(Originally published on partner site West Seattle Blog)
Camp Second Chance, the city-supported tiny-house encampment that’s just over the Seattle city-limit line from North Highline, remains COVID-free. That’s one of the updates from this afternoon’s monthly online meeting of the Myers Way encampment’s Community Advisory Committee. Meeting toplines:
CAMP UPDATE: Eric Pattin, co-founder and site coordinator, said 55 people are living at CSC right now, 20 women and 35 men. Two people have left for housing in the past month, and three people have arrived. One person was required to leave for violating the camp’s “no weapons” rule by bringing in a gun. Pattin said that “residents took action without anyone getting hurt,” confiscating the weapon until authorities arrived. That was one of four 911 calls to the camp in the past month; he said the others were medical. In Q&A, Pattin said the camp is using the former tiny-house-building tent (left behind when Sound Foundations NW moved that operation to a SODO facility) for meetings, and planning to add flooring in the future so it can be used more of a rec/community center. How they’re going to get that flooring hasn’t yet been worked out.
CITY UPDATE: Shawn Neal from the Human Services Department was the first City of Seattle rep to attend the CAC meeting in several months. He noted that the Navigation Team has been replaced by the HOPE Team, though the latter will mostly work with providers rather than directly with camps and campers. They’re still working out how concerns can be referred to that team. An request-for-qualifications process recently was conducted with the goal of opening more shelter spaces soon, Neal said, including adding hotel rooms, enhanced shelter, villages (tiny-house encampments), as many current places at capacity.
COMMITTEE MEMBERS’ UPDATES: Cinda Stenger said Alki UCC is providing a hot breakfast to the camp on Christmas morning and is interested in anyone who’d like to help; contact the church. … Chair Willow Fulton plans to talk with other CACs around the city about “building a network” to help former encampment residents who have moved into housing but need ways to “stay connected” after losing the support systems that the camps provide. “It just helps folks in that next step,” Fulton said. “Just getting into housing doesn’t necessarily cover everything you need.” … Fauntleroy UCC continues its involvement, recently providing electric blankets for camp residents. … Nearby area concerns shared by multiple CAC members included: Some signs of renewed unsanctioned camping in the greenbelt across Myers Way, and some trash concerns in the area, including illegal dumping by people who come to the area specifically for that. Street racing, too – speeding drivers at all kinds are a threat to campers and others walking in the area. Neal said he’d have city colleagues look into it.
PANDEMIC: Since this topic hadn’t come up as the meeting was winding down, we asked about it. Still no positive COVID-19 tests among campers, Pattin replied, adding that he’s working on arranging for everyone to be tested again in the next week.
NEXT MEETING: 2 pm Sunday, January 3rd, online; if you’d like to be on the announcement list, email firstname.lastname@example.org.