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The Can of Worms

Washington Spends over $42,000 to Destroy Homeless Camp

A derelict boat, The Can of Worms, has been removed from Lake Washington by the City of Seattle government this week, after numerous complaints.

The Can of Worms is 44-foot cabin cruiser that was turned into a homeless camp.

Seattle Harbor Patrol tagged the boat, in early November, while it was grounded 30-yards off Adams Beach threatening to remove the vessel.

The boat was owned by Michael Gilbertson and was only grounded as he needed to fix his electricity, according to KOMO News.

The boat was removed after the city chose a company from a list of bidders.

The city chose the lowest bidder, Newalan, which is based in Yakima.

The boat was hauled 107 miles to Newalan’s storage yard to be determined if it has asbestos. Once it is checked, it will be destroyed.

One of the complainers, Bob Brown, believes the city dragged its feet.

“They tend to drag their feet if there’s any connotation that may involve ‘the homeless. I almost wonder if in the eyes of the City there are almost two sets of rules, one for the law abiding taxpayers or a whole different set of rules for those who identify as homeless.”

Brown goes on to say:

“After a while if nothing is done about it, were you have two, you’ll have four, you’ll have more and before you know it Andrews Bay becomes a floating Hooverville or Nickelsville.”

The removal of the boat comes on the same day a city official in charge of overseeing homeless response resigns.

Director Jason Johnson, who has been an interim director for two years has decided to resign after speaking at length with Mayor Durkan.

According to Johnson’s resignation letter:

“This was not an easy decision, and the Mayor, her team, and I discussed it at length. I am encouraged by the vision and continued leadership that Mayor Durkan offers our city, and her commitment to the department’s mission and to the people who work here.”

Johnsons last day will be in June.

Between then and now, Johnson will continue to work on launching the Regional Homelessness Authority while serving children, seniors, and the most vulnerable in our community.

Seattle has a team that is staffed by police officers and social-services staffer that are tasked with cleaning encampments and getting people off the street.

During his time serving as director, Johnson was able to increase homeless shelters capacity by 25% and improve accountability measures when dealing with those that are homeless.

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