Homeless RVers desecrate Jewish cemetery in Seattle

Seattle, like most large U.S. cities, has a problem with the homeless. More and more of these homeless are living in mostly derelict RVs on city streets. This crisis has unfortunately turned a Jewish cemetery on the north side of the city into a battleground that groundskeepers struggle with every day to clean up the trash from a fleet of RVs parked nearby.

The historic Bikur Cholim cemetery  8 miles north of downtown Seattle has burial sites dating back to the 1800s, but in the past two years a small problem has “exploded” into a costly cleanup, according to Ari Hoffman, a board member of the Bikur Cholim Machzikay Hadath Synagogue.

In the past two years, Hoffman said groundskeepers have found needles, drug paraphernalia, used condoms and human feces.

That even includes catching people having sex on the flat tombstones inside the cemetery, according to Hoffman. Besides the trash and associated cleanup costs, groundskeepers have been assaulted and some campers even tapped into the cemetery’s electrical power.

A count by a homeless advocacy group in January revealed that there are nearly the same amount of people living out of their vehicles that were living on the streets in King County – up 46 percent from 2017.

“As long as the RVs are there, we’re having problems,” Hoffman told Fox News.

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5 Thoughts to “Homeless RVers desecrate Jewish cemetery in Seattle”

  1. Mike

    As tragic as homelessness is, need these people be distinguished by staying in a derelict RV? Many other homeless people in other cities nationwide are living in tents, cardboard boxes, or alleys. Are they truly “campers,” or are they just trying to stay warm and dry?

    I’m an RV full timer, and believe-you-me, I’m only a few steps from being homeless. I worked all my life keeping a family together and rearing children. Unfortunately, disease ravaged my later years at a point where I can no longer work.

    So being a disabled veteran fighting the travails of life mostly on my own, I’m living in my RV in a very inexpensive situation. Luckily, we bought this motorhome as a family, albeit, there is no longer a family. Am I an RVer? I think not – unless I take the RV out on the road for a trip. Other than that, I’m just existing in my motorhome – not to say that I haven’t been an avid RVer for most of my life when times were better and there were family trips, and such. To most homeless living in an RV, an RV is just a means to an end. It’s not a state of mind, as I believe real RVing is.

    I personally feel that being an RVer has certain responsibilities, of which are, being a good neighbor, keeping my area clean and safe, and keeping my RV in a moderately presentable state. Anything short of that, to me is just squatting.

    To desecrate any one else’s property is horrible. To desecrate a Jewish cemetery, despicable! While many who squat have fallen on hard times, does the lack of response from a municipality give tacit approval to these people’s actions? I hope not.

    If this is where we’re headed as a society, heaven help us!

  2. Magee Willis

    Maybe it’s not so much the RVers living in derelict RV as it is the ratio of wage-earners to CEO’s wages. Another problem entirely, I realize.

  3. Doug

    By that logic, a person moving in and living in a wrecked derelict boat abandoned in the mangroves, is a boater.

  4. Tim

    Why does this article call them RVer’s? they’re not RVer’s they’re violators that have no respect for the property of others. They give true RVer’s a bad name. I’m an RVer they are not!

    1. Ann

      They live in RV’s. They are RVers. The general public doesn’t make the distinction. Only someone else who lives in an RV would make a distinction.

      But anyway. We lived in Seattle for a time. The problem with people in derelict RV’s was horrible, worse than anyplace else we’ve lived or even seen. Not only were they parked everywhere, they knew that they could leave trash everywhere, sell drugs out of their rigs, and do basically anything they wanted, and nobody would do anything at all. The police wouldn’t enforce the laws already on the books, and the city was spending their time trying to find places for them to camp, instead of trying to help them find housing. Huge shouting matches would break out between frustrated residents and the council members at city council meetings.

      We couldn’t take it anymore and moved.

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