Update: ‘Nickelsville’ encampment returns to West Seattle

3:58 PM: After another faceoff with the city over a permanent site, the homeless encampment that still calls itself “Nickelsville has packed up and moved again, and just sent an announcement that its new location is on West Marginal Way in West Seattle, near the intersection with Highland Park Way (map), where the camp had put down stakes before. They’ve been headquartered at the former Fire Station 39 in Lake City, and the city reportedly was ready to let them stay there at least a few more months, but their news release proclaims, “We moved anyway!” for a variety of reasons, including that they needed more space, and they think city leaders are just stringing them along. The address is the same as the one where the camp first set up in September 2008 (WSB coverage here).

7:06 PM: We went over about an hour and a half ago to see what’s happening at the site, and took the photos we have just added (above, 3 of the 4 trucks a camp manager told us they’re using – one was still in transit from Lake City when we stopped by). There were about 50 people in view, and the piles of belongings, pallets and other materials you see in our top photo; one person was wondering aloud when spaces would be assigned. The camp manager told us they should be all set up by tomorrow. No word thus far from the city – who owned this site last time we checked (which is why Seattle Police were used to evict campers back in 2008) – on how this will be dealt with, if at all.

22 Replies to "Update: 'Nickelsville' encampment returns to West Seattle"

  • lostcoyote May 13, 2011 (7:05 pm)

    I love those cute little pink tents the have.

  • WSB May 13, 2011 (7:14 pm)

    We just went down for a few pix. No pink tents in evidence so far. But we’ll see what’s there when they’re set up tomorrow. – TR

  • Sal May 13, 2011 (11:28 pm)

    Christ, not this again.

  • GRG May 14, 2011 (1:48 am)

    Bulldoze them out…now!

  • no more nimby-ism May 14, 2011 (3:24 am)

    Welcome back Nickelsville!

    I have visited Nickelsville several times and was welcomed, offered a cup of coffee, and had great conversations with a few residents. Let’s step up and be good neighbors to Nickelsville. All they want is a location-a site where they can pitch their tents without fear of sweeps or evictions.

  • Jasperblu May 14, 2011 (5:37 am)


  • proudpugetridger May 14, 2011 (7:15 am)

    Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. …

  • kgdlg May 14, 2011 (8:16 am)

    I witnessed a sweep of homeless belongings in the ID the other day and it was tragic. It made me so mad that we live in a City (I actually think this was wsdot) that allows the stealing and throwing away of peoples’ only belongings. I too would prefer a tent city if this were my daily reality.

  • DWHJ May 14, 2011 (8:31 am)

    welcome back neighbors maybe with all the extra eyes out there crime will fall again may u all find peace and happiness and of course a warm safe place to lay your head!

  • no more nimby-ism May 14, 2011 (8:32 am)

    I agree-it’s so unnecessary and yes, tragic when the sweeps happen. That’s how a lot of the pink tents disappeared for those who were wondering.

  • M. Barrett Miller May 14, 2011 (12:45 pm)

    Its a indictment on our country, and our ability to serve those that are the most in need, when people have to move with tents to various locations.
    There are enough ideas being tossed around that could help with the education and lack of jobs that put so many in dire straights.
    Many are unaware that approx. 155 thousand Catholic school teachers across the country work without unemployment coverage should they lose their job. Does that sound right?
    Try to be understanding to those that are on the margins-they are not taking anything from you….

  • kelly May 14, 2011 (5:28 pm)

    I am AMAZED at the majority of these comments. Stop being NAIVE and see this for what it really is… your tax dollars are being spent so these DRUNKS and DRUG ADDICTS can live FOR FREE on the streets of this fine city and on the backs of its citizens.

    I know I LOVE seeing the homeless men URINATING on the side of the exit at 1st avenue and the west seattle bridge… I only hope all of you on the Welcome Wagon get to witness this as well…

    Or perhaps join them under the West Seattle Bridge along the bike trail in the evening while riding home… that’s pretty inviting, I’m sure someone has a cup of coffee to share…

    I’m sure you will all be mad and JUDGE me because my opinion doesn’t support the enabling of LAZINESS, but i honestly do not care, so…save your energy.

  • mc comet May 14, 2011 (5:36 pm)

    Oh yes, welcome, welcome. Look at that beautiful field filled with all those wholesome people and their nice belongings. We look forward to more litter, more public intoxication and more panhandling.

  • mc comet May 14, 2011 (5:42 pm)

    By the way, do you notice the fine gentleman in the background urinating out in the open? What a lovely pastoral scene.

  • Ann May 14, 2011 (9:59 pm)

    If Nickelsville is anything like Tent City 3, it is a self-governed strictly no-drugs community of people who would rather be in their own homes, but settle for living at a place where their belongings are safe, they look out for each other, they can come and go when they please (and some do go to work), unlike the shelters. And they have their own security detail and — believe it or not — clean up the area not only in and around their city, but out in the neighborhood. My church welcomes Tent City 3 for a few months every year.

  • no more nimby-ism May 14, 2011 (10:00 pm)

    urinating in the open, as you say, because where else can he go? living on the street ‘for free’? listen to yourselves people.

    Compassion feels much better than using this hate speech toward other human beings. Try it sometime.

    • WSB May 14, 2011 (10:27 pm)

      P.S. Anybody interested in looking at the camp firsthand, they sent word tonight of an interfaith service at the site at 3 pm tomorrow. We did not get back there today to see what the setup was like, but hope to tomorrow. Among those listed as participants are the Rev. David Bloom (City Council candidate from a couple years ago) and Duwamish Tribe chair Cecile Hansen. – TR

  • kootchman May 15, 2011 (12:48 am)

    We let dogs pee all over the city….public right of ways like the green parking strips next to every house. We allow dogs to defecate the same. Heavens sake … at the least give the homeless the same consideration as your “free to defecate” anywhere dogs. Bet most of the “bulldozer” folks don’t have a retort for that one…

  • Lynne May 15, 2011 (9:19 am)

    Kelly needs a hug.

  • kelly May 18, 2011 (4:57 pm)

    oh Lynne… Thank you!

  • Diane May 19, 2011 (9:59 am)

    Maybe a better idea is for all of those posting “compassionate” comments to open their homes to the residents of Nickelsville or at least post a sign in their front yards indicating that they are welcome to come in and use the bathroom. Of course that would mean the homes being left open 24/7. Or better yet why don’t they all move to Alki Beach where there are all of the restrooms they might need and trashcans too. Of course signs will have to be posted for those who do choose to use the public green spaces to poop and scoop just as I do for my horrible dogs.
    Cheers to Kelly!

  • Karlynn May 20, 2011 (10:03 am)

    Just an FYI – on 42nd/Oregon, we had a Costco size box of baby wipes & toilet paper taken from the car. Mind you, there was a camera & other things worth $$ in the car that weren’t taken. Putting 2 + 2 together tells me that maybe our Nikelsville friends were short on supplies? Just something to be mindful of.

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