Seattle is Feeling the Effects of Losing the Navigation Team
October 16, 2020
The Seattle City Council recently voted to reduce funding for public safety and completely eliminate the Navigation Team without a plan on how to address safety issues in parks. The Navigation Team’s absence is already being felt by many city residents.
KOMO reported on the increasing presence of homeless encampments in Seattle parks in the last several weeks. Among the parks where the tents are going up is Miller Playfield, where the Seattle Youth Soccer Association hosts practices and games.
The growing encampments make it hard for children to play safely. Parents have complained that they have found needles on the fields where their kids play games.
The increasing encampments are due to several factors, not the least of which is the ongoing pandemic. Another contributing factor is undoubtedly the City Council’s decision to eliminate the Navigation Team, whose role was to help guide our unsheltered neighbors to social services to find their way out of encampments.
And as the Seattle Times reports, the council obviously had no plan before acting to eliminate the services that the Navigation Team provided.
Council members insist they wanted the money saved from the Navigation Team to be used to pay other outreach workers, but that hasn’t happened yet and might not until next year.