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00000181-fa79-da89-a38d-fb7f2b910000KUOW is joining forces with other Seattle media outlets to highlight the homeless crisis in the city and region on Wednesday, June 29, 2017.The effort was modeled after a collaboration by more than 70 San Francisco outlets to focus a day of news attention on the issue and possible solutions.Read more about the Seattle project and check out our coverage below. Follow the city's coverage by using #SeaHomeless.HighlightsThe Jungle: an ongoing coverage project going into the notorious homeless encampment under Interstate 5.Ask Seattle's Homeless Community: KUOW is launching a Facebook group where anyone may ask a question about homelessness, but only people who have experienced it may answer. This was inspired by a recent event KUOW co-presented with Seattle Public Library and Real Change, where residents of the Jungle answered audience questions. No End In Sight: an award-winning investigative project from KUOW about King County's 10-year plan to end homelessness.

Homeless, and now campless, in Seattle's Ravenna neighborhood

Charlie Blackwood was running off three hours of sleep and seven cups of coffee when he packed up his belongings. He had been living with seven other people in a plot of woods in Ravenna, in northeast Seattle, when city crews arrived with trucks and shovels to clear it out.

"Our civil liberties are being violated. We are being treated like second class citizens, for no reason," Blackwood said. He filled a big cart with belongings, and hauled it away on the Burke-Gilman Trail.

Protesters tried and failed to stop the camp near the University Village from being evicted. Blackwood, who is 20, says he’s been homeless since July and now is looking for a new place. 

Meanwhile, city crews with gloves and shovels in hand removed the last remnants of the Ravenna Woods camp. City officials say the camp was too dangerous, with piles of garbage and human waste.

“It is inhumane to allow individuals to be living unsheltered in these conditions,” Will Lemke, city spokesman said. The wooded area was just one of the city's 400 unsanctioned homeless camps.

Outreach workers visited and offered everyone a spot in a shelter - but no takers. According to Blackwood, "Some of us had really negative experiences with shelters and voiced that from the very beginning."

Just across the trail, J.C. Parker maintains the Trailside Apartments building. He told KUOW, “I’m glad they’re getting them out of here.”

"They’d break into here," Parker said. "They would drill the coin boxes to get the coins. We switched to plain ol’ free laundry for the tenants." Parker said he used to have empathy for homeless people, but after dealing with thefts, broken doors and feces left in his building, he's over it.

But he said he expects people will eventually return to camp in the woods nearby, despite the latest sweep.

Year started with KUOW: 2009
Year started with KUOW: 2017