Seattle city council votes unanimously to end Nickelsville

Seattle city council votes unanimously to end Nickelsville
SEATTLE -- The Seattle City Council voted unanimously Monday to end the city's largest homeless camp, but residents are also getting half a million dollars' worth of help from the city's general fund to get them back on their feet.

People who live near Nickelsville have long complained about public safety and environmental concerns when it comes to having an unregulated homeless camp nearby. Monday, advocates said this money will help, but it needs to go to the right places.

For half a million dollars in tax funding, there was only about half a dozen members of the public to speak at the Seattle City Council meeting. One of them broke down what this could mean to the homeless who will be affected:

"You're allocating $500,000. If there are 100 people in Nickelsville, and you divide $500,000 by 100, you get $5,000. You divide that by 365 days, you get $13.70 a day to deal with these people," the speaker said.

The council hopes that the funding to help transition campers from their West Seattle location will provide outreach, human services and even shelter options for the people who live there.

"I'm going to support this legislation because I think in some ways it gets to what we should've done a lot earlier which is allocate a huge amount of money for case management and find housing and shelter for these individuals," said councilmember Nick Licata.

There were no specific housing or shelter options mentioned, but city councilmembers said there are a number of hearings between now and the Sept. 1 closure of the camp where that will be discussed.

There is another hearing of the city council Monday at 5:30 p.m. to talk about alternatives and future options for people who currently live in Nickelsville.