We Heart Seattle is frequently present during city-sanctioned encampment sweeps

February 4, 2022

A submission to our website from an unhoused neighbor:

This incident took date at a violent park sweep at Dexter park. Summer of 2021. This was the first time in person I’ve seen We heart Seattle & after that it wasn’t the last.

This group presented themselves as to help the houseless but it turned out to be the opposite. I saw manipulation & exploitation.

A few times some houseless folks would have gotten inside Andrea Suarez’s truck & not return without notice or to retrieve their belongings. It was clear this tactic was to separate those from others & influence them to thinking help was given & Promises made that only lasted maybe 24 hours of some said housing by WHS.

Every violent houseless encampment [sweep] done included WHS people as well.

The author of this account confirms some behavior patterns previously observed by several other mutual aid volunteers and park residents alike, wherein Suarez offers a promise of housing to campers in exchange for letter her clear out their camp. Almost invariably, Suarez puts them up in a hotel for a night or two with no further offer of support beyond that, leaving these people with literally nothing save for deepening mistrust of people alleging to offer them help. 

This treatment is cruel and inhumane in more ways than we can reasonably enumerate.

Also as we suspected, We Heart Seattle has been regularly making an appearance at city-sanctioned encampment sweeps, although we’re not entirely sure what they’d be doing there given their refusal to follow MDAR guidelines. Either way, our unhoused neighbors are none too happy about their increased presence all around.