Where Do They Go? The Painful Reality of Seattle's RV Homeless Sweeps
Mark Horvath, Alex Gasaway
Lux has been homeless since she was 16. Growing up, her mother was critically ill, so Lux lived with her stepdad. He would kick her out randomly when he was drinking. "I wouldn't know where to go," she said. "Eventually, it got to the point where I didn't want to go back." Lux is now 19. She has lived in her RV for three years and has been forced to move about 20 times.
Seattle's controversial RV homeless sweeps have been a source of contention among advocates, residents, and city officials alike. By forcibly removing vehicle residents from their makeshift mobile homes, these sweeps not only displace vulnerable individuals but also often leave them with no alternative shelter. This policy, aimed at addressing the visible impact of homelessness in the city, has been criticized for exacerbating the issue by further marginalizing those who already face significant challenges.
Lux receives help from Vehicle Residency Outreach in Seattle. "Joe and Jonah have been visiting me quite often," she said, bringing her food and to Goodwill for clothes. They also let her know when sweeps will happen, so she doesn't lose her van. "I really appreciate them."