Quick updates as Camp Second Chance Community Advisory Committee meets

By Tracy Record
White Center Now editor

More tiny houses and a permanent camp manager were among the updates at a brief meeting of the Camp Second Chance Community Advisory Committee this afternoon.

Community Advisory Council members present were chair Willow Fulton, a nearby resident; Judi Carr, a resident of Arrowhead Gardens (where the committee meets); Aaron Garcia of the White Center Community Development Association; Cinda Stenger of the Westside Interfaith Network and Alki UCC; and Grace Stiller of Weed Warriors.

Present from camp operator LIHI were Josh Castle. C2C manager Eric Davis announced he will soon be in that role as a LIHI employee, after about a year. (That drew a round of applause at meeting’s end.) Davis is a camp founder and managed C2C in a paid position under the original camp operator Patacara, but the camp changed operators during a time of controversy and Davis’s position did not become a job again until now.

He presented the monthly update on the city-sanctioned encampment: 45 residents (34 men and 11 women), four of them new, six moved out for jobs/housing/family reunification; one moved out for treatment; no one was barred during the month.

No City of Seattle rep this time – Tom Van Bronkhorst, the usual rep, was absent. Fulton had hoped for a city rep to be present as usual because on the city side of Myers Way – not related to C2C, she made clear – there are new problems including vehicles in various states of disrepair/demolition.

She feels that such dumping/activity is a magnet for more trouble – “people see it as a dumping ground because it looks like a dumping ground” – so she feels the city should patrol the area regularly rather than wait for complaints. Davis said that vehicles like this are being stripped at 2, 3 am and yes, he said, they have called police. “They just need someone to drive up and down there for six months to get it under control, midnight to six am.”

Fulton says it would be great to have a camera of some sort in the area.

Liz Giba of the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council suggested working with King County Sheriff’s Office White Center storefront Deputy Bill Kennamer. Fulton noted that the problems seem to be on the Seattle side and the two sides pass them back and forth “like a hot potato.”

Stenger said Alki UCC has completed eight more tiny houses for the camp and has money to build five more. On September 22nd, the camp will host a celebration and blessing of the eight new houses, starting at noon, with music and food. (All welcome!) She also said she’s working on “the shower issue” and “might have a solution for that.” The camp now has 31 tiny houses and 22 tents.

Castle noted that the County Council has taken its vote on whether to give tax money to the Mariners or to affordable housing, and says more was shifted to the latter than originally proposed. (Added: The final vote is on September 17th; what a committee approved on September 5th was to allocate $165 million more lodging-tax dollars to affordable housing than originally proposed.)

Absent any community concerns, or formal agenda items, the meeting adjourned after half an hour. Next one will be 2 pm October 7th, also at Arrowhead Gardens.

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4 Responses to “Quick updates as Camp Second Chance Community Advisory Committee meets”

  1. Get that smelly mess taken care of. The vehicles need to go. Too many rif raf wondering all hours at night, every night!! I would live to see the whole encampment just go away!!!!! Cars are being broken into, trash is being randomly dumped in my neighborhood and others!! I am sick and tired of this

  2. Thanks, WCN!

  3. Jennifer Scarlett Says:

    I can’t believe the city of Seattle did not send a rep. Most of the illegal activity is on thier side!
    All the surrounding neighborhoods are getting dumped in, prowled. It’s scary.
    On the way to the vets today I saw the remains of a van that had been stripped down to nothing.
    Obviously not someone’s home!
    Not acceptable. Shame on Seattle.

  4. The meetings are not technically about the rest of Myers Way, city or county. They are supposed to be just about Camp Second Chance, and while no one has blamed campers there for what’s happening across/down the street, it invariably comes up, and there has been some sentiment that the presence of the sanctioned encampment has drawn unsanctioned campers like moths to a flame.