"Homeless In Seattle Get Help From City Waste Pumper"

"Chris Wilkerson used to get phone calls in the middle of the night about poop.

Wilkerson, who was part of Seattle Public Utilities' Spill Response Team, says the calls were usually from the public. Typically, he says, the caller would tell him, 'Hey, there's a puddle of poo' in the street. And many times, the excrement would be coming from a recreational vehicle.

Starting around 2010, there has been a significant increase in spills coming from RVs and other vehicles in Seattle. It was happening as the number of people living out of their vehicles was on the rise. By one count, 891 people lived out of their vehicles in Seattle and the surrounding area in 2010. Now that number is close to 3,000.

'We saw more people decline into homelessness quicker,' says Bill Kirlin-Hackett, who directs the Scofflaw Mitigation Team, a city-funded program that helps people living in RVs avoid losing their vehicles for violating city ordinances. 'And if you own a vehicle, the quick response is to live in it, so a lot of people new to homelessness were entering vehicles.'"

Erin Slomski-Pritz reports for NPR January 3, 2021.

Source: NPR, 01/05/2021