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The Student News Site of Renton High School

RHS Hawk Eye

The Student News Site of Renton High School

RHS Hawk Eye

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Migrants Camp Out in CD Park while the City Scrambles to House Them

With the increase of refugees in the Seattle area, many Seattle shelters and churches have had their hands full trying to occupy large numbers of homeless migrants. To help alleviate the burden these shelters have taken on, the Seattle Mayor’s office has been scrambling for answers. 

For the last couple of weeks, a large group of refugees have been setting up encampments in Powell Barnett Park in the Central District. According to Kiro 7 News, many of the refugees were being housed at the Riverton Park United Methodist Church in Tukwila. 

As well as several other shelters and motels. At first, the city provided funding to these  shelters to help alleviate the struggles these shelters had bringing in refugees, however these  funds have quickly been spread thin due to the large number of people in need. Because of  this lack of resources, many of the refugees began to set up camps in Barnett Park, rapidly  filling up the park and overcrowding it. Many Seattle natives and community leaders have  called for the city to step in and provide more relief and funding to housing associations and  shelters all across the city. In response to this, the King County Counsel has finally enlisted  the help of service providers by reserving 100 hotel rooms to help house the most vulnerable  families first. The Counsel also approved $3 million dollars in additional funding for the housing  and resources needed by these refugees. Earlier this month, KOMO News reached out  to the Seattle Mayor’s office for answers. The Mayor’s office released the following statement,  “Yesterday, city staff went to Powell Barnett Park to respond to the migrants and asylum  seekers on-site. The city has asked Washington State DSHS to provide support needed to  understand the number of impacted individuals and families and their specific needs to inform  future actions. It is not healthy nor safe to camp in a park, and we will continue to create  connections to appropriate resources as available… King County recently announced an  investment of $2 million in funding for temporary housing and resources for asylees and  refugees. Further, the State Legislature this session passed bills providing over $30 million for shelter and resources for migrants and asylum seekers and directed that the Washington  State Office of Refugee and Immigrant Assistance design, coordinate, and lead a plan for a statewide response to emerging issues related to migrants and asylum seekers. Such a  statewide, systemic response plan is necessary to avoid the continued cycling of migrants in and out of short-term hotel stays.” 

As of now, the state is still trying to provide housing for as many refugees as they can but with so many still waiting for housing to become available and government funding running lower and lower, it’s impossible to say what will happen in these coming months. 

Picture of the encampments set up in Powell Barnett Park in Seattle, Washington.

 

Sources: 

https://www.kiro7.com/news/local/migrants-staying-central-district-park-cleared out/QYV2KMJZWNCG3G7GRLPPN2DPEY/ 

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/homeless/calls-mount-for-action-on asylum-seekers-encampment-at-seattle-park/ 

https://komonews.com/news/local/seattle-refugees-encampment-powell-barnett-park central-district-migrants-asylum-seeking-process-quality-innkent-hotel-venezuela-congo central-africa-tukwila-church\ 

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About the Contributor
Tameren Smith
Tameren Smith, Journalist
11th grade. Something interesting about me is that I love boxing and I've been training for about 4 years now.  I plan on competing soon.