioned homeless camps.

“The City’s proposal to convert city sidewalks, parks and children’s play areas into tented camps does nothing to address the underlying causes of homelessness,” said Bryant.  “But instead, encourages it, while putting the rest of our communities at greater risk.”

“Under this proposal parks like Seward Park, Lincoln Park, Woodland Park, our arboretum, and 167 miles of sidewalks, would serve as homeless camps,” said Bryant.  “Turning our children’s parks, playgrounds, and athletic fields into homeless camps risks their health and safety.”

Since Governor Jay Inslee took office, homelessness in the state has exploded, up 42% in King County alone.  The state’s mental health system is ranked 50th in the nation in adult care, and earlier this year, nearly 200 patients escaped the state’s largest psychiatric hospital, resulting in at least two deaths.

Bryant spoke of the need to address the problems causing homeless and how we can better care for them.

“Relegating some of the most vulnerable in our midst to the margins of our community is not compassionate.  It deprives them of the assistance they need to put their lives back together and become self-sufficient,” said Bryant.

Bryant vowed that as Governor he would cut funding to any programs that allow homeless to live in public parks and playgrounds:

 

  • Adopt a zero tolerance for camping on state Department of Transportation property
  • Provide local law enforcement with the authority to enter WSDOT property
  • Withhold state homeless funds from cities that permit tent camps in playgrounds, parks and on sidewalks

Find a copy of Bryant’s remarks here.

Bryant also reiterated his challenge to Governor Inslee to hold a debate focused exclusively on mental health and homelessness.  A copy of the August 21, 2016 invitation can be found here.

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Matthew Donnellan