Residents near a homeless encampment expressed outrage when they learned a swimming pool had been installed for the vagrants.
The individual responsible for setting up the pool at the expanding homeless encampment beside a Seattle freeway remains unknown, according to KOMO News.
A sprawling homeless encampment alongside a Seattle freeway has a new addition this summer. Someone installed a swimming pool at the encampment that has been growing for months in the Highland Park neighborhood. https://t.co/fMbasULMYC
— NBC Montana (@NBCMontana) July 13, 2023
“All of this is ludicrous,” said Herb Egge, a resident at the senior apartments, per KOMO. “These people come in and totally trash the place. Someone told me they hooked up a hose and filled a swimming pool with it.” He also told the outlet that his care has been broken into multiple times since the encampment arrived and that someone recently drilled into his gas tank.
The homeless encampment began when a few RVs congregated on the street in the spring. Now, there are at least 15 RVs occupying the area, the outlet reported. (RELATED: San Diego Builds ‘Safe Sleeping Sites’ Instead Of Actually Dealing With Its Homeless Crisis)
“I never dreamed I would have to worry about things like this when I was 72, but times have changed,” Egge said, per the outlet. “As elderly people, especially, we should not have to worry about our possessions or our lives.”
Other seniors said they regularly hear gunfire coming from the encampment, causing them to worry about bullets coming through the wall, KOMO reported.
“When I hear the shooting, I stay down and away from the windows,” said Cheryl Galyeam, another senior resident, according to the outlet. “There are times I’ve had to get on the floor in the middle of the night. It’s not safe.”
A man was murdered at the encampment in May after senior citizens at Arrowhead Gardens apartment expressed safety concerns, KOMO reported. Residents hoped the homicide would bring attention to the occupation and cause change, but conditions worsened.
“We thought ‘Oh wow, there’s been a homicide there. They are going to give us some attention now,'” Diane Radischact, an Arrowhead Gardens resident, said. “They didn’t.”
Radischact received a letter from the Seattle Mayor’s Office on Wednesday claiming that the city, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) and the Kings County Regional Homelessness Authority (KCRCA) are making a plan to address the encampment.
“We recognize that this has been a long and often frustrating process for residents at Arrowhead Gardens, and we are pleased that we are moving closer to a site resolution,” the mayor’s letter read. “The Unified Care Team is also discussing with WSDOT possible short-term activation strategies following site resolution to help prevent repopulation.”
“We want the solutions, and we know what the problems are. When you’ve had the same problem repeatedly in different locations, you know what needs to be done,” Radischact said.