Local Little League says children under threat in Seattle parks

A local little league said it was no longer safe to have children on a Seattle playground.

Homeless tents are nothing new in the Ballard neighborhood, but what is new are the threats and dangerous conditions against the children themselves.

“It’s not that it’s an eyesore,” mom Andrea Morrison said.

Morrison said her main concern was that children would be threatened and harassed when playing or training on the playgrounds. She recently said that her 10-year-old son and his friends were on the grounds of the Ballard Community Center. training when a homeless person verbally assaulted them.

“There’s someone camping in the shelter and he comes out and starts threatening the kids,” Morrison said.

Morrison said the man cursed the children and threatened to kill them. The experience left a lasting impact.

RELATED: Homeless Settlements Evacuated From Bellingham Parks Twice In 3 Days

At Gilman Park, it’s a similar concern. The Little League serves up to 400 children and is grappling with a basic need: ensuring the safety of their young people.

“It’s a different level of concern. It’s a different level of risk than we had before,” said Ballard Little League Co. president Steven Reich.

On Wednesday, Q13 News saw a dozen tents inside or near the perimeter of Gilman Park.

Reich said some parents are wondering about dropping their children off at Gilman Park for baseball and softball practice.

Even before the children arrive at Gilman Park, it is recommended that children use the bathroom at home. Some families don’t feel safe in the park’s washrooms, not just because of the trash or even the needles.

“While the girls’ softball field was practicing, there was a man in the bathroom who was naked, overdosed or dead, I don’t know which one,” Reich said.

Softball players saw first responders carry the man earlier this week.

Parents say campers use drugs while the kids are there and portable jars on the property have also been set ablaze.

The Ballard Little League donates thousands of dollars to the city for using Gilman.

” We are in town ; space on the ground is limited, ”said Reich.

Therefore, the solution is not as easy as just switching to another domain. They contacted the mayor’s office, council members and Seattle Parks and Recreation.

“It just gets passed on… basically no one seems to be in charge, no one is saying they can help,” Morrison said.

The Seattle mother said the lack of action was exasperating and many homeless people needed mental health treatment.

“Where my concern is is our homeless neighbors who are suffering from mental illness and they are unpredictable, they prey on our neighbors, our children,” Morrison said.

RELATED: Seattle’s Downtown Hotel Reopens as Temporary Homeless Shelter

She said that rather than focusing on the fun of baseball, kids are now nervous about their surroundings.

“It’s heartbreaking,” Morrison said.

Council member Dan Strauss, who represents the Ballard area, sent a statement to Q13 News.

“What is happening in Gilman Park is happening all over town and it is unacceptable – we have to tackle homelessness by providing scale solutions to this crisis. I have worked with Ballard Little League and Seattle Parks Department to address the situation at Gilman Park. Across the city, we must provide safe and adequate places for the homeless to enter so that the large parks in our city can be used as intended. “

The Town Hall sent this press release:

“Camp removals have been limited over the past year due to COVID-19, but the city thinks we need to deal with sidewalks, playgrounds and parks camps as we open up new spaces. such as the Executive Pacific Hotel and Kings Inn. Individuals will be offered shelters at these locations from city parks and camps.

As businesses and schools reopen, we will continue to provide these resources, with the same commitment to raising awareness and supporting the well-being of our homeless neighbors as well as that of residents and businesses across the country. proximity, which can mean removing an encampment if individuals do not. accept shelter or the resources offered.

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