OLYMPIA, Wash. -- A bill that would prohibit homeless encampments from being placed near schools, child care centers and other early learning facilities is making its way through the state Senate.
Senate bill 5882 would prevent cities, towns and counties from allowing homeless encampments within 1,000 feet of such learning or child care facilities.
The bill sponsored by Sen. Curtis King, R-Yakima, is scheduled for a 1:30 p.m. public hearing Monday in the Senate Housing Stability and Affordability Committee.
In a news release, King said a homeless man was seen walking through a school in Olympia after the City Council allowed a homeless encampment be placed nearby.
“We have laws in this state that say you can’t have a marijuana store or liquor store within 1,000 feet of a school. But there’s no law protecting schools from homeless encampments, either sanctioned or unsanctioned. Homeless camps near schools put students in greater harm than marijuana or alcohol. Why should we allow that to happen? It puts the safety of students and teachers at risk,” King said in the release.
The only sanctioned homeless encampment in Yakima is behind the former Kmart off East Nob Hill Boulevard near Interstate 82. There are no schools nearby.