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Crews begin clearing tents from sidewalk near Seattle City Hall

Clearing the sidewalks is part of a promise Seattle's mayor made during his State of the City speech.

SEATTLE — City crews arrived Sunday morning to clear tents covering the sidewalk across from Seattle City Hall along 4th Avenue. 

Clearing the sidewalks is part of a promise Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell made during his State of the City speech.

"With many workers across our city returning to the office in the next several months, our focus must also ensure sidewalks are accessible to the public and clear of obstacles and obstruction. This is an essential obligation of our government," Harrell said during his address.

But people living across from City Hall said they have nowhere to go. 

"Unfortunately, now I'm going to have to set up in the park or put my tent back up somewhere else, in the jungle or something, which I really don't want to do," said Prudencio Martinez, who said he lives in the encampment along Fourth Avenue. 

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Martinez said he was hoping to go to a shelter, but the crews clearing the camp Sunday weren't offering referrals. 

"The parks department reached out and made some calls but no social workers work on Sunday is what they said. So, now it's raining, I'm ready to move and there's no shelter referral," Martinez said.  

The city did not immediately respond to KING 5's request for comment on the city's referral efforts Sunday. 

On Friday, the Department of Human Services said, "Our outreach and shelter referral work are ever active, and the approach reflects the site context and conditions."

Ultimately, protesters appeared to stall the city's efforts to clear the encampment on Sunday. Several people stood around tents with arms linked. City crews left after clearing only a few spaces.

This is the third encampment crews have worked to clear in a week. An encampment along Utah Avenue was cleared on Feb. 15 and Seven Hills Park in Capitol Hill on Feb. 17. 

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