Encampments, Living in Vehicles

The city has a compassionate enforcement approach to unauthorized encampments and people living in their cars, balancing Bellevue balances support for people experiencing homelessness with protection of city neighborhoods.

If you’re concerned about people living outside and/or a particular encampment location in Bellevue, you can request assistance via the MyBellevue portal or from your phone on the MyBellevue app. You can also call the police non-emergency line at 425-577-5656. If you feel unsafe or immediately threatened, please call 911.

Response to Encampments

If an encampment is identified on city public property, the city’s homelessness outreach coordinator then makes contact, ensuring individuals receive supportive services that help them address housing barriers, while also finding immediate housing (possibly temporary) for them. To help individuals find housing that meets their unique needs, the coordinator collaborates with providers of affordable housing, shelter and related services, as well as government agencies, such as the state Department of Social and Health Services, the U.S. Social Security Administration and the state Department of Licensing.

Encampment Removals

Camping on city-owned property and public easements is prohibited in Bellevue under City Code 10.06.110. According to city protocols, the city will post a notice of violation and notice of removal when an unauthorized encampment on city property or easements is identified. The city's homelessness outreach coordinator will contact individuals associated with encampments to line up services, but the individuals ultimately must remove their belongings from the location within seven days.   

If individuals continue to camp illegally, the city will enforce city code and remove their property from the location. This process may take several weeks to ensure that everyone involved is safe and legal requirements are met.

Protocols for People Living in Cars

Per City Code 11.23.020, vehicles cannot remain parked on the same block for more than 24 consecutive hours, unless they are in authorized time limit zones or residential permit parking zones. 

Individuals violating the 24-hour parking limit, apparently living in their vehicles, are offered services and educated about the parking limit. The city also provides a verbal or written warning notice. If the vehicle is still parked on the same block after a warning notice has been provided, a notice of parking infraction is issued.