FAQs / events / more info


I’m concerned, what can I do?

Everyone can do something. Consider these ideas

I discovered an encampment, what can I do?

If you’re concerned about a person living outside and/or encounter an encampment and want to help, we encourage you to call police dispatch at 425-556-2500 to report the situation. Please don’t approach the site or anyone who might be at the site directly. The City’s goal is to encourage individuals who are sleeping outside to access services that will help them attain housing. Police work closely with our homeless outreach services to connect individuals to community resources.

I called the police, but the tent is still there. What now?

Often, it takes time to build trust. Responses vary as interventions are tailored to each individual’s unique needs. Police and outreach services will continue to work to connect people to resources.

Why doesn’t the city do something about panhandling?

Panhandling is not illegal unless the individual is blocking you or harassing you in some fashion. If you witness or experience aggressive panhandling, call 911 and provide a brief description of the individual and their location.

How can I help someone who asks for money?

Many people give money to people with signs on the street because they want to help someone who appears to be struggling. However, offering cash provides only a very short-term intervention for one individual who may or may not be homeless. Consider these options instead:.

  • Provide a community resource card to panhandlers, which contains information on organizations that can help people in need
  • Offer a care kit, food item, and/or water
  • Consider donating to and/or volunteering with local organizations that focus on getting people off the street 
  • Call 2-1-1, the Community Resource line or check out their online resource guide


New Legal Protections for Tenants

New state law now makes it illegal for landlords to discriminate against tenants and would-be tenants based on their source of income. What does this mean?
  • Landlords cannot refuse to rent to you because your income comes from Social Security, Veteran’s benefits, retirement, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) or Aged, Blind and Disabled (ABD).
  • They cannot refuse to rent to you because you will pay your rent with a Section 8, Share Aspire, or Housing and Essential Needs (HEN) voucher.
  • They cannot charge you more rent than someone who does not get benefits, or tell you the unit is not available when it is.
More information is available here. If you think that you have been discriminated against based on your source of income, you can log your concern with the City's Code Enforcement Office.

Community Resource Center

The Community Resource Center at the Redmond Library features multiple social service agencies in one easily accessible location. No appointment necessary. Every Wednesday 1:30-3:30 pm. Flyer here.


Not everyone who panhandles is homeless.

  • Many studies have found that only a small percentage of homeless people panhandle and only a small percentage of those who panhandle are homeless.
  • Those who panhandle target locations where there are a lot of pedestrians and motorists.
  • Average daily income from panhandling varies by area- $50-$60 a day in “good areas of Seattle”
  • Instead of giving money, consider some of these things a homeless person could use.


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