That photo looks more like a city crew painting over graffiti than clearing an encampment...

But it's unclear whether that "gear" belongs to a homeless person, or to the crew. Certainly whomever does photo editing & layout here could have picked a much better image to illustrate the issue.
Thanks for your consistent coverage of this!
This is a tricky issue in that it requires fair discretion from low-level city workers, and no one is going to be able to be fair all the time, much less overworked crews of career garbage removers.

Take a walk down under the south end of the Ballard bridge were a sizable faction of Jungle residents seem to have moved when that little paradise was shut down a year ago. Tell me what's just abandoned trash and what's not - you can't. At least 50% of the stuff/trash down there could be reasonably argued either way. And it's totally unreasonable to expect the city to track down the transient owner of every piss and rain-soaked filthy mattress and work through some perverse version of the Hoarders tv show. The effect of this law suit will be that effectively we can't clean up homeless camps at all.

In the meantime it's getting positively ripe down under that bridge with the stink of the human shit that's mixed in with some of the garbage/stuff. Given that as a city we allow people to live in these places for years, a reasonable first step would be to deliver those people a couple of toilets so the poop and piss could be taken out of the equation. And a sharps disposal for the needles. And maybe even a tank to dispense clean drinking water - hey why not dream big ...
@5: Nah, those are all precious possessions just laying in the mud. Probably old family heirlooms. The homeless have a constitutional right to store their valuable belongings anywhere they want, for as long as they want, shitlord.
And what will they do with all the belongings left behind or abandoned? I work in Eastlake and it's a MESS down here. Like, and unbelievable mess. A lot of this is just tossed there or left - most of these places are not active campsites (the one that's right behind my office is much, much worse that what you can see in the photos in the link). I cannot tell you how many hours I have personally spent on the phone or email with the city/state/county, and NONE of them have an answer for what is to be done. So I'm all for allowing campers to collect and move their property, but where is the limit? When is a garbage dump just that - a garbage dump? And why do the rest of us have to live with this ungodly mess? This is what the city just keeps on ignoring.
This is why the ACLU is so awful. What about the civil liberties of citizens to be free of this crap?

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