WSB Forum » Open Discussion

(136 posts)

Remember Nickelsville?

  1. My crystal ball tells me that Nickelsville's days at the bottom of Highland Park Hill are numbered.

    How does my crystal ball know this?

    Well, first there was the September 26 WS Blog weekly report, which included information from the Highland Park Action Committee (HPAC) describing their efforts to pressure the City Council into relocating the camp to a safer, and/or more permanent site:

    Then there was this October 4 story about Food Lifeline eyeing the Nickelsville land for a warehouse:

    Finally, inside sources tell me that the non-profit group running the camp has agreed in principle that it has to move. Accordingly, they have been searching for alternative sites.

    All these things, in addition to the chronically unsafe and unsanitary conditions at the camp, which I've seen for myself, lead me to believe that a change is imminent. I expect a decision will be made within the next six months and that the camp will be gone from its current location by summer of next year, if not sooner.

    If you care about Nickelsville, now is the time to get involved in the process of helping to decide its future. In the next post I'm including some information that HPAC sent to its membership recently. It restates HPAC's position and identifies the Mayor and Councilmember Licata as the point people on the future of Nickelsville. I plan on contacting both the Mayor and Mr. Licata about this issue, and when I do I'm going to say the follosing:

    ► If you're going to let NV stay where it's at, you need to build sanitary facilities there for people to use.

    ► If you're not going to build facilities there, then you should find an alternative location that does have such facilities.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  2. Recent e-mail from HPAC below. They had invited Councilmember Licata to address their next meeting this Wednesday (October 24), but he was unable to attend due to a scheduling conflict. I plan on going to the meeting anyway, though.

    Nickelsville: We just spoke with the Mayor's office about Nickelsville. We've been fielding questions and concerns daily about the encampment. The mayor's office has asked DPD to search for potential temporary sites for Nickelsville, and they are working on identifying some. Nick Licata will meet with the Mayor "soon" to discuss options for Nickelsville, who have expressed a willingness to move if an appropriate site is located. The Food Lifeline interest in the property is real and pressing, the city is looking into it. We feel that between pressure from the impending weather, pressure from folks ready to see another neighborhood have a turn hosting the encampment, pressure from folks that would like to see a more appropriate site for the encampment that includes water and electricity, and pressure from Food Lifeline... we may finally be seeing some changes soon. So now is a good and appropriate time to contact the Mayor's office and Nick Licata's office if you'd like to see some changes for Nickelsville. We at HPAC will be passing on the comments from our survey, again, so don't feel the need to rewrite what we've already asked you to write. But if you didn't get a chance to participate in that survey or have something you'd like to say to our political leaders about Nickelsville, NOW IS THE TIME!!

    Email the Mayor:

    Email Councilman Licata: or call 206-684-8803

    Next HPAC meeting: Wednesday, October 24, 6:30 potluck, 7:00 meeting at the Highland Park Improvement Club on 12th and Holden.


    Posted 2 years ago #         
  3. DBP..
    I agree that Nickelsville's days at their present site are numbered...
    And that it will likely move sooner rather than later to a new spot
    but i think it unlikely that the new spot will be one provided by the city
    even if the city provides a viable alternative

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  4. If the City provides a truly viable alternative, Nickelsville will have no choice but to go there. If they don't, they won't be able to seek refuge elsewhere, because no neighborhood would tolerate a homeless camp in their midst so long as there is a better alternative.

    No, the reason NV was allowed to hole up as long as it did here was precisely because the City couldn't get its act together and provide homeless people with a good alternative. The Lake City Fire Station was NOT a good alternative, and the City knew that, in spite of their words to the contrary.

    In any event, we should keep the pressure on the Mayor and Council to do the right thing. Now, when the place is in transition, is the best time to effect a change.

    Keep watching this space.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  5. Here's the text of an e-mail sent by a South Park neighborhood group to the Mayor and Mr. Licata. It is a public record:

    From: Dagmar Cronn
    Date: Tue, Oct 23, 2012 at 12:23 AM

    Subject: Food Lifeline needs to move to Nickelsville site

    To: Nick Licata <>, Mayor McGinn <>

    Food Lifeline is interested in consolidating their two sites into one and have identified the City property where Nickelsville is currently situated. The South Park Neighborhood Center has done its best to provide services to the Nickelsville residents without City support. The Neighborhood Center houses the Providence Regina House Food and Clothing Bank and a breakfast meal program five days a week. Our services are only a stop-gap attempt to help. The majority of conversations on the South Park social media sites show a consensus that the City should assume responsibility to find a more permanent solution for the residents of Nickelsville that provides running water, bathroom facilities, electricity, etc.. Food Lifeline should have its new site in South Seattle because so much of their food distributions are in the south end.

    We are indebted to our Highland Park neighbors for spearheading the initiative to urge Seattle to step up to do the right thing for neighborhoods, non-profits and the homeless. We earnestly endorse their message and bond with them in our wish that Seattle will bring about a good outcome for all involved.

    Please do your utmost to make the present site available to Food Lifeline without shoving the Nickelsville residents once again to somewhere inadequate to their needs.

    We know there are so many issues facing our elected officials and we are thankful you will give this your attention and find a solution for all concerned.

    Dagmar Cronn
    President, South Park Area Redevelopment Committee

    [Address and phone info redacted by DBP]


    Posted 2 years ago #         
  6. A West Seattleite who's been keeping me in the loop tells me that earlier this month someone contacted the Seattle-King County Public Health Department with a complaint about rats at Nickelsville. I've never seen a rat there myself. However, I have heard residents talk about the rat problem. Many times.

    According to my source, the Health Dept. "confirmed the rodent problem at the camp, and a very detailed report with recommendations has been sent to the encampment and shared with the Mayor's office."


    Rats are just one of the health risks at Nickelsville, and in my opinion they are not even the most pressing. (There are also the little problems of no safe drinking water, inadequate sewage facilities, and young children in the camp, among others.) However, the rat report might be the spark that finally lights a fire under the City's butt. As you know, it's the City that is ultimately responsible for fixing any health-related problems that occur on its own property, and it's the City that can be fined or sued if it fails to take action on these problems.


    According to my source, the Health Dept's report, as well as options for Nickelsville generally, will be discussed by the Mayor and Councilmember Nick Licata on November 13. I don't know whether this is a public meeting. It might not be.

    As I said above, this would be a good time to contact either of these guys and let them know what you think about the issue.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  7. Here's the combined rodent + sanitation report on Nickelsville, as compiled by Seattle King County Public Health. A copy was sent to me by Nick Licata's office a few days ago:

    For those of you who go down to camp frequently, the report will confirm what you already know: that the place is dirty and infested with rats.

    For the rest of you, this info may come as a bit of an eye-opener. But then, perhaps that's just what you needed. An eye-opener.


    Conditions at the camp have always been good for rats, and it's only getting worse, as the report shows. Moreover, as the rat population booms, the rats are becoming ever bolder about getting into the tents and the food supplies (including the pet food supplies.)


    As you can see, the report's author is looking at the situation dispassionately and making recommendations as if this were a typical industrial-type site and the owner wanted to do the right thing and clean it up. In this case, however, it is unlikely that many of these recommendations will be implemented. Of if they are implemented, it will be only temporarily.

    ► Rotating tent sites?
    ► Elevating tents with cinder blocks?
    ► Putting all food in rodent-proof containers (!)
    ► No more food "composting" (!!)

    Come on! If this stuff was doable, don't you think they would have dood it already?

    And the list goes on and on and on.

    There are other kinds of recommendations, too. And these are targeted at food safety and general hygiene. The hygiene part reads like a list of "Everything SHARE and the City should have done." Or "Everything DBP (and others) TOLD you guys to do from the git-go."

    Hand-washing stations with warm water and soap? Well . . . Duh!

    –Given that the City itself has no intention of plumbing or wiring the place, I can't imagine how this warm-water handwashing station concept could be actualized. And why would it be, when the City doesn't even WANT that?


    No timeline is given for any of these recommendations to be implemented, even though by law I think there should have been one. Some items are marked as "Do Immediately" but there's no indication of what will happen if they aren't "done immediately."


    My take on this report is as follows:

    1) Short term - the City is responding to a complaint made by a citizen, but they're acting as if they initiated the complaint on their own so as to make it look like they're on top of things, which in fact they never have been.

    2) Long term - the City is building a case on which to shut down the camp.

    Watch this space.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  8. Betty T
    Member Profile

    Thanks for all the info . I surely will watch for more.
    A passing thought: When Food Lifeline begins construction on the site, where will all these rats go?

    I understand they are out at night, and big.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  9. The health department visited Nickelsville and informed the city that they needed to take care of the rat problem.

    i was told that bait was distributed last week.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  10. There is opposition from residents to using bait at the camp, which is understandable. In any case, bait won't work. It's just window dressing.

    Sorry to be such a downer.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  11. redblack
    Member Profile


    pardon me if i sound naive, but has anyone asked city government how much empty public school property we're sitting on right now? those are facilities that not only have running hot and cold water, but they also have roofs, gym showers (i presume), and kitchen facilities.

    it occurs to me that residents could be used to help maintain the facility and keep it free from vandalism and other nefarious after-dark activities as a condition of living there. a guaranteed 10 hours of work per week, at minimum wage, maybe?

    i would think that just one of those properties would accommodate the city's needs, and it could provide residents opportunities for building skill sets in maintenance and light construction. perhaps some of our local business leaders in those fields could volunteer some supervisory time in exchange for tax breaks or something.

    fairmount elementary comes to mind...

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  12. DBP..

    i believe the city was responsible for the extensive baiting program...

    and the residents are very grateful for the decrease in the rat population.

    i can tell you that i didn't see any swimmers down there today.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  13. redblack..

    i think that's a fine idea.
    perhaps the publicity from the flooding will be enough to make the city step up on this..

    i wouldn't count on it..
    but there is always hope.
    after all, they let Nickelsville run the pilot program on the 24 hour shelter at an empty fire station a couple of years ago.

    that pilot program was successful enough that when Nickeslville chose not to continue there, the city funded a second pilot program.. i think through the Union Gospel Mission.. last year.

    i don't know if that 24 hour shelter is open again this winter..
    but that is one of the many questions i intend to find an answer to.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  14. 365Stairs
    Member Profile


    redblack...I sent a note to the mayor last year about empty city property to be re-purposed for the use of Interim to Extend stay facilities...

    Got a fluff email back - very non-committal. "Thanks for your concern..." B.S.!

    Without knowing have vacated Thousands of square feet sitting empty...with or with rooms...most with utility, heat, and basic facilities. Not all with showers...

    It could all be organized, self-managed, policed, and maintained by the occupants with just a little city oversight to inspect the site regularly.

    Cannot understand how there are Emergency Management Programs run by the City where these sites and others would be used IMMEDIATELY during large scale outages...but NOT now?

    At what point was homelessness not an emergency?

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  15. someone reposted something on facebook that indicates that the city has delivered some emergency supplies to help them get the tents our of the water to Nickelsville.

    i am headed down there now.
    i will let you know if that rumor is true.
    it would be a start.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  16. westcoastdeb
    Member Profile

    If I remember correctly, one issue with the city 'officially' donating a space to Nickelsville was that then they become responsible (read: can be sued) for any injuries, etc. that happen at the shelter they donate.
    Not sure how much of a real issue that is, as there are homeless shelters that don't seem to have that issue, but that's what I remember.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  17. ok.. i just got back from Nickelsville.

    The city had dropped off concrete blocks toplace under tent pallets .. which were promised earlier as one of the rat population control measures..
    along with metal garbabge cans for food storage which were in service in the kitchen tent as i left.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  18. Drove my there tonight, there is a bunch of media trucks including King5.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  19. I was there around 5 and King 5 was filming at the front gate.
    i slid in and out at the side gate ;->

    they are accepting donations at both gates.

    they really could use hand warmers for the people who are managing the sump pumps. that's very cold wet work with no place to warm your hands back up.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  20. Betty T
    Member Profile

    I was told last winter that the little handwarmers are used in their shoes too to keep feet warm.

    I saw the bright shiney garbage cans last Saturday when I was there.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  21. Update: After waiting more than six weeks for Councilmember Licata and Mayor McGinn to get back to me on my initial e-mail, I started pestering them.

    I'll have an official response from King County Public Health on the rat problem shortly and will be getting something about the whole NV issue from the Mayor's office sometime after that.

    In the meantime, I'm waiting breathlessly for Mr. Licata to return from Christmas break.


    Preliminarily, it looks like I was wrong about the rat thing; the City is taking it seriously. Good for them. Meanwhile, the larger question of what will become of Nickelsville is still hanging out there, and I'm hoping the City will realize that if they don't do something they may well end up spending more effort on rat control (and damage control) than they would've had to spend just finding a safe, permanent home for Nickelsville in the first place.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  22. i suspect they will do what they can to keep people alive there until the weather improves...

    Nickelsville is just the tip of the illegal encampment iceburg...

    the city simply doesn't supply enough shelter beds for those who need shelter in this weather..

    and too many of those beds are contracted out through SHARE
    the agency that also happens to "employ" contractor Scott Morrow
    Nickelsville's unpaid adviser

    this is all so much more complicated than it would seem.. isn't it.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  23. >>this is all so much more complicated than it would seem.. isn't it.

    Yes it is complicated. But one of the reasons it's complicated is because the City didn't step up earlier when some of these complications could've been prevented.

    Rats are an example of a preventable complication. The City is now spending money on rat control that would've been put to better use putting in beds and a roof at some permanent location.

    You speak of the greenbelt, but that situation was preventable too. As you well know, many of the people toughing it out in the greenbelt are only there because of the unaccountable way in which the camp has been run. Some of those folks would almost certainly be in housing by now if the City had taken timely steps to get NV under effective City oversight.

    I'll address the "adviser" issue tomorrow, but I would ask you to please refrain from naming any individuals connected with the camp – even if they have some quasi-official role there. People at the City are now definitely watching this thread, and I don't want them to get spooked and stop cooperating with us. Thanks.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  24. wow...and a very Merry Christmas to you, too, DBP. You're actually dumping on JoB for naming Mr. Morrow? It's no secret that he's the head guy, so please get off your high horse. If I remember correctly, it took quite a few people to change your mind about NV. In the beginning you were totally against it. And now it's your baby to advise the rest of us?

    No, no, no, no, no. Thank you for coming to NV's defense, but please, don't take an attitude about it.

    Copy of a letter from the Mayor to me:

    Thank you for your letter regarding the encampment called “Nickelsville” and the plight of homeless people in Seattle. I share your concerns and it has been a top priority since I became Mayor to improve the City’s support and services for homeless people.

    I have directed City departments to work with people overseeing and living in the encampment and explore how we can improve the conditions at this site. In the past several weeks, staff members from the Human Services Department, Facilities and Administrative Services, Seattle Public Utilities, and Public Health – Seattle & King County have been at the encampment site. We have taken steps to address problems including improving food storage, disposal of garbage, and protecting people from rain and flooding.

    The City’s 2013 adopted budget includes more than $1 million in additional services for homeless people, $980,000 of which was in the Mayor’s proposed 2013 budget. These additional services are targeted to homeless families with children as well as outreach and case management aimed at helping homeless people to receive the support and services necessary to get them into stable housing.

    We have also been working to find a more lasting solution. In 2010 and 2011, I proposed to the City Council that the City establish an ongoing sanctioned encampment at the former Sunny Jim peanut butter factory site in SODO. This encampment would have offered an alternative site with eating facilities and services to help encampment residents to be on a path to permanent housing. Unfortunately, the Council did not act on my proposal.

    In 2011, I worked with the City Council to adopt an ordinance to allow community shelters on property owned or managed by faith-based organizations. We were successful and the ordinance includes standards for shelters operated at religious sites.

    Earlier this year, I proposed additional legislation to allow transitional encampments at non-religious private property and public sites. This legislation also would have established standards for these encampments. The City Council has not taken any action on my proposal.

    The City is working on many fronts to prevent and reduce homelessness, yet we continue to see many more people, including families, without stable housing. There have to be multiple strategies to help people. I will continue to explore solutions with the City Council and our community partners to provide better alternatives for homeless people and to help them transition out of homelessness and into permanent housing. It is clear to me that government alone cannot end homelessness. We need all of us working together to solve this problem.

    Thank you again for writing. Please feel free to write me again on this or any other issue.


    Mike McGinn
    Mayor of Seattle

    for the record...I can go nowhere near NV because I have an extremely low immune system, and I can't possibly allow myself to be exposed to whatever may be lurking down there. The people who live there often have iffy "good" health, just because of the environment and lack of good medical care. So I stay away.

    But there are many people who care about the people there..the more the better. The city will pay attention.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  25. DBP

    "I'll address the "adviser" issue tomorrow, but I would ask you to please refrain from naming any individuals connected with the camp – even if they have some quasi-official role there. People at the City are now definitely watching this thread, and I don't want them to get spooked and stop cooperating with us. Thanks."

    sorry DBP.. but you have caught me in one of my brutally frank periods.. bullpucky!

    The silence of those who know what is going on inside that camp and remain silent to "protect" the residents has not led to better conditions inside Nickeslville.

    the only thing that has led to better living conditions within that camp is the light of public exposure..

    As for not naming Scott Morrow? How do you think anyone can understand the political circumstances that have left people living in a known containment pond without mentioning Scott Morrow who made the deliberate choice to move them there
    and feared revolt from the campers so much that they were loaded into vans for the move without being told where they were going?

    How can anyone understand the bind the city is in with Nickelsville without understanding that Scott Morrow controls a huge number of the city's shelter beds and regularly locks people out of them to secure city funding?

    How can anyone effectively help Nickelsville without understanding that although the camp has regular nightly meetings that are supposed to create self government
    the agenda at those meetings is controlled by Scott Morrow and/or Peggy Hoates and that any decision made by campers that is against the strictures those two lay down results in the threat of removing porta-potties and garbage that are paid for by donations to Nickelsville...

    You can't help people without understanding the reality of the choices they have to make to survive ...

    and Scott Morrow definately defines much of that reality for the homeless people in Seattle.

    The shame is that the mayors office and the city council are fully aware of the reality of living conditions within that camp and the farce that is called self government within it and have allowed it to continue.

    As for the people in our greenbelt... they would be there whether Nickelsville existed or not because they have no other place to go.

    it's that simple.

    all of those "services" ordinary citizens rely on to help those who can't help themselves.. they are are way overburdened and barely keep up with the need of those who have support systems to help them navigate the labyrinth of contradictory requirements for assistance....

    next time you drive by the city's other greenbelts.. take a closer look and you will see that out greenbelt is not the only one that is inhabited.

    The rain has arrived and the temperature has dropped and yet the population living in our greenbelts hasn't...

    there is a reason for that.
    and it has little to do with lifestyle choices.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  26. patriot
    Member Profile

    NV's "advisors" have been necessary evils but have outlived their usefulness. Tent City 4 has now been shut down, and all the residents are now part of Camp Unity, outside of SHARE/WHEEL influence. I say hooray for them and intend to find ways to support them.
    An overwhelming number of residents appear to be fine with having the handouts that come daily and make no effort to seek a way out. Depression, addictions, mental illness are some of the reasons why there's little or no effort on their part. Shelters are not an answer to many of them because they will not be put indoors at a place that has rules or restrictions of any nature.

    Why is it no one addresses the most pervasive problem at NV which is the drug problem inside camp. Meth, coke ,and heroin are readily available and are taking down the camp. Are we to ignore the elephant in front of us?
    Nothing will change at NV as long as their own security people are on the take in the drug trade.

    SPD needs to do a sweep and clean out the vermin and remand them all to rehab. THEN maybe NV can return to what they were attempting to do as a community when they landed there in the Spring of 2010. Back then it DID feel like they had a cooperative going and it was working. Most of those residents got out and several have left recently due to the problems that are mounting.
    Several have taken the steps necessary to find alternatives to NV and have gotten themselves out of the drug and poverty cycle.
    If NV could straighten itself out and get their own charitable organization status there might be hope for them, but at a different site obviously. The concept of having a place for displaced people to land, in transition to more appropriate housing is a good idea. Sounds like the mayor has tried some things but the council drags its feet or plainly just says no.
    All of this is probably moot as it appears NV is on it's last legs anyway.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  27. >>If I remember correctly, it took quite a few people to change your mind about NV. In the beginning you were totally against it. And now it's your baby to advise the rest of us?

    –You do not remember correctly, Jan. What I was totally against from the beginning – and what I am STILL totally against – is allowing kids at Nickelsville.

    My overall view of the camp has not changed either. As long as it's there, I think it's great that people are supporting it, and I do my part. But even so, I put pressure on the Mayor and Council to replace the camp with something safe and permanent, something that's run by the City, not a non-profit.

    And I urge others to put pressure on them as well. Otherwise, they will keep dragging their feet, secure in the knowledge that they can continue to get away with doing nothing.

    Politicians: whatever their other contributions to society, they could be an important source of protein.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  28. thanks for the correction, DBP. Merry Christmas !

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  29. Patriot..

    as far as i know, tent city 4 still exists.
    i believe it is still supported by the Catholic Diocese..
    i don't know what kind of arrangement Scott came to with them but i do know there were negotiations that resulted in a continuing commitment to tent city 4.

    Camp Unity is the part of tent city 4 that did not agree to that compromise and split off.
    I believe they are in the process of filing as a 5013c.
    they are currently hosted by an Eastside Church that i believe to be either in the process of getting the necessary permits or already have them.

    I follow them on facebook at happy.camper eastside..
    at least i think i got it right..
    i am not so good with these things.

    What Camp Unity has that the campers who would have liked to split off from Nickelsville to form a true self managed tent city don't is a church that has a recent history of hosting the homeless... and thus qualifies for a permit.

    Although there are several churches here on the West side that have gone above and beyond doing what they can for Nickelsville,
    so far we don't have a church with recent experience hosting the homeless that is willing to host a break off group of campers...

    if we did.. there are plenty of people willing to help those campers get their permit and file for 501c3 status...

    I agree that it appears that drugs have become a significant problem at Nickeslville again... or at least they were...

    though to be honest. I don't know that i could escape the temptation of drugs if i lived there... anything that would allow you to escape the misery of that life would be incredibly tempting.

    I do know that the residents regularly try to police their own encampment...
    I have heard that the latest set of elections have put a better arbitration team and possibly a better security team in place...
    but i also know they don't get much support from their advisers in their efforts.

    and yes, i know that for a fact.

    On more than one occasion I have personally alerted Scott to drug and other problems within the camp.

    As far as i can see the only response to that has been an effort to discover what evidence i had and to create excuses and alibis and to try to get me banned from camp.

    for all i know i am banned as i type for what i have written in the past few days.

    I don't know since i haven't been in camp much for a while due to some rather severe health problems.
    like Jan.. i really can't afford to got there right now:(

    it is hard telling whether there are still enough campers in Nickelsville that have worked with me in the past to fight a permanent ban.

    But i am still in contact with a wide range of campers ..
    some currently living in camp and some not.
    and very involved with a group of people who do what they can for those who want to work their way out.

    i do't know if you visit facebook or not..
    but Nickeslville currently has two groups...

    the official site is Nickelsville Works...
    it is .. or was.. heavily edited for content

    The other site is Nickelsville
    it is moderated by one of our own posters here on the forum and is edited only for the same kind of rules that exist here.

    and then there is my favorite facebook site for the homeless in Seattle
    Homeless in Seattle...

    there is now a regular poster there who visits Nickelsville regularly.

    DBP thinks the city will come up with a solution..
    and one of the rumors i have heard may point towards that possibility...

    but i think it is far more likely that the onus for a solution to Nickelsville rests with the volunteers who have spent time in camp and come to know and care about many of the residents...

    and to be honest..i am not sure just what we are going to be able to do .. though i do have some ideas.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  30. i apologize for the grammatical and spelling errors i can see in my previous post.. but after writing it, i don't have the energy to go back and edit today:(

    please bear with me.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  31. >>but i think it is far more likely that the onus for a solution to Nickelsville rests with the volunteers who have spent time in camp and come to know and care about many of the residents...

    –Jo, I love what you do for Nickelodeons, but with all due respect, I don't think it's a good idea for a disparate group of volunteers to be steering homeless policy and doing the City's job for it.

    What I'd like to see is for the City to be setting policy, establishing meaningful oversight, and providing SOME funding. Under that scenario, you could keep doing what you're doing now, the only difference being that you would no longer need to waste your time butting heads with the likes of Mr. Morrow – because the rules and expectations under which you and he both operated would be clearer.

    It's as much for the volunteers as for the Nickelodeons interest that we need to see some change here. Only the City can make that kind of change happen.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  32. Genesee Hill
    Member Profile

    Genesee Hill

    The City of Seattle should close the filthy dump and send the bums on their way.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  33. GH...I have to ask...are you being serious or just a little facetious.?

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  34. DBP

    i have seen the results of the city's solution for homelessness up close and personal and they aren't pretty.

    the city had one pilot program last year for a 24 hour shelter which would supposedly allow residents to live at the shelter and hold down a job.

    I don't know if that experiment is still running, but i do know that without secure lockers for personal possessions it was still a far cry from making transitioning from shelter living to secure indoor housing possible.

    transitioning from the streets to a full time job to inside housing requires a secure place to keep your possessions while you work and the ability to come and go from the shelter according to your work schedule ... not according to an arbitrary check in time to secure a bed.

    is the council aware of that fact? yes, they are.
    has that changed anything for the homeless in our city? no, it hasn't.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  35. GH, if you were indeed being serious, I should let you know that this bum has made his way back into permanent housing recently.

    Yes, it was with the help of generous friends, and helpful agencies, but I did my part too, complying with all that was needed to do, to get back to where I am.


    Posted 2 years ago #         
  36. Genesee Hill
    Member Profile

    Genesee Hill

    I am serious in that Nickelsville has very apparently nose-dived.

    Children, dope, and total losers are a bad combo. Especially in the pig-sty, that is Nickelsville.

    The camp should be shut down. Mayor McGinn and the council are shirking their duties. That camp is pathetic in every way, shape, and form.

    Is every person there a "bum"? Of course not. But who gives a rip who I consider to be a bum?

    That camp is not fit for humans (or dogs or cats) to live in and should be shut down.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  37. So we can move the people who are ok to your yard? No, they are not all bums.

    And a Merry Christmas to you, too. Here...let me introduce you to Hooper 1961....

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  38. So where do all these people including children go, GH?


    Posted 2 years ago #         
  39. junction hero
    Member Profile

    I don't know you Mike, but I am happy for you after seeing what you've gone through. It is ridiculous how long it takes for someone to get off the streets once they have become homeless for whatever reason's. For some it takes longer to get off the streets than other's do. The bottom line is that no one really gives a sht! about you. Society as whole needs to look down on group of people to make themselves feel better and point their fingers at, even while they think they are helping you. Hopping through hoops and bullsht is what it is bullsht! Society wants you to struggle, be downridden and keep you there. If people actually cared, they'd personally take you off the streets when its snowing and cold during winter and at least make room for you in their garage on a makeshift cot. The City couldn't care less. A politcian wouldn't be re-elected if their main agenda is spending public money to fund homeless people. Voters would kick their azzes to the curb quicker than a rat eating cheese. If they really did care, they wouldn't have this Nickelsville mess. They waste milliones of tax dollars on worthless studies and projects that don't even pass through when those monies could do better by bettering the broken down system that has failed for homeless people. Grants tha the City gives is comical. No one cares if you are homeless! It doesn't matter that once you've hit the streets. You are stereotyped into 1.a drunk 2.mental.or 3.a drug addict. This country is full of hypocrites. You see it day in and day out. People love to read and watch other people's misfortune's and not be part of the solution but rather be more of a hypocrite. It makes them feel good about themselves. Hypocrites!

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  40. Genesee Hill...when was the last time you were at NV? Took them food, or was part of church group who took them clothing and food? Did yu go down there and help them bail during that huge storm No? you didn't? Do you know anyone personally at NV?

    Yes , I understand that there are less than savory people who end up there. But please don't categorize everyone there as bums. How nice of you to sit in your nice warm, cozy home on Christmas Eve, meting out your judgement on the people and families there.

    I suggest you go volunteer your time, meet some of the people who live there, and who help out there.

    Compassion goes a long way.

    (Oh, and how many druggies, drunks, etc. live in your neighborhood? I used to live up there on your hill, and I knew a few...but, it's hidden amongst the nice neighborhood...geez) Guess that makes it OK...

    yeah, your attitude ticked me off...there are human beings living down there in the camp...they may not be who you rub elbows with, but they're still human beings ...

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  41. i have seen what happens to those who have to leave Nickelsville and don't have access to shelters.
    Nickeslville isn't THE answer but it is better than no answer.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  42. Betty T
    Member Profile

    Genesee Hill

    It must be so nice to sit in a nice warm house and go to work every day.. But there are those who don't have that luxury, many not by their own choice. If all these people are "kicked out" of Nickelsville do you have a better place for them?Maybe some are bums, maybe some are druggies, maybe some have mental issues but some have fallen on hard times. Unless you're involved with Nickelsville you shouldn't judge their residents. Many have told me they feel safer there than in any shelter and deffinitely on the streets or under a bridge. They don't have to worry about being beaten up or robbed . They have their own space to leave their belongings to go look for work or help or go to the Launrymat. I definitely wouldn't live there by choice but there are those that do. Some of these people work when they can find it. Unless you've been involved in some way, "How dare you group all homeless people into one category." All the donors and volunteers who help when and where they can, do it willingly, no one twists their arm. The city would like to do away with all homelessness but that will never happen here or anywhere else.
    Evidently you haven't been to Nickelsville for some time beause there are no children there except for one boy. He's very helpful, very polite, goes to school and is almost a straight "A" student because his mother cares.

    It sometimes is a long road of appointments and paperwork for anyone trying to get help and Mike can vouch for that. Some manage to struggle through and move on to training and a small place to live. It could take medical help and counciling to get them to return to productive people.I'm proud of every person that has succeded in accomplishing it this past year.

    Nickelodians have worked very hard to make it as liveable as possible without much help from the city. As you travel the highways and freeways, you should checkout all the greenbelts and wooded areas and see just how many people are out there with little or no help. I'm not a political person but it really upsets me to hear people badtalk all homeless people. Until you meet some and hear their story you just can't begin to understand.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  43. Well said, Betty...

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  44. Betty T
    Member Profile

    I know and have met so many people who have no real idea as to who or what people make up the homeless population. They have their own biased opinions and don't take the time to find out who they really are.Anyone who thinks they'd never live at Nickelsville don't realize that anyone of us could end up there in the blink of an eye if not for those we know who care enough to help when we need it. People like you Jan and our Mike.

    We recently had a man who has been homeless move into our building and so many of us have stepped up to help him in one way or another in spite of his being an alcoholic. At least he's a good natured one, has a sense of humor and is friendly.

    Our building is "62 and older". Several years back the sisters moved a lady in who was homeless , gave her bare necessities. She took everything she owned with her in her cart every time she left the building. It wasn't long until she left by choice to go back to the street.

    Its hard for some to understand this but Im sure you, JoB, Mike, myself and many others on the Blog do understand.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  45. Yes, Betty, very well said. Thank you.

    And thanks to Jo and Jan, and others that have spoken in support.


    Posted 2 years ago #         
  46. Oh Genesee Hiiiiiillllll!

    Where arrrreeeee yoooooooouuuuu??


    Posted 2 years ago #         
  47. Genesse Hill. it is not good for goats either apparently.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  48. As Promised: A Nickelsville Sanitation Update

    I prepared this a week ago, but I had to wait for my contact at the County to double-check it to ensure that it was correct and current. Thanks for your patience.

    I spoke with Morgan Barry, Health Education Consultant with Public Health – Seattle & King County (PHSKC). Ms. Barry updated me on the rodent and sanitation situation at Nickelsville. Here are the main points:

    § As soon as the health inspector’s September report on the rodent/sanitation situation at Nickelsville was issued, the Mayor's Office took steps to address the problems. The Mayor's Office charged the Facilities and Administrative Services (FAS) Department to work with PHSKC and lead the City's response. These steps include: rodent-resistant food storage containers, cinder blocks to raise the tents (raising tents
    off the ground discourages rodents from living under them), and a large new Dumpster that is being emptied often. A representative from FAS has been visiting the community once or more a week to see the progress and learn the on going concerns.

    § In addition to these preventive measures, a private pest control company has been contracted with. The company has set over 20 bait stations. Residents have reported there is improvement, and in January, Public Health will receive a report from the pest control company that will help define how much progress has been made.

    § The City has put together an “inter-departmental team” of representatives from several City departments including FAS, Public Utilities and Human Services, and from PHSKC to address the concerns of the community. The team has developed some additional steps that it believes will help improve the conditions in Nickelsville and the team plans to meet with representatives from Nickelsville in early January to discuss these additional steps.

    § Another important development: Ms. Barry told me about a program within PHSKC known as “Health Care for the Homeless.” As the name implies, Health Care for the Homeless has social workers who go directly to where homeless folks are and offer various kinds of health care and shelter assistance. In the case of Nickelsville, this program is focusing on families with children coming into Nickelsville. When such a family appears in camp, the NV authorities are supposed to contact the HCH social worker at once, so that the City can find the family better shelter and prioritize them for housing.

    § Finally, the City and PHSKC extended an invitation to the Public Health Reserve Corps, asking if they would be willing to meet with the NV community leadership, the City, and PHSKC about working together to improve conditions at the NV site. A meeting will be scheduled in early January.


    In summary, Ms. Barry tells me that PHSKC has ramped up its presence at the camp, that the health situation there is improving, and that the City (with help from PHSKC) will continue to be engaged with the camp for as long as it remains open.

    I will continue to update the sanitation aspect of the story as it develops, but right now I need to get more info on the camp's long-term future. I'm still waiting to hear from Messrs Licata and McGinn about whether they've made any progress.

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  49. Betty T
    Member Profile


    Good work!

    Posted 2 years ago #         
  50. Re: Nickelsville shut-down

    (This is partly in response to a question raised on another thread in relation to pets at Nickelsville.)

    The soonest I can imagine Nickelsville being shut down (with or without the cooperation of the residents and/or Mr. Morrow) would be next spring. I base that estimate on discussions between the City and a potential tenant who wants to start building on the site in the summer or fall of 2013. Those discussions were reported in the WSB news section.

    The spring shut-down assumes that (a) negotiations with the tenant have proceeded and (b) city officials have either developed an alternate site for Nickelsville or have developed the intestinal fortitude needed to shut the camp down without an alternate site.

    Unfortunately, the way things have been going, it seems unlikely that McGinn & Co. will be able to find another site by spring, so they may well go the evacuation route in the end. Yes, strange as it seems, our so-called leaders might find it easier just to tear down tents and kick a bunch of people out on the street than to figure out a solution to this problem. (It's happened before.)

    In any event, timing is key. If the City chooses to forcibly close the camp, summer is the best time to do that, since putting people out on the street in fall or winter looks bad.


    If the City fails to take some action by the end of summer, a number of other factors could come into play:

    1) The tenant could back out of the deal, making the City look foolish for having wasted an opportunity to create jobs and increase the tax base.

    2) The political and economic costs of fixing the camp's problems (rats, kids in camp, neighbor complaints) will continue to accumulate.

    3) An individual citizen or advocacy group could file a lawsuit against the City on the grounds that the camp is a health hazard and/or a nuisance.

    The City can continue to be reactive or . . . they can try being proactive for a change. The choice is theirs, but I'll tell you this much. The longer they wait to deal with the situation, the more they risk losing control over it all together.

    Think it couldn't happen? Think again . . .

    Think "Seattle Police Department Reform" for example.

    Whose calling the shots on that one now?

    –Definitely not Seattle.

    Posted 2 years ago #         

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