Proposal would narrow expansion of Seattle homeless response

SEATTLE (AP) — The Seattle City Council has moved to reduce a proposed expansion of the city’s team responsible for overseeing removal of homeless encampments, redirecting the money to wage increases for homeless service workers.

The Seattle Times reports the 6-3 vote was a preliminary action, with the final budget set for adoption Monday. But the proposal, sponsored by Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda, sparked debate among council members and protests from business and neighborhood groups who want a more vigorous response to the city’s estimated 400 unsanctioned tent camps.

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan had proposed expanding the Navigation Team, which includes outreach workers and police, by nine positions in her budgets for 2019 and 2020.