Hundreds of asylum seekers in encampment at Seattle park after funding for hotel stay runs out


Hundreds of asylum seekers have set up an encampment at a public park in Seattle after funding that provided them with hotel accommodations in a nearby city ran out, according to local reports.

Dozens of tents popped up at Powell Barnett Park in Seattle’s Central District neighborhood as asylum seekers from Venezuela, Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo wait for permanent housing.

The group of men, women and children had previously camped outside Riverton Park United Methodist Church in Tukwila in early 2023 before funding allowed them to secure a stay at a hotel in Kent, FOX13 Seattle reported. 

Now that the funding for their hotel stay has dried up, the asylum seekers are telling local news outlets that they are staying at the park until more funding comes through.

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tent encampment in Seattle

Hundreds of asylum seekers, including children, were staying at an encampment at Powell Barnett Park in Seattle’s Central District neighborhood after funding for housing ran out. (FOX13 Seattle KCPQ)

“We’re waiting for help. We don’t want to keep moving every month. It’s hard,” Jonathan, a 22-year-old Angolan refugee, told FOX13.

Another Angolan man told KOMO News, with the help of a translator, that they are “asking for the government to help us with housing.”

refugee outside tent in Seattle

Many of the asylum seekers appeared to be from Venezuela and Africa. (FOX13 Seattle KCPQ)

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Adriana Medina told KING5-TV in Spanish that the situation in her home country of Venezuela is “very, very difficult for everyone,” which is why she crossed into the U.S.

“Even now, we don’t know how much time we’re going to have to camp,” Medina said. “We don’t have these answers. We can’t tell anyone what we’re doing because we don’t know ourselves.”

Quality Inn in Kent

The asylum seekers were staying at a Quality Inn in Kent, Washington, until funding ran out. (FOX13 Seattle KCPQ)

The city of Seattle told FOX13 that it has “exhausted its allocated funding for migrant shelter and services” and has asked the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services to provide additional support. 

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Fox News Digital has reached out to the Seattle mayor’s office for comment, but they did not immediately respond.



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