Seattle business owners are installing 1-ton concrete blocks on city streets to prevent some of the 13,300 homeless people in the Dem-led city from camping out on the sidewalks
- One-ton concrete blocks have been installed on Seattle’s sideways in a bid to stop RVs and homeless tents being put up
- The blocks are so heavy that they can’t be moved without specialized equipment – making them burdensome for the city to remove
- Despite it being illegal to place ecology blocks, sidewalks or parking spaces, anonymous residents continue to plant them in the city
Seattle business owners are installing one-ton concrete blocks on the city’s streets in a bid to prevent homeless people from camping out on the sidewalks.
The Democrat-led city struggles with a homeless population of nearly 13,300 – exacerbated by the pandemic – and they frequently set up tent camps along the streets.
But the concrete slabs are the way that locals are attempting to curb homeless camps and RVs being planted outside shops – after the city paused parking enforcement during the pandemic.
The blocks are so heavy that they can’t be moved without specialized equipment – making them burdensome for the city to remove as they continue to pop up in Georgetown, Ballard and Sodo.
Despite it being illegal to place ecology blocks, sidewalks or parking spaces, anonymous residents continue to plant them in the city.
Business owner JW Harvey told The Seattle Times: ‘Individual businesses and residents are putting ecology blocks out as taking matters in their own hands because if they call the city and say there are RVs out in front of their business or out in front of their home , they can’t do anything about it.’
The one-ton concrete blocks have been put on the city’s streets in a bid to prevent homeless people from camping out on the sidewalks
Homelessness is rife in Seattle, and tents pop up in public spaces. The homeless population has grown during the pandemic, pictured in March 2021
City residents said they were ‘sad’ and ‘depressed’ to see groups of tents appear as the number of homeless people soared after the start of the pandemic
There are hundreds of such blocks of the streets of Seattle, but only 25 property and business owners have been warned that they could face fines for not removing the blocks since June 2021
He said he has spent more time speaking to and helping homeless people than he has running his business – but he is now tired of trying to manage the ‘ripple effects’ of Seattle’s overwhelming homeless population.
In 2020, Seattle and King County ranked as the third area in the nation with the most homeless people, recording roughly 11,700 people living on the streets.
Harvey added that business owners feel like they’ve got no choice but to put the concrete slabs because of the growing number of RVs and tents in the area.
The West Seattle Health Club told its members earlier this year that it would install eco-blocks once a homeless encampment was cleared by city authorities.
They wrote in June: ‘To avoid the return of the encampment, the West Seattle Health Club is partnering with our neighboring businesses to place eco-blocks along the surrounding area.’
According to the local newspaper, there are hundreds of concrete blocks on the streets of Seattle.
However since June 2021, just 25 property and business owners have been warned that they could face fines for not removing the eco-blocks.
Last year, city residents said they were ‘sad’ and ‘depressed’ to see groups of tents appear as the number of homeless people soared after the start of the pandemic.
The homeless population in Washington State rose in 2020 by more than six per cent – or about three times the national average, according to the latest data
Encampments on the streets of Seattle have continued to grow since the pandemic
These pictures show reveal the conditions inside the growing city of tents threatening to overrun central Seattle only a week after an $8.3 million hotel turn shelter opened in March last year
The homeless population in Washington State rose in 2020 by more than six per cent – or about three times the national average, according to the latest data.
City officials have emptied two encampments in recent months, but many planned removals have been put on hold because of federal public health guidelines relating to the pandemic.
According to the Seattle Times, homeless people have increasingly resisted going to shelters since the pandemic began last year over concerns they could catch coronavirus from another resident.
But now, parents say they have had to resort to conducting ‘sweeps’ of public parks to make sure there are no needles on the ground before allowing their kids to play on swing sets as the encampments continue to grow.
‘How do we get to a place where we think that’s normal and a part of life in Seattle?’ one resident asked Fox News.
‘It’s a shame that people can’t enjoy the park,’ said another resident.
The tent encampments include homeless people leaving needles and other drug paraphernalia – used to ‘cook’ methamphetamine and heroin, in spaces often close to schools.