Update: Visiting/revisiting sites new and old as ‘Nickelsville’ moves

September 1, 2013 at 11:56 am | In 'Nickelsville' encampment, West Seattle news | 90 Comments

(UPDATED 9:04 PM with photos from our early-evening return visits to the four sites – scroll down)

11:56 AM: This is the date set by the City Council in June for closure of the West Seattle site that for more than two years has been home to the encampment that calls itself “Nickelsville.” As we’ve reported in ongoing coverage, the encampment announced it has three new sites. We’re checking in on the move as today proceeds, starting with a look at those three sites (mapped here) so we have “before and after” photos. At 11 am, an hour into the announced schedule for “moving day,” we stopped at 2020 S. Jackson:

Porta-potties were in view, as were “no parking” signs for today only. The only person in view was someone getting ready to do some weed-whacking. The site is owned by the Low-Income Housing Institute, per county records; it owns Ernestine Anderson Place next door, described as “60 units for homeless and low-income seniors.” From there, we headed north to the 1419 22nd Ave. site, photographed at 11:07 am, no one there yet:

That site is owned by the adjacent-to-the-south Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd. From there, via I-5, we got to the Skyway site at 11:25. It’s at 12914 Martin Luther King Jr. Way S., a busy freeway-like stretch between I-5 and Renton, which according to property records used to hold a tavern and motel; its ownership is listed as an LLC held by Pete Sikov, who gained fame in 2005 as owner of Jimi Hendrix‘s boyhood home. Photo shortly added:

It’s the largest site but also, as had been noted on the Nickelsville Works Facebook page, choked with overgrowth. No one on site as of 11:35 am, but two porta-potties are in view, as with the other two sites. Next, what’s happening at the West Seattle site right now; arriving in the area, we found ourselves behind a van containing the Nickelsville goats, whom we’re told are headed to munch on the Skyway overgrowth.

12:51 PM: The photo above is our overview from right about noon. Lots of work in view:

And belongings gathered up:

The view further into the camp:

We’ll revisit the sites late in the day for updates.

2:55 PM UPDATE: In our update last Thursday, we showed the encampment flyer that included a schedule for cleaning up the site over the next three days. Highland Park Action Committee co-chair Carolyn Stauffer says the city has sanctioned that: “I just heard from Jerry DeGrieck / Mayor’s office- with an update: They are going to allow access to the current Nickelsville site through Wednesday for time to move, clear and clean up the site; there will be added security at the site through that time, and a fence will go up on Thursday.”

8:55 PM UPDATE: As planned, we revisited the sites past and present early this evening, in the 6 pm hour. If you’re reading this from the home page, click ahead to see; otherwise, just keep scrolling:

On 22nd, north of the hosting church, not much had changed, except for the addition of stacks of pallets:

In Skyway, those we found included – in the foreground – the Nickelsville goats.

And at the site on Jackson, an intake shack was set up:

At this site, we received a copy of a letter addressed to neighbors, by the Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church, which is leasing the site from the Low-Income Housing Institute, developers of the building next door. The church itself is about half a mile east, at 2801 S. Jackson. The letter read in part:

… Our church will lease a vacant lot owned by the nonprofit Low Income Housing Institute at 2020 S. Jackson Street to provide a place for the community to access supportive services and for us to provide shelter for approximately 35 men, women, and children from Nickelsville.

We will help homeless veterans, families with children, and single people. They will be living in tents on platforms and in simple well-built wood structures. There are not enough shelters and affordable housing in Seattle. …

The church will offer a variety of services at 2020 S. Jackson for the community to access including information and referral, counseling and outreach, food, clothing, children’s school supplies, and other services. There will be strict rules for the campers and 24/7 security at the site. There is a fence surrounding the property. Staff at the Church can share a copy of the encampment rules. We expect that Nickelsville will stay for one year. …

One tent was up.

Our last stop was the West Seattle site, where Nickelsville began five years ago (here’s our first report from September 22, 2008). The dismantling continued:

Yet more pallets, cinder blocks, and other material remained to be transported:

The camp recruited drivers to give rides to the new sites; after we left from the south (parking lot) entrance area, we drove back around the north side and noticed cars heading out. According to this Facebook post, they’re also looking for rides to get back to the West Marginal Way site tomorrow morning to keep working on the breakdown and moveout.

90 Comments

  1. Am I the only one who finds these locations, being right next to single family homes, to be completely inappropriate?

    Comment by sna — 12:40 pm September 1, 2013 #

  2. For god’s sake, where are they supposed to go? :facepalm:

    .

    Mike

    Comment by miws — 12:56 pm September 1, 2013 #

  3. Yes, you’re the only one. They’re still people for goodness sake.

    Comment by LBJane — 1:26 pm September 1, 2013 #

  4. sna- Yeah. You probably are. How dare people live in a residential area. :/

    Comment by Holly — 1:30 pm September 1, 2013 #

  5. Fwiw WSB, Teri of Furry Faces just told me SDOT reps on site told her that city is giving NV until Wednesday to be off the W. Marginal site.

    Comment by Westseattledood — 1:48 pm September 1, 2013 #

  6. well, you all know…”those people” should be hidden from society in general

    Comment by JanS — 1:54 pm September 1, 2013 #

  7. Two of the sites are NOT adjacent to single-family housing – Skyway and S. Jackson. Both are on busy commercial/multifamily housing-lined streets; Jackson has townhouses behind, Skyway has a couple apartment buildings behind. (Not only do I say this from having been to the new sites this morning, but also from doublechecking on King County Parcel Viewer.) The 22nd Avenue site has single-family homes to the west, a triplex next door to the north, the church itself to the south, a triplex and a house across the street (those residences are adjacent to commercial properties fronting busy 23rd). – TR

    Comment by WSB — 2:07 pm September 1, 2013 #

  8. They not be ideal locations. They need some place to relocate. Otherwise its the woods, under bridges, and streets. The challenge is to provide temporary housing for the homless that is safe for both residents. Tent cities help those when the shelters are full and keeps families and their pets together.

    Comment by John — 2:10 pm September 1, 2013 #

  9. I wonder if the people living in those houses and apartments got any notice of the impending arrival of their no doubt charming, quiet, non-violent and sober neighbors or if they are about to get one **** of a surprise when they look out their windows tomorrow? (Or when they find unique and charming people looking *into* their windows or perhaps “borrowing” a few household items.

    That residential lost looks tiny, how many people do they plan to settle in there? Any more than about 6 people and I’d say you have a problem already.

    Just for the record, does anyone know how often the police had to respond to the currently being disassembled encampment?

    I have an opinion as to the frequency but since it’s likely biased, I’d rather see real facts before expressing my opinion.

    Comment by Jim P. — 2:19 pm September 1, 2013 #

  10. Ya right to all that thier people stuff
    You only say that because they arent on your doorstep
    I live next to nicklesville since they first opened and our area for sure took a sharp decline
    First off you dont want to know some of the freaky noises coming outta my backyard bushes
    Second when your yard becomes a dump for there beer cans/used needles your attitude will do a sharp 360
    Third everytime i leave my house i am stared down at or yelled at for my change by crackheads
    Fourth things in your yard will start dissappearing, for exaple my garden hose, car wash bucket and random stuff outta my recycle can
    Fifth im gonna say the crack party and fighting/argument noises again always coming from the bushes at 3 and 4 am because some of the stuff we heard simply cannot be explained
    Sixth having people just laying in your yard when u go to work in the mourning
    These are just some of the main ways nicklesville effected highland park and surrounding area
    And i know not all of em are bad and maybe just do need a little help to get back on there feet
    I am however saying that there is serious baggage that follows that group and to not see it for exactly what it is is foolish
    U have kids?
    I wonder how you would feel with them moving in next door to your family…..

    Comment by Jeff — 2:20 pm September 1, 2013 #

  11. I dont think they were bothering anything where these tents were now it looks like they are putting some of this group right next to private homes, Id be so pissed if that was my home,
    Well said Jeff.

    Comment by Pauline Aldrich — 2:28 pm September 1, 2013 #

  12. I’d have the same reaction if these were camps of highly paid bankers. Tents of 40 people living in a 6,000 sq foot lot isn’t appropriate or fair to those that live close by. The city agrees, but a loophole in the law (leasing space to a church) is being exploited.
    .
    Where should they go? Find a nice big rural area with plenty of space. This might very well be out of the city limits since the city is densely populated.

    Comment by sna — 2:39 pm September 1, 2013 #

  13. sna, it takes a lot to leave me speechless — congratulations! your comments remind of when we warehoused people with disabilities so the good folks wouldn’t have to look at them.
    .
    so where is this huge plot of rural land — Monroe? I assume you want to condemn ‘these people’ to a life of homelessness as this rural land would likely not be served by public transportation. Therefore, no chance to integrate with society, no way to get to jobs, job interviews, medical appointments, etc. Great solution!

    Comment by metrognome — 3:15 pm September 1, 2013 #

  14. Jeff,
    If my attitude does a 360 I am going the same direction I started. Might I do a 180 instead?

    Comment by WestSide45 — 3:24 pm September 1, 2013 #

  15. did any of you read the previous story by WSB? It stated that they were informing the neighbors…no surprises here…

    Jim P….just for the record…how many times have the police responded to Highland Park neighborhood in the last 2 years? Any serious crime? Burglary? Shooting? Car prowl? Stolen cars? Assaults? But that’s OK because they’re not in a homeless camp?

    Comment by JanS — 3:37 pm September 1, 2013 #

  16. Where should they go? Find a nice big rural area with plenty of space. This might very well be out of the city limits since the city is densely populated.

    .

    Would you at least allow them to relocate to a rural area with decent, every day, full day bus service so they might access services such as grocery stores, laundromats, social service agencies, medical facilities, jobs, etc?

    .

    Mike

    Comment by miws — 4:13 pm September 1, 2013 #

  17. Jeff, that’s been a lot of my experience for the last 2+ years as well.

    .

    I have been ready for the encampment to be gone for quite a while now.

    .

    Nevertheless, I’m sure we will soon hear from somebody on this forum about how they doubt that any of this ever happened, and how we shouldn’t feel the way we do because of some reason or another.

    Comment by Johnny — 4:22 pm September 1, 2013 #

  18. why no camps at alki, admiral, leschi, madision park, magnolia?

    those single family homes which now have tent city right between your homes…..LOCK your cars, LOCK your doors, DO NOT leave anything of value outside, get a security system, get a large barking dog, fence your property, start packing heat and get ready for lots of late night 911 calls. and be prepared to have panhandlers at every intersection. be prepared for the ‘pregnant and homeless’ signs looking for handouts.

    Comment by joel — 4:30 pm September 1, 2013 #

  19. Jeff:

    Totally agree.

    Comment by Genesee Hill — 4:57 pm September 1, 2013 #

  20. Bravo, Jeff. You said it well. Yes, they are homeless, and they have been SQUATTING on public lands. If a private organization volunteers their land, that’s different.

    Comment by SLC — 5:11 pm September 1, 2013 #

  21. Hardly a “loophole” sna

    Federal legislation: The Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (RLUIPA) protects individuals and religious institutions, including churches, mosques, and synagogues, in their use of land and buildings for religious purposes. Congress passed the Act, in part, in response to widespread discrimination against religious institutions by governmental authorities which seek to restrict the activities of those institutions to help community residents in need on their private property. For a further explanation of RLUIPA, see http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/spl/documents/rluipa.php

    Comment by nwcitizen — 5:25 pm September 1, 2013 #

  22. Are there police reports of all these incidents, Jeff & Johnny?

    Comment by Joe — 5:47 pm September 1, 2013 #

  23. Nwcitizen — it’s absolutely a loophole for a third party to have a church sign a lease on property to simply avoid zoning restrictions.

    Comment by Sna — 6:13 pm September 1, 2013 #

  24. Jeff and all, the only difference between the people who stay at Nickelsville and those who stay in Tent City 3 and 4 is that Nickelsville allows families with children and pets. Tent City 3 and 4 have been cycling around Seattle and the Eastside for 10 years. There have been no VERIFIED (by the police) cases of crime committed by TC residents in that long time. If you think that the children and cats/dogs make Nickelsville more dangerous than TCs, then I guess you are welcome to your opinion, but don’t present it as a fact.

    Comment by Sally — 6:57 pm September 1, 2013 #

  25. I’ve read many comments on WSB complaining of more than one transient encampment in the Delridge corridor. I don’t have any evidence either way about the specific problems cited by comments in this thread, and such problems are troubling to be sure. As one of Nickelsville’s new neighbors, though, I welcome them because I am confident that in their self-government they will be successful to be good neighbors.

    Comment by Question Mark — 7:34 pm September 1, 2013 #

  26. We’ll be adding to the story shortly – just back from circling around to all sites again in the 6 pm hour. Regarding the site on Jackson, we met a representative of the Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church there, the church leasing the lot next to the LIHI building in the 2000 block of Jackson. They handed us a news release letter addressed “Dear Central Area Neighbors,” dated two days ago, which I haven’t seen quoted in coverage anywhere; it says they intend to “provide a place for the (Nickelsville) community to access supportive services and for us to provide shelter for approximately 35 men, women, and children from Nickelsville.” The news release also says “We expect that Nickelsville will stay for one year.” This site had an intake shack up at the entrance when we stopped by this evening. We also saw a Union Gospel Mission van at the two other sites; I’ll be checking with them next week during the wrapup of all this, to see what their role is post-move, and what’s left if anything of the $500K. – TR
    .
    And re: the comment about finding a large plot outside the city – the Skyway site is NOT in city limits; it’s in unincorporated King County. 17,000 square feet, adjacent to 32K SF vacant land under the same ownership. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 7:38 pm September 1, 2013 #

  27. Suicide is ILLEGAL, yet the message I seem to be hearing from some posters is in essence, is that “homeless” folks should not have the right to live. They have to live SOMEWHERE… We did away with “poor farms” years ago.

    Comment by Kevin — 9:31 pm September 1, 2013 #

  28. One thing I noticed is the homeless lovers can sure spew some hate even though you can tell most of them don’t even live in the vicinity. I am definitely glad to see this gone almost, now the trash left everywhere and everythingelse is left behind.
    Driving by this 5 days out of the week you slowly see this place get bigger, then you can tell the normal salvation army people that ask for donations have been chased away by whoevers day off the week it was to bother every person stopped at every lane of the intersection to ask for money. Then you see it get worse plus almost every corner has a person asking for change now and towards the end it looks like a party with 20+ cars parked in the front.
    You can hate all you want but I feel for the people in the surrounding and the stuff they seemed to have to put up with.. They didn’t ask for that and no one likes to be force fed anything.
    I’m glad I didn’t have to grow up next to a homeless camp and I don’t see why people would get angry at that as a concern.
    Yes I understand homelessness to a point but to blame hate on other people for not wanting to live next to the potential variable of any type of fear is lazy. Put a camp next to the capitol and you’ll see how fast they figure out housing.. Were gonna pay for it one way or another, if you wanna hate, hate the people that are allowing this to happen and not fixing it with a permanent solution. Don’t hate the people that are force fed this and now have to live next to the area chosen and hopefully not have the children witness strung out people asking for change and were not even downtown. Don’t get me started about Westwood either.

    Comment by Byson — 9:42 pm September 1, 2013 #

  29. The biggest problem I see is that there are fewer and fewer services offered to people who are so broken they can’t get back up again. Whether it be effective drug and alcohol counseling for indigents or better housing solutions for families who are down and out, I wish there were a more ideal “fix”. I pay my taxes and would gladly check a box for social services if it meant I could do a big fat un-check of the box that funnels my dollars into things like bombing other countries. Oh, and our neighborhood was plagued by a group of squatters who were using an abandoned house in Arbor Heights as a drug den/stolen items depot….I’d rather people be “hiding in plain sight” with at least a little oversight and a certain amount of decorum, than the squatters and woods campers who in my humble opinion, are a more dangerous lot than the majority of the Nicklesville folks.

    Comment by Westside Mama — 9:47 pm September 1, 2013 #

  30. Sally — in the ordinance to allocate the $500k, the city noted the following regarding criminal activity:
    .
    “WHEREAS, public health challenges at the site have included rat infestation, flooding, and public safety issues demonstrated by ninety-five 9-1-1 calls between February 2011 and May 2013 related to assault, harassment, domestic violence, theft, property destruction, disturbances, and arson, as well as numerous police investigations of criminal activity; ”
    .
    Also, it should be noted that ~50 or so residents were placed into housing. Of those where housing couldn’t be found “The biggest barrier to folks is past felonies” according to UGM. So, it would be logical to conclude that the 3 sites going forward will be populated with a denser criminal element than exists at the current Nickelsville site.

    Comment by sna — 9:51 pm September 1, 2013 #

  31. Jeff; there are NO HOMES/HOUSES anywhere n,s,e or west of Nicklesville, one has to go waaay up Highland Park hill for nearest residence. Any noise or garbage was from separate people(maybe kicked out ones?) was not from the camp. Not one house nearby down there.

    Comment by 4th of Eight — 9:53 pm September 1, 2013 #

  32. One of the sites is across the street, and down a few feet, from Washington Middle school. Just saying.

    Comment by dmtippy — 10:06 pm September 1, 2013 #

  33. Sna, the ordinance refers to issues of public safety for the residents of Nickelsville, caused by those not part of the encampment.

    “WHEREAS, the City Council is concerned about the health and safety issues that exist at the encampment located at 7116 West Marginal Way SW and believes that the health and safety OF CAMPERS[emphasis mine] is at risk…”

    Comment by Sally — 10:19 pm September 1, 2013 #

  34. Wow, Byson, the only “hate” I’ve seen, is that continually directed, in these comment threads, to the folks at NV, and the Homeless in general, by those that call them “lazy bums”, and such.

    .

    For chrissake, some people are never satisfied. The people that continually make those derogatory comments did so the entire time NV was at the bottom of Boeing Hill, and now that the Camp is moving, the derogatory crap is still being spewed, along with speculation about what’s going to happen at the new locations. .

    .

    It’s like Kevin said; that they don’t think the Homeless should be allowed to live.

    .

    Mike

    Comment by miws — 10:24 pm September 1, 2013 #

  35. Yes, dmtippy, we know. Thank you.

    .

    That’s been pointed out in every comment thread on every NV article since the locations were announced.

    .

    And thank you for for confirming what I pointed out in paragraph two of my above comment.

    .

    Mike

    Comment by miws — 10:27 pm September 1, 2013 #

  36. I’m sure everyone is going to be proved wrong. Give it a year. The new neighbors will lift Nicklesville on their shoulders and praise their arrival. The new neighbors will celebrate the countless hours of volunteer work NVers donated to their surrounding areas. They will exault at their kindness, cleanliness and selflessness. I’m sure songs of praise will be sung because it will be different from when they were in nort Seattle and it will be different than W Marginal.
    We’ll be begging for them to move back. You’ll see…

    Comment by j — 10:27 pm September 1, 2013 #

  37. The police calls were 3 pages for the last few years and many calls are alarming

    Comment by sportsmama — 10:28 pm September 1, 2013 #

  38. 64 calls to police with in the last two years of nicklesville being open.
    assaults
    a car bombing
    Theft
    domestic violence
    missing child
    stealing power from power boxes on side of road.
    Don’t you people not know what happens in our neighborhood, read the blog, listen to your police scanner to hear what really happens.
    More and more on side of road with signs need money. Why get a job. Stand on one of the four corners leave my trash behind.
    The park across the street being worked on by the community being trashed with needles beer cans and others items not mentioned. Im not sad to see them go.

    Comment by O — 10:46 pm September 1, 2013 #

  39. I can empathize with the people who are complaining about the fights, trash, and bizarre noises coming from Nickelsville. I experience the same thing every weekday afternoon, 9 months out of the year living within blocks of a West Seattle school. I pick up the discarded trash and papers, replace the trampled shrubs and flowers along the sidewalk and dash to the window to make sure the louder than usual screaming kid isn’t actually being murdered by the bigger kid. Although my taxes pay for the school and I have no children, I realize that badly behaved adolescents have to go to school somewhere, and it’s never crossed my mind to demand that the school be moved elsewhere.

    Comment by Ajax — 11:23 pm September 1, 2013 #

  40. I’d direct complaints about the 20th and Jackson encampment here: housinginfo@lihi.org. Its too bad our neighborhood has two of the three camps, and right when things were beginning to look better with new stores, cafes, etc. Living on Pratt Park has always been difficult at times but this will probably keep us away for good.

    Comment by abk — 11:24 pm September 1, 2013 #

  41. Funny how one notices the same faces among the homeless that one noticed 15 years earlier. If you haven’t liver here long enough, or volunteered at a charity that interacts with the homeless, I can assure you that it’s true, and true for a reason. Battered women and the mentally ill are one topic, these folks are another. Our pity and patience are cruel in their effect. Tough love teaches self reliance, which in turn brings that elesive wealth of which 95% of tent city residents suffer a serious deficit: self respect. The Union Gospel Mission enables and perpetuates misery

    Comment by Matt — 11:25 pm September 1, 2013 #

  42. Ajax…I was going to ask if you live near WSHS. I see that happening all school year as the students go to lunch at the various grocery stores, fast food places. They are uncaring…throw the trash on the ground, the shrubs along 42nd SW…that’s the world we live in…no one is teaching them, or reprimanding them. So, yes…it’s not just our homeless population…

    Comment by JanS — 1:14 am September 2, 2013 #

  43. “Jim P….just for the record…how many times have the police responded to Highland Park neighborhood in the last 2 years? ”

    Good question especially as many of us are concerned that this encampment likely has a *far* higher ratio of emergency police calls compared to an equivalent number of people who are residing in places they pay for.

    And we have a partial answer: “WHEREAS, public health challenges at the site have included rat infestation, flooding, and public safety issues demonstrated by ninety-five 9-1-1 calls between February 2011 and May 2013 related to assault, harassment, domestic violence, theft, property destruction, disturbances, and arson, as well as numerous police investigations of criminal activity; ”

    Now we need someone who knows this stuff to compare it to the norm for a similar sized group of non-homeless and maybe the average citywide for a general comparison of homeless habits vs. the taxpaying, self-supporting population

    Facts, not wishful thinking or fuzzy emotions, are what I am after here. You can win more of us to this cause by convincing us these actually *are* good people and decent neighbors rather than the high risk, high crime, high maintenance these groups appear to be.

    Also, I’d be very curious as to what percentage of them are actually using their copious spare time to job hunt or to pursue any sort of educational/training opportunities and how many of them are simply professional homeless with their carefully marked out spot downtown, a full array of signage and appearances as panhandlers stretching back lo these many years. (I do know I have seen several people in the exact same spot near the Ferry Terminal downtown as long as I have been living here.)

    Many of us think charity is fine but we do expect the recipient to get off their b*** and actually be trying to get off said charity and onto their own resources rather than living long-term on the kindness of strangers and the forced contributions of taxpayers.

    Comment by Jim P. — 1:23 am September 2, 2013 #

  44. Mr McGinn our bicycle bus pro union Mayor maybe it is time you owned this not our retired Mayor Nickels who did a whole lot more for our city than screwing up our traffic and trying to make single lanes into bike and car free for all’s. We need a Mayor who has a brain and a management forte to deal with the good people of Nickelsville and the bad plus structure our city. Our city planning is out of control they are building apartments in lots never intended for. The new laws allow construction of 60 unit buildings without a single parking space thinking oh maybe they will take an over populated bus of bike the gauntlet of a 50/50 chance of life or death. Seattle’s fore fathers did not set up for mass transit as other large cities did. I think riding a bike is great but our roads are not set up for it as are the new changes of streets to allow the horrific red bus situation. Thank you Mayor McGrimm. I wouldn’t want to take over the mess you built… but thank God it is an election year and maybe the other guy has a brain and a passion for his job and will start really planning instead of wasting our money on stupidity and bureaucracy.

    Comment by Gman206 — 2:08 am September 2, 2013 #

  45. Several of the residents have Children. And with school starting tomorrow I can’t help but think what worst timing could this be? City Council needs to think of the ratification of there actions!!

    Comment by Brett — 4:50 am September 2, 2013 #

  46. in the first place.. these folks are what becomes of battered women, the mentally ill, child abuse, lack of educational opportunities, etc.. in our society.

    it’s all well and good to expect them to be out hunting for housing and work, but tell me exactly how you expect them to be successful if the process of becoming homeless included criminal activity or financial failure or disability or …

    Comment by JoB — 7:46 am September 2, 2013 #

  47. Gman..
    what exactly did you expect this mayor to do?
    throw all of the bums in jail so you didn’t have to acknowledge their existence?

    then you can blame them for not being able to find jobs or housing with a criminal history…

    while that might work for you it will do nothing to solve the problem…

    too many people.. to few jobs.

    Comment by JoB — 7:49 am September 2, 2013 #

  48. Look, we all now know where the camps are now located for awhile. For all those new neighbors who are 1) convinced nothing good will come of the encampments, and 2) aren’t sure, may I suggest a simple course of action: go and meet the people of Nickelsville.

    Who of your other neighbors have you ever had veto power over? Seriously, who actually has the power to choose their neighbors? Who in the world is completely self-made? Somehow, in the midst of our American myth of self sufficiency, are we losing the essential lesson of the importance of, and what it means to be in community?

    Comment by Question Mark — 8:06 am September 2, 2013 #

  49. Informing the residents…. not exactly. I live just down the street from the Good Shepard Church and “informing” me consisted of having someone silently hand me a flyer the day before the move in…. I heard about the whole debacle on the CD News web site first.

    As a neighbor of this, I can’t say I am particularly pleased. I highly doubt that the camp can live up to its own published code of conduct and suspect that we will see the behaviors that Jeff, a neighbor of the camp that was recently vacated speaks about. I fully expect that we’ll see an upswing in noise, property crimes and police calls.

    Comment by Cd Resident — 8:25 am September 2, 2013 #

  50. OMG!!!!1111

    .

    Look what a no good lazy bum leech on society Homeless guy did!!!

    http://sfbay.ca/2013/09/01/homeless-man-rescues-cop-during-attack/

    .

    While other people just stood around and watched…..

    .

    Mike

    Comment by miws — 8:46 am September 2, 2013 #

  51. unemployment went from over 9% to just around 5% – considered full employment.

    yet the population of Nicksville shot up.

    with more jobs out there wouldn’t the population decrease in a similar ratio that unemployment went down?

    the soon to be EX mayor…..he allowed illegal use of land for over 2 years while you had a viable business clearly expressing an interest in purchasing the land and building a large wharehouse which would have likely employed many of the same homeless people living in Nicksville.

    the city claims to be broke yet this business would have created revenue in fees/permits, construction labor and materials, taxes and jobs.

    illegal use of land over a viable business? that makes a lot of sense….

    Comment by joel — 9:43 am September 2, 2013 #

  52. Wow!!!
    Reading these posts I get the distinct impression that there are those that truly BELIEVE that the “Homeless” are ALL made up of the mentally ill, substance abusers and victims of domestic violence.
    True, they do make up a PORTION of that population and ALL effort should be made to offer them the assistance they need.
    BUT studies have shown that there is a significant portion, 40-60%, of the “Homeless” that have CHOOSEN to live that way, they have been called the “Professional Homeless”. They truly BELIEVE that they have a right to live that way and it is up to society to provide them with the means to live that way. There is a significant portion of them at NV.
    So to all of the “Homeless” activists out there, I have a serious question for you:
    Am I considered a heartless bastard because I want to see the funds spent on the mentally ill, the substance abusers who are READY to shuck their dependence of dugs and/or alcohol, the victims of domestic violence and those that are in this state because they lost their jobs and are trying to dig out of the hole they find themselves, while not spending ONE RED CENT of those that CHOOSE to live this way???
    The issue ISN’T that people don’t care about the homeless. It’s that people are tired of seeing money spent on those, that ARE of sound mind, that have CHOOSEN to live that way.
    The mentally ill issue is the most complicated because the Supreme Court upheld the decision of lower courts in the suit brought by the ACLU on the behalf of mentally ill, pedophiles and sex offenders that were involuntarily committed or kept beyond their sentences in the late 80′s. NO ONE can be held against their will (involuntarily committed) if they don’t want to be. The MOST they can held is 48 hours.
    I would be more supportive of homeless agencies and advocates if they made the distinction between those that choose to live that way and others.
    You can throw all the money you want to at this issue, but YOU WILL NEVER SOLVE IT. It is a WASTE of time and money to think that you will solve it until those that choose this lifestyle, again 40-60%, decide that they no longer want to live that way. Until THAT happens, you will ALWAYS have homelessness.
    So I say spend the money where it will do the most good – on those that WANT to end their homelessness – and that ISN’T everybody, like some of you seem to think!!!

    Comment by Ex-Westwood Resident — 9:49 am September 2, 2013 #

  53. The legacy that the illegal encampment leaves behind in WS/HP is not a positive one.

    .

    For all that the community did for them, did the illegal encampment ever give back to the community?

    .

    I refuse to call the illegal encampment by their chosen moniker, because any city that allocates 30 million dollars is doing more than enough, it wasn’t that mayor’s fault nor the current mayor’s fault. By raising taxes on working class folks to support those who choose to live the homeless lifestyle, you drag even more folks to the brink of homelessness.

    .

    Any chance of me being sympathetic to the plight of those living at the illegal encampment diminished by each post by two of their biggest apologists, one who will resort to occasional name calling for those who do not share his feelings. As a free society we should be able to have our own opinions and share them without being insulted.

    .

    The illegal encampment will be relocated, but it’s legacy will remain. Shame on Scott Morrow.

    Comment by West Seattle Hipster — 9:53 am September 2, 2013 #

  54. CdResident. Have you ever seen the NV site on West marginal? Jeff is not an immediate neighbor. There are no houses surrounding the site. It’s industrial. Yet, up the hill, the people who live in Highland Park are making it seem that there is crime in their neighborhood simply because NV exists. There is no other reason, it seems he is saying.

    Before anyone has a preconceived notion about this, I say give them a chance. If things do escalate more than what is going on in your neighborhood now, then go complain. But don’t lump all the 35 people moving in as criminals, drug addicts, “bums”, etc, before they are even there.

    Comment by JanS — 10:06 am September 2, 2013 #

  55. Ex-Westwood resident

    this notion that anyone who advocates for homeless people sees them all as “the mentally ill, substance abusers and victims of domestic violence.” is another one of those myths..
    .
    the myth is that “if you really knew” what “those” people really are.. you would think differently.
    .
    After spending a couple of years working one on one with a wide variety of homeless people, i beg to differ. i do know exactly who i am dealing with.
    .
    and i can speak for most of the volunteers when i say, we are not all deluded naive do gooders.
    .
    i also know that the label professionally homeless is misleading. Most of Nickelsville’s population will be labeled professionally homeless because they chose not to take UGMs only offer.. segregated shelter beds.
    .
    they are labeled professionally homeless because they want to stay with their partners, or keep their pets or keep their possessions… or simply because they have criminal histories that disqualify them for the programs UGM offers.
    .
    labeling them professionally homeless doesn’t change the lack of effective programs to rehabilitate them into society
    .
    Were there drug dealers and hard core addicts and real bums who lived at Nickelsville? Yes, there were.
    .
    Did i report them to our local police? Yes, i did.
    .
    Were they the people labeled drug dealers and driven out of camp? NO, they weren’t.
    .
    Are there drug dealers and hard core addicts and real bums who will move with nickelsville to one of the new camps? yes, they will.
    .
    What appears to be different is a commitment by at least one of the church’s sponsoring this move to connect residents with services… something that was not only lacking but discouraged at Nickeslville.
    .
    We can also hope that financial accountability becomes more important to those who sponsor these camps..
    .
    If you really want to help those who want and need your help to move on, be a voice for making places like nickelsville live up to their own codes…
    .
    you can’t move on when you are continually being moved out.

    Comment by JoB — 10:28 am September 2, 2013 #

  56. West Seattle Hipster…

    you have a perfect right to express your opinion.
    just as i have a perfect right to refute it.

    What i find ironic is that you complain about not being able to express your opinion because someone calls you out for name calling and unsubstantiated allegations…

    while showing just about as much disrespect as is possible for anyone who holds an opinion that doesn’t agree with yours.
    obviously, that is not working for you

    Comment by JoB — 10:33 am September 2, 2013 #

  57. Last night I saw two different people heading to the green belt rolling carts heaping full of belongings. This is what I had hoped would not happen.

    Comment by Cclarue — 11:40 am September 2, 2013 #

  58. Like so many problems that confront us, this is not a black and white, either/or issue. These people deserve our sympathy, our empathy, our understanding. Not all will play by the rules but this is true of all facets of society from athletes and business people to bankers and, yes, even charity organizations. Many are in a transitional point in their lives and many choose vagrancy but I would argue that even a person who chooses vagrancy as a lifestyle does so not out of sheer laziness but from deep seated emotional issues either related to untreated substance abuse or mental problems. I am a resident of Highland park and have not enjoyed seeing people abuse the kindness of others but have conversely been proud to know that we, as a neighborhood, have done our best to accommodate the camp and help provide services and goods for those in need. It’s not a pleasant feeling to know that there are a small handful of potentially dangerous people roaming your neighborhood daily. My point is that there are no easy answers. The only answer that makes sense is that we all shoulder the responsibility equally. Many of those here who castigate others for having had their fill of the craziness that surrounds a situation like the one in Nicklesville will be the first to fight tooth and nail against their neighborhood being the next location. These folks DO need help. Practice what you preach.

    Comment by anon — 11:46 am September 2, 2013 #

  59. Late last night, a loud old pickup truck backed up to the greenbelt near my house. Worried that they were going to dump a load, I went out and made my presence known. They then started the truck and roared past me, a little too fast and too close. The load looked more like somebody moving, than a dump. This is up the hill from Nickelsville. Cclarue mentioned carts rolling to the greenbelt. I hope that the few encampments already there aren’t turning into the new Nickelsville for those not included in the move.

    Comment by Alan — 1:14 pm September 2, 2013 #

  60. Cclarue and Alan, can you please email me at hpacchair at gmail dot com with more specifics about location? Thank you

    Comment by cs in hp — 1:42 pm September 2, 2013 #

  61. WS Hipster…you said “As a free society we should be able to have our own opinions and share them without being insulted.”. That goes for yourself, too…please remember that…it’s not just for those who disagree with you.

    So, I gather the consensus in HP is…no more support, no more money for “those people”…so where should they go? None of this “run them out of town on a rail” stuff. I assume that you all have ideas about this…right? I understand the complaints…what are the remedies?

    Comment by JanS — 3:27 pm September 2, 2013 #

  62. Get used to it. This is the new “normal.” People who can’t get jobs that pay wages that allow them to live end up in places like the one known as “nickelsville.” If they commit crimes, we need to have the police enforce the law. But if they live in peace, we need to either change the system that allows thousands and thousands of neighbors to have to live this way, or we get used to the new “normal.” No way the system’s changing. The rich love their money and have little true concern to change a system that gave them wealth and gave “nickelsville” inhabitants misery. I bet the folks living in “nickelsville” would like the system changed. As a 99%-er getting closer and closer to that edge, I’m OK with making rich people a little uncomfortable, or even a whole lot worse. This system enslaves.

    Comment by black — 4:19 pm September 2, 2013 #

  63. Joanne and Jan, please cite specific examples of where I have insulted people. If you are unable to do so, you lack credibility.

    .

    I am merely stating my opinion that the few supporters of the illegal encampment that post on WSB refuse to tolerate other opinions they disagree with.

    .

    If you want others to see your side, being judgmental and belittling will not sway opinion.

    Comment by West Seattle Hipster — 4:30 pm September 2, 2013 #

  64. sounds like the new neighbors were most certainly not informed nor remotely consulted/considered in this move. nice.

    Comment by flimflam — 4:47 pm September 2, 2013 #

  65. West Seattle Hipster, here is a specific examples:
    .
    In your post of 4:30 pm you imply that certain people are “being judgmental and belittling,” and that they “refuse to tolerate other opinions”.
    .
    Do you truly not see that others will perceive that as an insult?

    Comment by Community Member — 5:01 pm September 2, 2013 #

  66. Well, folks, gonna sign off from reading this thread, as this is now Skyway/CD issue/problem now, and pertains not specifically to WS. I will continue to keep my eyes open, though, and report ne’er do wells when I see them

    Comment by Steve f — 5:11 pm September 2, 2013 #

  67. Community Member, you will have to do better than that. How are my statements insulting?

    wow……

    Comment by West Seattle Hipster — 5:14 pm September 2, 2013 #

  68. I know this is an emotional issue, but I think its ridiculous to say that nobody is entitled to have a critical attitude about the appearance of a homeless camp in their neighborhood unless they are capable of offering a solution to the problem of homelessness in our city. It does impact the people living around one of these camps and their feelings and quality of life are not irrelevant, even if their situation is ‘better’ than that of a homeless person. Just shouting down any negative comment with a torrent of ‘you’re an awful person’ abuse and hyperbole is getting tiresome and offensive and prevents an honest discussion from ever getting started.

    I am curious to hear from some of the people who got these letters that live around the new encampments. If they’re supportive, then that’s great. If they aren’t, one thing that is different here is that the churches that are leasing this land and providing the umbrella for this to take place. I would assume, that because of that, if it unfolds that the neighbors are not supportive and can establish that they have been damaged in some way by the appearance of one of these camps (like, say, the apartment complex mentioned above losing tenants), they at least have a target to pursue legally for remedy or restitution. That seems at least a step up from the two years of limbo that some of the people near Nicklesville had to endure if it does turn out to be a negative for the neighborhood. (Cue angry rants at the mere mention of this in 3… 2… )

    Comment by Queenie — 5:15 pm September 2, 2013 #

  69. cs in hp,

    is there somewhere we can call ourselves when we see greenbelt campers? No real reason to write you first is there? If we drive by a spot a telephone call right there is better than maybe writing more likely forgetting.

    There are lots pulling bags of stuff around. Somebody shiuld tell the college the chain link fence is now broken down – looks like somebody rammed it with a truck – maube not, but point is direct route from greenbelt to college property out of sight of security.

    Comment by Redacted in HP — 6:13 pm September 2, 2013 #

  70. I don’t believe I have insulted, belittled, shouted down, anyone. I have been told that I do that, and that I lack credibility. I have an opinion, no less valid that WS Hipsters, or anyone else’s on here. I have never said anyone is an “awful person”. I simply do not agree with some of the attitudes of naysayers. Last I heard, it’s OK to do that without being called out on it.

    And, lo and behold..in a news story I just read, an apt. manager in the CD said that he saw one of the NV homeless sitting in a chair outside his tent, drinking something from a “brown bottle”. Of course, he had no idea what was in the bottle, could have been rootbeer, water, anything. But…oh, my g-d, it sure did look suspicious…and implied that there is already drinking there on the first day. And that’s what will follow all these people..even if they’re better educated than those in the houses and just down on their luck. How very sad.

    The good news is that the campers there are much closer to services, amenities, etc., and smaller camps may be more manageable..closer to transportation, too. And maybe with a little support some of the campers can get on their feet again. We have a prime example here in West Seattle, with our own poster, MIWS…a former resident of NV…

    Comment by JanS — 6:21 pm September 2, 2013 #

  71. Sorry, I must chime in about the idea of all opinions being equally valid. They are not.

    The knowledge behind an opinion is what defines its validity. I see far more emotionally driven opinions in this thread than fact based.

    Comment by Opinions — 7:19 pm September 2, 2013 #

  72. Just out of curiosity, are there any stats floating around that show how many campers were able to “get on their feet again” out of Nicklesville over the time it was there on Marginal?

    Comment by XXX — 7:36 pm September 2, 2013 #

  73. Yes, Redacted in HP- please call the City’s Customer Service Bureau at 684-2489 with specific locations of encampments in the greenbelt.

    Comment by cs in hp — 7:45 pm September 2, 2013 #

  74. west seattle hipster..
    if you never alluded to the residents of the homeless encampment as losers or bums or low lifes or ______ i sincerely apologize for a accusing you of name calling…

    though i do think you owe someone an apology for calling him the biggest Nickeslville apologist..
    i am pretty sure ex-resident would be a more accurate description.

    there is one thing we agree on
    Scott Morrow should be ashamed of himself
    tho is suspect we would come up with very different reasons

    Comment by JoB — 8:42 pm September 2, 2013 #

  75. Queenie..

    “they at least have a target to pursue legally for remedy or restitution.”

    not if the camp is hosted legally by a religious organization.

    Comment by JoB — 8:44 pm September 2, 2013 #

  76. xxx
    there are no stats on people who move out into housing because none were kept.
    i wish they had been. i would love to refer to them.
    .
    i can tell you that some people not only made it but have managed to stay housed.
    .
    I know this because i have kept in contact with them.
    .
    i suspect there are a lot more than i know about because some people choose to disassociate themselves from everything and everyone in their homeless life once they get out..
    including the nice people who helped them.
    .
    i understand… but i would like to know how they are.

    Comment by JoB — 8:48 pm September 2, 2013 #

  77. JanS, if you think you never do any of those things, then we will have to agree to disagree.

    JoB, how so? So far as I am aware, being a religious or non-profit entity does not offer any inherent protection from civil action. If someone could show that the actions of such an entity have tangibly damaged them, I don’t see why they wouldn’t have a legal recourse.

    Comment by Queenie — 9:40 pm September 2, 2013 #

  78. To clarify a possible mistaken impression, only two of the three new Nickelsville camp sites are sponsored by churches, the two in the City of Seattle. The third, in Skyway, is a site whose owner has allowed Nickelsville to stay at before. In fact, that stay by Nickelsville was the last authorized use of the site by anyone from what I am aware. The difference which allows a non-church-sponsored tent city in Skyway is that King County has not enacted the same restrictions on the locations of tent cities that Seattle has.

    As the largest of the three sites, the Skyway site will probably eventually have the largest resident population.

    Comment by Question Mark — 9:59 pm September 2, 2013 #

  79. JoB, why would being a religious organization negate someone’s ability to pursue legal remedy if they could demonstrate that they’d been damaged? So far as I’m aware, being a church doesn’t preclude you from being sued.

    Comment by Queenie — 11:20 pm September 2, 2013 #

  80. As a resident within two blocks of the proposed site at 22nd and Union, my only concern is that the settlement is appropriately regulated. There has been a lot of residential development in the neighborhood over the past decade, and the only way to have any sense of comfort with development in any neighborhood is through due process with the Department of Planning and Development, the Fire Department, and other associated departments. Without approval from these departments, I would not feel comfortable with any proposed project. Of course, post occupancy monitoring and evaluation is necessary, as this is a unique land use scenario that is still in its infancy. By going through the proper channels, specifically The Fire Dept and DPD, issues such as density, setbacks, context, fire safety, noise, garbage, public comment and notification, etc can be appropriately evaluated. Due process and diligence are necessary for all residents to feel comfortable, including the settlement itself. The 24 hour informal flyer in the mailbox, well, it feels disrespectful, if not unethical or secretive, at the very least unprofessional. I expect the city to step in and conduct the appropriate process for the safety and respect of all residents in the neighborhood.

    Comment by Zach — 11:56 pm September 2, 2013 #

  81. We live near the recently cleared Nicklesville site. I’m glad they moved on, and glad they found new sites to move to. Living near them has always been a mixed bag. While I support them, and recognize that this city and this country desperately need better solutions for the poor, the mentally ill, the addicted, and those who’ve lost housing through financial emergencies, I also got really tired of all the homeless who decided to move into the nearby West Duwamish green belt. Shifting the encampments from time to time minimizes the “halo effect” of homeless people drawn to the area around the encampments. Best of luck to the encampments AND their neighbors. May they get along peacefully and well.

    Comment by Amy Thomson — 5:22 am September 3, 2013 #

  82. I had the pleasure of meeting Ernestine Anderson, working with her, and hearing her sing.
    .
    What an amazing, kind, wonderful woman she was and is. Her spirit and energy will go a long way in supporting those in need.
    .
    In smaller groups, perhaps those truly wanting a hand up can more easily be identified and helped. And the predators and parasites who follow them can be more easily identified as well.

    Comment by JoAnne — 8:12 am September 3, 2013 #

  83. JoB..

    perhaps i put that badly
    yes, a religious entity can be sued.. for actual individual transgressions of the law that cause actual individual incidents of harm.

    most church’s carry a special insurance policy for that.

    but they can’t be sued for hosting a homeless encampment

    Comment by JoB — 11:18 am September 3, 2013 #

  84. ok.. talking to myself
    a sure indication that i need to keep taking my meds and go back to bed… i meant to address queenie… :(
    .
    but i do want to say one more thing before i blink out here…
    .
    past mistakes do not make people present criminals..
    .
    a bad credit history or a criminal history might be enough to prevent you from getting housing..
    but they are not certain indicators that you are a criminal.
    .
    isn’t it time we stopped referring to people who have not even been even of actual crimes as criminals?

    Comment by JoB — 12:31 pm September 3, 2013 #

  85. I agree with JoB and Jans. I live just up the hill from that camp. Tried to bring them things that would help, as much or little as I could. They didn’t bring down the property prices; foreclosures did. Check with your real state person and see. I never thought of WS as the place that has rich, snooty people but I guess I am wrong. I am so sick of you people that have no ounce of humanity. They are not all doggies and lazy people. There are families and people with pets that don’t want to be separated which is what would happen in a shelter.

    Comment by steph in ws — 12:55 pm September 3, 2013 #

  86. I for one am glad that the “Encampment” is gone. Its Skyways and the Central Districts problem now for sure. However West Seattle is left with the clean up. Not only is the place left with all the garbage and stuff the people who lived there left we also have the surrounding hill sides that have become a secondary campground to those who left or were kicked out. More have moved into the hillsides along with the fenced off areas around it since the eviction. Yes they are still “cleaning up” but on my last drive-by there still was a lot to clean up and many standing around playing guitar and smoking. I don’t see them cleaning it all up.

    Long I have waited to ride the bus and not have to smell the sour aroma of rotting cardboard and campfire with weed cologne. Now we won’t have to listen and wait for some of the residences getting on the bus and stall for change or just ignore paying all together. Hopefully the beggars on the corners go too. While I am down with giving a helping hand, how long do we give helping hands to those that don’t want to better themselves. It wears on you listing to them on the bus complaining about this and that yet they had money for marijuana.

    As for the new location and the people who live around it, the proponents of the encampment say things will be fine. They will not be. To find out what will happen just come to West Seattle and look at what’s left behind. Be prepared for campfires night and day and the smoke that comes from burning wood and garbage. If you ride the bus be prepared for the smell of those that get on. Expect the bus to be delayed cause of those that “look for change” as they get on knowing that they have none. Get ready for more begging for money at the intersections. Be prepared to have little things go missing from around your house along with the spike in shoplifting from local stores. It’s supposed to be a tent city yet wood structures will be built. Since we were lucky and it was set up a few hundred yards from homes it didn’t lower values. But from what I see on the news its now smack in between homes. Watch your value drop next week. Don’t believe me ask your realtor. Really think someone wants to buy a home next to a tent city to raise their kids? Be ready for more cars parked next to your homes that your used to.

    Comment by highlander — 8:45 pm September 3, 2013 #

  87. Highlander, don’t know what “news” you refer to but that’s what we cover here and we went to all three encampment sites twice each on Sunday. No, as discussed upthread, they’re not “smack inbetween homes.” The 22nd Ave. site has a couple houses behind it, otherwise multifamily, church, busy business boulevard less than a block east. The other two front on very busy commercial/mega-arterial streets, with pretty much nothing adjacent to the Skyway site (it was very hard to park), a couple apartment buildings nearby; the Jackson site has a complex next door for low-income/formerly homeless seniors, multifamily housing to the north, and is also on a very busy commercial/arterial site. Of course, no homes were directly adjacent to the West Seattle site either, but that didn’t mean no impacts. But just to straighten out some facts. Also, the stated cleanup continues tomorrow. We will be going back toward day’s end to see what it looks like, and then to see if the city indeed fences it off on Thursday, so it’s too soon to say what condition the site was “left” in … TR

    Comment by WSB — 9:23 pm September 3, 2013 #

  88. The rats are audibly scurrying now that people are gone. I heard them last evening when I was down there after dusk. Will not be going down there in open-toed sandles again – big yuck.

    Comment by westseattledood — 11:35 pm September 3, 2013 #

  89. dood..
    i bought boots long ago for my trips to Nickelsville ;->
    let me know if you need to borrow them:)

    Comment by JoB — 8:16 am September 4, 2013 #

  90. So much for good neighbors… they’ve only been here a few days and today there were people trespassing in my neighbor’s yard and letting their unleashed dogs (including a very large rotweiler) run around all over the place….

    Comment by Cd Resident — 6:35 pm September 5, 2013 #

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