Keep writing your elected officials and working on sheltering solutions.
There was another encampment sweep in Bellingham at Sunset Pond Park this morning. More people without shelter displaced. Meanwhile, it’s possible one of our Port of Bellingham Commissioners is working on hiring a security guard because they don’t think the police are moving unsheltered people on to shelter and services (which currently don’t exist for many).
“Bellingham Technical College (BTC) has documented many incidents that have occurred at and around the Perry Center. Incidents range from physical attacks, threats and aggression towards students and employees to used drug needles left in front of the building, tents set up next to the building, people sleeping in vehicles and in the doorway of the main entrance to the building, garbage, and human feces in the area near the building.”
Bellingham, WA — The Sunrise Movement, which includes the Sunrise Bellingham Hub, is demanding a Green New Deal that guarantees a good job fighting climate change and making a safer, healthier society to anyone who wants one. We are calling on Senator Murray, Senator Cantwell, and Representative Larsen to take the Good Jobs for All Pledge. The pledge is a commitment to invest $10 trillion to create at least 15 million good jobs over the next decade, with 50% of funds going to communities on the frontlines of our economic, environmental, and public health crises. When we say “good jobs” we mean jobs with safe workplaces, family-sustaining wages and benefits, and protection of workers’ rights to organize.
It seems that the Port of Bellingham would benefit from hearing more from all of us here in Whatcom County about the motivations for our desire of them to help contribute solutions to our friends and neighbors sleeping outside and getting swept by police officers in Bellingham and at WWU. Apparently they were also swept from Port of Bellingham property at Laurel and Cornwall on the day that COB swept folks from Geri Field. Contact information is at the bottom fo this post.
March 15, 2021 Press Release, Serenity Outreach Services
Serenity Outreach Services strongly condemns the city’s decision to sweep the Geri field homeless encampment. We feel the homeless encampment sweeps must be addressed as it relates to us as a nonprofit, as community members, and as tax-paying individuals. The sweep goes against recent CDC guidelines, Whatcom County Health Department guidance, and the recent 9th Circuit Superior Court Ruling.
I really appreciate the questions and points raised in recent letters sent in by Carmen Gilmore and Arrissia Owen Turner, and I hope the workgroup will use these to help cement focus and progress on primary goals.
I also call for one of the primary goals of this workgroup being that of addressing the needs of unsheltered community members in crisis, and feel it will become easier and quicker to make progress on this goal by staying grounded in an approach that views people falling through the cracks of existing solutions – or lack of them – as unacceptable.
[Author’s Note: I am not a representative of Camp 210, but a concerned community member and volunteer; mistakes are my own]
This message is a plea to our Mayor Fleetwood to stop the sweep of our houseless neighbors at Camp 210, in their new location by Puget and Fraser near Civic field Friday at 4pm. This article is also an invitation to the community to support our houseless neighbors in voicing their concerns about this sweep.
I understand this message is long so I can summarize it now:
Please contact your Mayor, principally; your health department; the parks department; your City Councilmembers; and encourage your organizations to denounce this sweep. Sweeps do not solve houselessness, they only move our houseless neighbors.
The City of Bellingham and Whatcom County Government have been increasingly focused since the cold weather season has hit, on putting out information about their housing and sheltering efforts. There is no doubt that they have been making efforts to create low income housing and to sustain and enhance some sheltering solutions. But a significant challenge being faced right now by our community is a failure of our government agencies to respond effectively to hostile weather emergency sheltering needs, especially during a pandemic.