Myers Way Parcels 68 results

FOLLOWUP: Highland Park Action Committee, North Highline Unincorporated Area Council voice disappointment at Camp Second Chance extension

We published the city Human Services Department‘s announcement of another year for Camp Second Chance shortly after receiving it on Thursday afternoon. Since then, the two community councils closest to the sanctioned encampment – the Highland Park Action Committee and North Highline Unincorporated Area Council – have sent HSD interim director Jason Johnson this expression of disappointment:

The neighborhoods of Highland Park and the various neighborhoods comprising the unincorporated urban area of North Highline are extremely disappointed to hear that the City of Seattle has extended the permit for Camp Second Chance for an additional 12 months at the Myers Way Parcels (Fiscal and Administrative Services PMA #4539-4542). With this extension, the camp will have effectively been present at the current site for 2 years and 8 months, easily exceeding the allowed 2 year stay duration for encampments as outlined in Seattle Municipal Code Section 23.42.056, subsection E.1.

Camp Second Chance established itself on the Myers Way Parcels on July 23, 2016 (“Myers Way Parcels,” 2016), 10 days after former mayor Edward B. Murray declared that the property would be retained by the City of Seattle for the purposes of expanding the Joint Training Facility and for expanding recreational space (“Mayor Murray announces,” 2016). Polly Trout of Patacara Community Services—the organization which would become the sponsor for the camp—is reported to have used bolt cutters to break the lock on the fence that had been securing the property (Archibald, 2017a), thereby allowing the group of campers, who had defected from SHARE Tent City 3 earlier that year (Archibald, 2017b), to trespass and establish their new camp. The status of the camp remained in limbo for some time thereafter.

In a post on her blog concerning a possible eviction of the camp, Seattle City Council member Lisa Herbold (2016), who represents the district in which the camp is located, relayed that she had “urged the Executive [branch of city government] not only to have its work guided by established public health and safety prioritization criteria, but…asked whether outreach workers have the ability to ask for more time if – in their estimation – more time would help get campers access to services.” Seattle City Council member Sally Bagshaw and King County Council member Jean Kohl-Welles, who are not representatives of the area where the camp is located, had requested from Mayor Murray that the camp not be immediately evicted (Jaywork, 2016). Within 5 months of the camp’s establishment on the Myers Way property, the Murray administration proceeded to officially sanction the encampment (“West Seattle Encampment,” 2016), thereby delaying the community’s request to have the Myers Way Parcels relinquished to the Parks and Recreation department for future development of the site in accordance with community wishes.

I want to make clear that the communities surrounding the encampment are not strangers to disadvantage. Our neighborhoods have suffered from a lack of investment going back at least a century, and from redlining in the 1930s. The lasting effects of this lack of investment in our neighborhoods are palpable to this day!

Data from the American Community Survey (5-year Series, 2009-2013) show that Highland Park (Census Tract 113) has a lower median income ($53,182) and a higher proportion of residents who identify as a race or ethnicity other than White (49.8%) than Seattle as a whole ($65,277 and 29.4%, respectively). The King County census tract immediately to the South of Highland Park, which encompasses the land area where the Myers Way Parcels are located, shows even starker demographic departures from Seattle.

Census Tract 265 overlays the southeastern-most portion of Highland Park in the City of Seattle, as well as a portion of White Center, which is part of the North Highline unincorporated urban area. There, the proportion of residents who identify as a race or ethnicity other than White increases to 60.1%, while the Median Household Income drops to $35,857.

Like most Seattleites, residents of our neighborhoods are compassionate and wish to address the homelessness crisis with empathy. However, in as much as the City claims to promote equity, we ask that neighborhoods like ours not continue to be overwhelmed with the responsibility of shouldering the burden of the City’s homelessness policies while wealthier, less diverse neighborhoods remain largely unscathed.

Over the past decade, Highland Park has hosted three encampments and served as a staging area for a proposed safe lot for individuals residing in recreational vehicles. This burden has impacted not only our neighborhood, but the neighborhoods immediately south of us along the city limit. No other neighborhood in Seattle has willingly or unwillingly taken on as much and to the same extent!

Given this history, the Highland Park Action Committee (HPAC) has sought resolution from the Human Services Department on a number of items, including

1) The adoption of a set of best practices (manifested as our “Neighborhood Protocols for Sanctioned Encampments” which have been provided to the department on many past occasions and are again enclosed below) by which the City of Seattle will abide prior to sanctioning an encampment in any given neighborhood.

2) That the Finance and Administrative Services Department accelerate the relinquishment of the Myers Way Parcels to the Department of Parks and Recreation.

3) A plan resolving jurisdictional issues that arise from the presence of sanctioned and unsanctioned encampments at the interface of city, unincorporated county, and state land.

4) A 10% increase in the number of police officers assigned to the Southwest Precinct Patrol to help mitigate the increased burden on our current resources. (At 124 Full-Time Equivalents for budget year 2018, the Southwest Precinct Patrol Budget Control Level is the lowest in the city.)

Despite a reply on April 18 from Catherine Lester, the previous director of the Human Services Department, the Highland Park Action Committee does not feel that our requests have been satisfactorily addressed. We understand that some of our requests will require coordination with other departments. However, it is our belief that the City needs to take a holistic approach to its encampment-sanctioning process. To date, the methods employed have lacked transparency and eroded neighborhood trust in city government.

In an effort to allow residents of Highland Park and surrounding neighborhoods to get a better understanding of the City of Seattle’s homelessness response, the Highland Park Action Committee invites the Director of the Human Services Department (whomever that may be at the time) to attend our scheduled meeting on September 26, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. PDT for a moderated discussion on homelessness policy.

We kindly ask for confirmation of acceptance or declination of this request by August 17, 2018.

Sincerely,

Charlie Omana
Chair, Highland Park Action Committee

Liz Giba
President, North Highline Unincorporated Area Council

Highland Park’s decade-long history with encampment goes back to the first camp that called itself “Nickelsville,” which was evicted from public land at Highland Park Way and West Marginal Way SW less than a week after it set up in September 2008.

Camp Second Chance updates: More housing placement; renewal decision soon; unmet needs

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

With a new case manager on the job, housing placements from West Seattle’s only city-sanctioned encampment have increased dramatically.

That was part of the information shared at the monthly Camp Second Chance (C2C) Community Advisory Committee meeting on Sunday.

The city’s permit-renewal decision still hasn’t been announced – technically for a second year at the city-owned Myers Way Parcels, though it’s been almost two years already since the camp moved there in July 2016, initially without authorization. But it’s apparently imminent.

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Policies vs. people, renewal wait, and what else happened at Camp 2nd Chance Community Advisory Committee meeting

(From left, city rep Tom Van Bronkhorst, LIHI’s Richard Horne and Josh Castle, C2C resident manager Eric Davis)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

No word yet on the city’s decision about another year for Camp Second Chance at the Myers Way Parcels.

That was one headline from this afternoon’s meeting of the Community Advisory Committee for West Seattle’s only city-sanctioned encampment.

The other: Camp operator LIHI‘s new case manager Richard Horne has been on the job two weeks, and he has placed his first two campers in housing, though it was quite a drama. He also stressed to community members who wanted to complain about city homelessness-related policies and practices that he is about people, like the two he placed.

First:

CAMP OPERATIONS UPDATE: “It’s been a very productive month,” said Eric Davis, C2C’s resident manager.

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SUNDAY: Camp Second Chance Community Advisory Committee meets

May 5, 2018 6:28 pm
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 |   Myers Way Parcels | West Seattle news

Just a reminder that if you are interested in updates about and from West Seattle’s only city-sanctioned encampment, Camp Second Chance, the C2C Community Advisory Committee is back to its regular first-Sunday meeting schedule this week – 2 pm tomorrow (Sunday, May 6th) at the Arrowhead Gardens community room. AG is at 9200 2nd SW, a few blocks north of the camp’s location on Myers Way. Our coverage of last month’s meeting is here; official minutes are in the C2C section of this city webpage.

FOLLOWUP: Cleanup begins on east side of Myers Way

2 PM: City crews arrived on the east side of Myers Way today for the first day of a new cleanup we told you about last week. While there has long been unauthorized camping in the area, city spokesperson Will Lemke told us this would be “work to remove garbage and debris … This will not be a removal of the encampment and no one will be asked to leave.” Navigation Team members, however, would continue to do outreach in the area, he added. When we stopped by, workers told us they expected to be there until about 1:30 pm, and planned to return again tomorrow morning.

2:58 PM: As you can see from the photo added above this line, state-owned equipment is involved too.

Change the encampment time-limit rules? That and more @ Camp Second Chance Community Advisory Committee

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

While the decision on another year for Camp Second Chance at the Myers Way Parcels is pending, sentiment is swirling about changing the city rules that currently limit encampments to two city-sanctioned years.

That was one of the notable side issues that arose during the monthly meeting of the C2C Community Advisory Committee on Sunday afternoon.

The camp, you might recall, is currently waiting to hear from the city on whether its permit to be at the city-owned Myers Way Parcels will be extended for what the city will consider a “second year,” though the first year didn’t start until the camp had already been there nine months. The one-year-with-one-possible-year-of-renewal was a promise made before the city funding was finalized last year, and it’s the current rule for all of the city’s sanctioned encampments.

When Sunday’s meeting got to open-discussion time, a resident of Arrowhead Gardens – the senior-living complex where the committee meets, a few blocks north of the encampment – asked who “absorbs the expense” if and when the camp has to be relocated.

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MYERS WAY: City plans east-side cleanup next week, but not a sweep

(WSB photo)

Unauthorized camping and trash have been longstanding complaints about the wooded area east of Myers Way. In mid-March, the city joined the state in sweeping an area along the slope over Highway 509. Now, the city confirms a cleanup is planned in the area, but not a sweep. We heard about it from SPD, and checked with the city’s homelessness-response spokesperson Will Lemke, who replied:

There is going to be work to remove garbage and debris within the unsanctioned encampment next week. This will not be a removal of the encampment and no one will be asked to leave. (The Navigation) Team continues to conduct repeated outreach in the area, offering services and shelter, and will continue doing so during the trash removal and following weeks.

The area that was swept last month along 509 was found to have no more than four campers during pre-sweep outreach, Lemke said, one of whom was “successfully connected … to shelter at the Georgetown sanctioned encampment in early March before the encampment removal. During the removal, all remaining campers left voluntarily.”

VIDEO: Camp Second Chance residents, neighbors tell their stories as city mulls letting encampment stay another year

(WSB photo: Some of the ~60 people we counted at last night’s meeting)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

What didn’t happen at last night’s city-convened meeting about Camp Second Chance‘s permit renewal was nearly as notable as what did.

At the start of the meeting at the Joint Training Facility, a few blocks north of the encampment, Lisa Gustaveson from the city Human Services Department tried to tell those who had gathered that they should spend the first half-hour or so talking one-on-one with city reps, instead of speaking at a microphone for all to hear.

This is often an unpopular tactic with meeting attendees, as many would like to hear what everyone has to say, and would like everyone to hear what they themselves have to say. So Gustaveson quickly got – and quickly acknowledged – a visible “sorry, but no” reaction, and changed the plan. Our video begins where the testimony started a few minutes after that announcement:

Also of note: You might recognize the man in a blue shirt who served as the microphone minder, someone with a very different role last time the JTF saw a city meeting about Camp Second Chance, George Scarola, hired by former Mayor Ed Murray as “director of homelessness,” still with the city but not with that title. The only city officials at the table at the head of the room – making it clear they were just there to listen – were Gustaveson and, also from HSD, Sola Plumacher.

They weren’t the only city reps among the ~60 or so people in the room, though. Others included City Councilmember Lisa Herbold, who took the microphone before the meeting was over, and staffers by easels at the back of the room. But the most memorable speakers were C2C residents and neighbors. Both supporters and opponents of the permit renewal spoke thoughtfully – as contentious as the issue of homelessness and what to do about it can be, this was not a contentious meeting.

After the jump, short highlights of what each of the 27 speakers said (note that these are not transcriptions – please watch/listen to the video to hear the entirety of what each person said), and what happens next:

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Another year for Camp Second Chance? Meeting tomorrow, and how to comment if you can’t be there

(Camp Second Chance entrance, photographed December 2017 by WSB’s Leda Costa)

Early reminder that tomorrow (Tuesday, March 20th) brings the city meeting about whether sanctioned encampment Camp Second Chance will be able to stay on the city-owned Myers Way Parcels for another year. The city’s initial policies about sanctioned encampments stipulates that they can stay at any one site for up to two years. C2C actually has been at this site for more than a year and a half, as it originally moved onto the city-owned land without authorization in July 2016; the city later decided to open and fund sanctioned encampments, and retroactively designated C2C as one of them. Nonetheless, the city is considering renewing the permit through early next year, and a meeting for comments is part of the process: 6:30 pm Tuesday at the Joint Training Facility (9401 Myers Way S.). If you can’t be there but have comments about the proposed renewal, e-mail them to homelessness@seattle.gov (with Myers Way in the subject line) or call 206-727-8496 by April 5th. C2C is currently home to about 50 people, according to what was reported at the most recent meeting of its Community Advisory Committee.

FOLLOWUP: Encampment cleanup on Highway 509 slope east of Myers Way is a go for tomorrow, city says

(WSB photo of part of the encampment area, as seen from southbound Highway 509)

As first reported here eight days ago, the city and state plan to clean up an unauthorized encampment area on the slope over Highway 509, east of Myers Way, starting tomorrow. We talked with city spokesperson Will Lemke for a detailed followup a week ago and checked back with him today – at which time he confirmed work will start tomorrow:

You will see the Navigation Team and WSDOT crews on site, probably accessing the area from 509. The Nav Team will continue to offer services, shelter, and storage of items as the removal proceeds. WSDOT is scheduled to work on the drainage system soon-thereafter. We have allocated two days to the effort … We believe there is about a half-dozen people living in this specific section of the Myers Way greenbelt. Again, this is only for this section abutting 509 and the WSDOT drainage system.

That’s a reiteration that the encampment areas “on the plateau” immediately east of Myers Way, and “the grotto” beneath it, are not involved in the cleanup plan.

P.S. Earlier today, Lemke was one of the city staffers who briefed a City Council committee about ongoing encampment cleanups (see the Seattle Channel video here). This cleanup wasn’t discussed, but one staffer acknowledged that there are at least 400 known unauthorized encampments within the city limits.

FOLLOWUP: Where next week’s encampment cleanup east of Myers Way will, and won’t, go

(Photo added Wednesday)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

While it’s far from the only area with unauthorized campers, the area east of Myers Way has drawn some of the loudest complaints, at community meetings and elsewhere. And tonight we know more about the plan for a “partial cleanup” that was mentioned during Sunday’s meeting of the Community Advisory Committee for Camp Second Chance, the city-sanctioned encampment on the west side of Myers Way.

To get details, we talked today with William Lemke, the city’s spokesperson for encampment and cleanup-related issues. He says the city and WSDOT are partnering on the cleanup, which will involve state-owned right-of-way land on the slope over Highway 509, behind the Church of Latter-Day Saints site, *not* the area “up on the plateau” or “the grotto.” That’s because “slide risk is a primary concern,” Lemke explained – including slide risk to Highway 509 as well as to people living in the area. “There’s a drainage system back there that WSDOT” is especially concerned about.

The cleanup is currently set for Wednesday-Thursday, March 14th and 15th. The people who are currently camping in the target area will be notified this week by the city Navigation Team about the cleanup plan. City rules say that before an encampment is cleared, everyone living there has to be offered a place to go, as well as storage for their belongings; Lemke didn’t have an exact count, though he said he had toured the site recently, but believes it’s unlikely that more than a half-dozen or so people are living on the slope.

For the cleanup work, the heavy equipment and crews will enter the site via Highway 509; there’s a gated service road. Some tents and structures will be removed. The rest of the area east of Myers Way likely will be addressed sometime in the future, Lemke says, but there’s no deadline or estimate for that. Why not do it now? For one, he said, “every encampment we remove has to fit into our prioritization criteria” (see the city rules and procedures here) and for two, they might not have enough room in shelters or authorized encampments for everyone living in that area now. Might some from the area be referred to nearby Camp Second Chance, if it has space? Possibly, Lemke said, though the city’s primary referral for campers recently has been the sanctioned encampment at Licton Springs (which is not drug-and-alcohol-free; Camp Second Chance is).

Once the cleanup is completed, Lemke says, they’ll have a report with how many people were moved into shelter and what was put into storage, which the city offers to campers.

P.S. If the cleanup is carried out as scheduled, it will be just days before the March 20th community meeting that’s just been announced (as first reported here Sunday) on whether to renew Camp Second Chance‘s permit for a second year. The encampments on the east side of Myers Way have no official affiliation with the sanctioned camp, but some neighbors believe C2C’s presence makes the area a draw for unauthorized campers.

CAMP SECOND CHANCE: Renewal, needs, changes, nearby cleanup, and more @ Community Advisory Committee

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The monthly meeting of city-sanctioned encampment Camp Second Chance‘s Community Advisory Committee was complaint- and controversy-free this time around, though there was one big headline, as noted here earlier: The city has announced a March 20th community meeting as part of the process of renewing C2C’s permit to stay for a second year.

Present for the meeting at Arrowhead Gardens on Sunday afternoon (and L to R in our photo above) were Tom Van Bronkhorst from the Department of Neighborhoods, Josh Castle and Amy Friedman from camp operator LIHI, camp manager/co-founder Eric Davis, committee members Aaron Garcia and Cinda Stenger, and committee chair Willow Fulton. (One more committee member, Judi Carr, was there but not in the photo.)

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Second year for Camp Second Chance? Community meeting just announced

We’re covering the Camp Second Chance Community Advisory Committee meeting right now, as we do each month, and there’s one bulletin so far: The city is reviewing whether to renew the permit for the sanctioned encampment to remain at its site on the city-owned Myers Way Parcels for a second year, and as part of the renewal process, a community meeting has just been announced for 6:30 pm Tuesday, March 20th, at the Joint Training Facility (which is near the camp, 9401 Myers Way S.) If you can’t make it to the meeting, you can e-mail comments to homelessness@seattle.gov (you’re asked to write “Myers Way” in the subject line) and/or call 206-727-8496. The notice says comments will be accepted through April 5th. Though the camp actually has been at the site for a year and a half already, its status as a city-sanctioned encampment didn’t officially start until March of last year. We haven’t found the meeting announcement online yet but we photographed the flyer’s two pages – see them here and here. Our report on the rest of the meeting will be up later today/tonight.

CAMP SECOND CHANCE UPDATES: Operator wants city to provide a daily meal; neighbors worry about the woods; and more

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Quiet month at Camp Second Chance – the city-sanctioned/funded encampment at 9701 Myers Way S. – but not so quiet in the pockets of unauthorized camping across the road.

Complaints about camping in the woods on the other side of Myers Way resurfaced toward the end of this month’s meeting of the Community Advisory Committee for Camp Second Chance, held Sunday afternoon at nearby Arrowhead Gardens.

Also during the meeting, one of the reps from the camp’s operator, the Low-Income Housing Institute (LIHI), suggested the committee and other community members put pressure on the city to provide a daily meal for the campers. Other updates ranged from budgeting to trash pickup.

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CAMP SECOND CHANCE: Looking ahead to Sunday’s Community Advisory Committee meeting – the contract, and the second-year process

February 2, 2018 8:35 pm
|    Comments Off on CAMP SECOND CHANCE: Looking ahead to Sunday’s Community Advisory Committee meeting – the contract, and the second-year process
 |   Myers Way Parcels | West Seattle news

Above (or here in PDF) you can read the city’s contract with LIHI for its first four months of operating Camp Second Chance, the city-sanctioned encampment at 9701 Myers Way S., on the southeast edge of West Seattle. We obtained the contract from the city Human Services Department while looking ahead to Sunday’s monthly meeting of the Community Advisory Committee for the encampment (2 pm, Arrowhead Gardens, 9200 2nd SW).

At the past few meetings, someone has asked about getting a copy of the contract, and it’s been promised, but it hasn’t turned up on the city’s website, so we decided to ask in advance this time. It was for $75,000 to cover LIHI’s costs through the end of last year; HSD tells WSB that the contract for this year has not been finalized yet, but that’s expected to happen this month. Besides specifying the dollar amount, the 2017 contract – signed on November 21st – says that LIHI agrees to operate and provide case-management services for the encampment. It also spells out expectations on the duration of stay, and includes the explanation that the camp is self-managed, though campers do not have veto power over LIHI decisions. It also notes that campers provide security services, with at least one on duty at the gate at all times, and it notes that no one under 18 is allowed to stay at the camp.

One other issue that’s come up at Community Advisory Committee meetings – renewing the camp at the Myers Way Parcels site for a second year. Technically the camp’s already been there for a year and a half, but it didn’t become city-sanctioned until February of last year. We asked HSD spokesperson Meg Olberding about the status of a second year. Her reply in full:

Since opening the first city-funded managed encampment in November 2015, we’ve seen that they are an important part of the continuum to address unsheltered homelessness. Every night, nearly 300 people have a safer place to stay because of our six managed encampments. HSD received direction from the City Council during the budget season to expand the program to all districts in Seattle. We are balancing that policy direction with the commitment we’ve made to both encampment residents and housed neighbors to provide healthy and safe living conditions. As discussed in the Camp Second Chance CAC meeting in early January, HSD is working on a re-permitting process for the City’s managed encampments that acknowledges the commitment made to community members and the importance of these safer spaces for unsheltered people.

CAMP SECOND CHANCE: What its Community Advisory Committee heard during first meeting of 2018

(Camp Second Chance’s entrance, photographed December 2017 by Leda Costa for WSB)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

There’s room for more people at West Seattle’s only city-sanctioned encampment, Camp Second Chance.

And for those who are there already, the camp finally has a new case manager.

Plus, the long-running question of whether CSC will be sanctioned for a second year will be answered soon, with a promise of “community input” before a decision is made.

Those were three major updates presented Sunday at the Camp Second Chance Community Advisory Committee‘s monthly meeting, held as usual at Arrowhead Gardens, a few blocks north of the camp, which is at 9701 Myers Way S.

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SUNDAY: Camp Second Chance Community Advisory Committee meets

January 6, 2018 5:41 pm
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 |   Myers Way Parcels | West Seattle news

(Camp Second Chance entrance, photographed December 2017 by WSB’s Leda Costa)

If you’re interested in the city-sanctioned encampment on the southeast edge of West Seattle, Camp Second Chance, you’re invited to the next monthly meeting of its Community Advisory Committee, 2 pm tomorrow (Sunday, January 7th) at Arrowhead Gardens (9200 2nd SW). The city-mandated committee gets updates on what’s happening at the camp and what’s happening with its operator (which changed last fall to the Low-Income Housing Institute), which has a contract with and funding from the city for basic camp operations. The camp’s been on city-owned Myers Way Parcels land for a year and a half, but the city approval and funding didn’t start until about a year ago, and could be extended for another year. As of last month’s report, the camp had about four dozen residents.

COMMUNITY GIVING: South Park Senior Center donates pies at Camp Second Chance

December 23, 2017 10:46 pm
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 |   Myers Way Parcels | South Park | West Seattle news

If you went to Camp Second Chance‘s community party on Saturday afternoon (one of the events on our daily-highlights list), and had a slice of pie – here’s who to thank: The South Park Senior Center. Diane Radischat, a member of the center’s board of directors, shared the photo and explained:

South Park Senior Center donated and delivered 36 pies for (the camp’s) holiday party today, enough pie for 300 people. We wanted to give back to a community we knew was deserving of a treat at this special time of the year.

Diane is second from right in the photo, with, from left, a camp resident, SPSC executive director Patricia Barker, and, also from the center’s board, Sharon Schaffer. CSC is the city-sanctioned encampment on Myers Way, home to more than 45 people as of the report given to its community advisory committee earlier this month.

COMMUNITY GIVING: Arrowhead Gardens residents bring the gift of warmth to Camp Second Chance

(Photos by Leda Costa for WSB)

Every year for seven years now, residents of the Arrowhead Gardens senior-apartment complex collect socks as holiday-season gifts for people in need. This afternoon, they brought their gifts to folks living just blocks away, at the city-sanctioned encampment Camp Second Chance. In the photo above are the AG sock-drive coordinator Diane Radischat, CSC manager Eric, AG’s CSC liaison Nancy, and CSC resident Melissa. Here’s a look at some of what the neighbors brought over:

Diane tells WSB that the first three years, the Arrowhead Gardens residents gave the gift of warmth to residents of the Nickelsville encampment, then for three years to Union Gospel Mission, and this is the first year that the beneficiaries are their neighbors at Camp Second Chance.

“I believe our total is around 1650 to 1700 pairs of socks … plus many hats, gloves, scarves and toiletries,” Diane says, adding that she and her neighbors donate clothing to the camp on an ongoing basis, too.

P.S. Camp Second Chance is hosting a community holiday party on Saturday afternoon, 2-5 pm, all welcome – full details in our calendar listing.

Camp Second Chance Community Advisory Committee hears about ‘supertents,’ tiny houses, hiring

(Camp Second Chance, seen from Myers Way late Sunday afternoon)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Getting more campers out of tents and into tiny houses before winter was a recurring theme of this month’s Community Advisory Committee meeting for Camp Second Chance, the city-sanctioned encampment on the Myers Way Parcels.

At the front of the Arrowhead Gardens meeting room as the meeting began Sunday afternoon were two committee members, Willow Fulton and Cinda Stenger. Josh Castle was there for LIHI, the camp’s city-contracted operator, and one city rep was there, Tom Van Bronkhorst from the Department of Neighborhoods.

CAMP UPDATES: Speaking as an unofficial liaison for the camp, while delivering its official updates, David Baum introduced three board members as well as camp manager Eric Davis. (The presence of Davis was newsworthy in itself; he is a founder and former paid employee of the camp who was controversially booted by the original camp operator Patacara before its withdrawal.)

Baum presented what he described as “a short statistical report about activities at the camp.” That included its current camper count:

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Will Camp Second Chance get a second year? Question surfaces repeatedly at Community Advisory Committee meeting

(UPDATED MONDAY NIGHT with documents from meeting)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Will Camp Second Chance get a second year at its Myers Way Parcels site?

That question was brought up many times on a cold, snowy afternoon when the idea of living outdoors seemed difficult to grasp, as the Community Advisory Committee for West Seattle’s city-sanctioned encampment met indoors. The group meets monthly at Arrowhead Gardens, a few blocks north of CSC’s site at 9701 Myers Way [map].

Along with the recurrent question about how long the camp would stay at the city-owned site, the committee heard updates on its current occupancy, which is down significantly.

On hand from the committee were Willow Fulton, a nearby resident, Aaron Garcia from the White Center Community Development Association, and Cinda Stegner from the Westside Interfaith Network, a coalition of West Seattle-area faith-based organizations. From the Low-Income Housing Institute (LIHI), which is now the camp’s operator, were executive director Sharon Lee and Josh Castle. And the lone city rep was, from the Department of Neighborhoods, Tom Van Bronkhorst.

The first update was from David, described as being authorized to speak for the camp board and as “a friend of the camp” who said he’s been serving as a mediator between CSC and LIHI. He said LIHI had recently delivered four more tiny homes and “a huge load of supplies – everything from kitchen supplies to coffee, flashlights, extension cords, and batteries” to the camp.

“It has been a process of the two organizations getting to know each other,” he said, working to “develop a constructive relationship.” That was an improvement from the bumpy initial relationship described at last month’s committee meeting.

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CAMP SECOND CHANCE: Transition to new operator ‘not very smooth sailing,’ advisory committee told

(WSB photo from Sunday: From left, Josh Castle & Sharon Lee of LIHI, advisory committee members Grace Stiller & Aaron Garcia)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Big concerns about a big change at city-sanctioned Camp Second Chance were voiced at this month’s meeting of its Community Advisory Committee.

While the last meeting, in August, had filled the meeting room at Arrowhead Gardens, just a few blocks north of the camp, Sunday’s meeting barely cracked double digits – counting the three committee members who were in attendance (Willow Fulton, an area resident; Aaron Garcia, from the White Center Community Development Association; Grace Stiller, who works with environmental nonprofits).

The city was represented by Tom Van Bronkhorst from the Department of Neighborhoods.

Early in the meeting, Stiller offered kudos to the city for the fencing placed on the east side of Myers Way to protect wetlands as well as those walking in the area, particularly to and from the transit center at Arrowhead Gardens; Van Bronkhorst went into some background on the fencing, and said that trash pickups are also continuing on the east side of Myers, where RVs have recently been swept.

The big change for Camp Second Chance itself since last meeting: The Low-Income Housing Institute (LIHI) is now the camp operator, as of September, with executive director Sharon Lee and staffer Josh Castle arriving mid-meeting after a conflicting engagement elsewhere.

Before their arrival, Rebecca, a camp resident, told the advisory committee that the transition had not gone well.

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SUNDAY: First advisory committee meeting since operator change @ Camp Second Chance

City-sanctioned Camp Second Chance on Myers Way has a new operator, LIHI, and for the first time since the change, the encampment’s Community Advisory Committee will meet this Sunday (2 pm, Arrowhead Gardens, 9200 2nd SW, open to the public). While what happens on Myers Way outside the camp is outside the scope of its operator and the committee, it is often a topic of public comment at these meetings, so this week’s developments will be of interest:

That was the scene along Myers Way north of the camp on Thursday morning, when we went there to check out what Southwest Precinct Operations Lt. Ron Smith had told the Highland Park Action Committee the night before, that police had cleared the roadside on the east side, a few weeks after doing the same thing on the west side, where fencing followed to set up a walkway, something requested at the previous advisory-committee meeting.

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