King County Roads crews partnered with King County Regional Homelessness Authority and the Sheriff’s Office to help offer resources to individuals experiencing homelessness and cleared nearly 52,000 pounds of trash from the Green River Road area on Wednesday, July 13, 2022.
King County conducted an extensive cleanup of trash and litter from the areas along Green River Road, located in the unincorporated area near the Cities of Kent and Auburn on Wednesday.
Planning for the extensive cleanup began more than a month ago, with Wednesday’s efforts marking the first time this year that crews have worked at Green River Road, although similar efforts have previously been completed at this location.
Local Services worked with the King County Regional Homelessness Authority (KCRHA), King County Sheriff’s Office, and other partners to ensure that unhoused individuals were offered assistance and resources.
Local Services worked with KCRHA to separate individuals’ personal belongings from the piles of trash, litter, and hazardous waste. King County recognizes that people living unsheltered along Green River Road do not have regular trash pick-up services like housed neighbors, making litter pick-ups like this a harm-reduction measure for the health and safety of everyone.
The effort Wednesday also included removing illegally parked vehicles. Working with the King County Sheriff’s Office, deputies over the weekend began informing individuals experiencing homelessness who had parked in the public areas that they had to move before Wednesday’s cleanup. Most of the people living unsheltered had working vehicles and moved voluntarily.
The Road Services Division crews own and maintain more than 1,500 miles of roadway across King County. Last year, they collected more than 200 tons of trash from those roadways so people could travel safely. Specific to the areas along Green River Road, Roads conducted two separate cleanups last year in which it removed nearly 69,000 pounds of trash and litter.
“King County Roads Services’ goal is to keep its roadways and public right of way areas clear so people can travel safely. In this location, it is also important that we recognize the impact on people experiencing homelessness and work collaboratively to assure they are given ample opportunities to get the help and resources they need,” said John Taylor, Director of Local Services. “We understand that people experiencing homelessness have located in and immediately near this area, which is why we work with the King County Regional Homelessness Authority and other partners to coordinate outreach and resources to help them move to more stable options.”
More info here King County Regional Homelessness Authority.