BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Crews cleared a large homeless encampment from a Bellingham public space for the second time in less than two months, but tents are already popping up at another park.
The work began about 8 a.m. Tuesday at the Frank Geri Softball Fields near the Civic Athletic Complex, where a homeless camp popped up immediately after the city removed a major encampment outside City Hall in late January.
The city gave encampment residents notice before Tuesday's removal, but there were still a lot of tents when crews arrived. Most of the campers were in the parking lot, though some were camping on baseball fields.
Bellingham Mayor Seth Fleetwood said during a council meeting Monday night that the site had become a health and safety hazard. He said he's also concerned about the upcoming baseball and softball seasons.
But for all the people glad to see the camp moved out, there are many residents who wonder where the same campers will pop up next. There's another park near Western Washington University where tents are starting to go up.
The City Council is moving forward with a one-tenth of 1% sales tax to fund more low-income housing and mental-health services. They took the first step to approving it at a council meeting Monday night, The Bellingham Herald reported.
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