Weatherizing Nickelsville: Can you help Saturday afternoon?

(Photo by Kevin McClintic)
This weekend’s a great time for activities that don’t require crossing the Duwamish Waterway (and of course we all know why). So here’s one: The encampment that calls itself “Nickelsville,” which has been back at its original Highland Park Way/West Marginal Way Southwest site since mid-May, needs a little help. One of its regular community volunteers explains:

A few anonymous folks had 10 yards of gravel delivered to Nickelsville on Tuesday. By thickly covering common areas and pathways with gravel, the residents and donors, will not have to worry about the slippery mud that comes with our Fall/Winter Rains, plus the residents’ shoes and clothes will stay cleaner, as well as their tents. Another 10 yards (28,000 lbs) is going to be delivered tomorrow and we are hoping we can get some West Seattle Community members to come down to help haul, move, spread, etc., the gravel. If interested folks were able to bring shovels, buckets, a wheelbarrow, rakes for spreading, etc., it would make the project go even faster. And monetary donations to purchase even more gravel are greatly appreciated.

If you can help in person, 1-3 pm Saturday is the time frame. If you’re not sure how to find Nickelsville, or if you have another question, contact Joanne at or 206-938-0361. If you are interested in donating money, there’s a collection box at Hotwire Online Coffeehouse (WSB sponsor; 4410 California SW).

13 Replies to "Weatherizing Nickelsville: Can you help Saturday afternoon?"

  • tk October 20, 2011 (10:35 pm)

    I saw the gravel down there today! I would def like to help!

  • proudpugetridger October 21, 2011 (7:45 am)

    I can’t resist…

    So, an entire encampment full of “victims of the econonomy (unemployed)” and you need help to spread the gravel?

    Just sayin’

  • monroe1200 October 21, 2011 (7:54 am)

    How many grown men are living in that camp? Not to sound cold and rude, but I am a little taken back that they would ask for help to do the physical work, when the gravel was donated to them. The least they can do is put some of their own sweat and energy into it. This only feeds the mind-set of always needing a hand-out instead of figuring out how to do it themselves. This applies to all aspects of ones life. They are asking people that work for a living to come help people that don’t. I don’t get to ask for help when I’m getting up at 4am to go to work for 12 hours. Donations are great and I do donate money and materials, but for crying out loud, the least they can do is the labor!
    …and let the attacks on me start now…HAPPY FRIDAY!!!

  • munchkin22 October 21, 2011 (9:09 am)

    monroe1200: I don’t believe that the residents are the ones that asked for the help. The supporters most likely put out the call. We were down there for a good portion of the day yesterday and there were plenty of men residents sore from days of hauling the gravel. Some young boys that live there were also filling buckets and hauling them up over the berm as well as one woman who put her all into filling the buckets and wheelbarrows for the kids and men. Yes there are some in camp that don’t appear to want to help, and there are also many who are disabled and unable to do so. We have made many friends down there since May, and seen many rise up and work their way into housing and a better life.We wish them success in building their community.

  • JoB October 21, 2011 (10:35 am)

    can we interject just a touch of reality here?
    first is the assumption that Nickelsville is full of healthy lazy men.
    While I will admit that there are some people in Nickelsville that have an aversion to work..
    they are not the majority.
    The man you see in the background of the picture shoveled barkdust and gravel for two days solid in spite of the boot encasing his broken foot.
    in addition to the two wheelbarrows you see in the picture, there was a pretty steady brigade of both men and women carrying 5 gallon buckets of gravel up and over that berm into the interior of the camp.
    Many of those carrying the gravel are themselves disabled.
    they moved approximately 14 tons of gravel in one day.
    They day before they moved a truck full of bardust.
    and today another 14 tons was delivered.
    an there is likely to be at least 14 tons following some time next week.
    They live in a very big very muddy field.
    altogether, that camp has already moved approximately 45 tons of gravel into the field they occupy to provide safety rings for fires, to shore up steps and to stabilize common areas.
    Any way you count it… That’s sweat equity.
    I will admit that even though i am not the one who originated this project, i have a personal stake here.
    Those of us who donate and spend time in the camp will benefit as much if not more than the residents from the gravel paths which will help prevent another injury like the one i sustained this spring slipping in the mud… or like the one that broke the foot of the gentleman with the shovel.
    the residents themselves didn’t ask for help…
    we asked for them.. and for us.

  • NotMe October 21, 2011 (12:11 pm)

    When you put “Just sayin” in your comments, you are not cute. You are being incredibly passive aggressive and in this case, it’s pretty ugly.

  • monroe1200 October 21, 2011 (1:01 pm)

    NotMe – Why is it “pretty ugly” in this case to say “just sayin'”? I am truly baffled by your comment. I think it is just another way of saying “IMHO” (In My Humble Opinion), Just sayin’.

  • CB October 21, 2011 (1:26 pm)

    What’s up with the name? Shouldn’t be called McGinnville? This is another example of the WSB’s political bias.

  • funkietoo October 21, 2011 (6:01 pm)

    There are many, many folks there with disabilities who cannot help move the gravel or have limited ability to help. Besides, if there are more people helping, it will get done more quickly–before the rainy weather—which I think was the goal.

    Remember…the majority of disabilities are invisible to the eye. I would help move the gravel, however, I have a chronic condition that will flare up if I do. My hands and wrists will go numb, along with having painful eletric shock like sensations in them. It would take a couple of weeks to get my wrists and hands back to a manageable level. Anyone looking at me would see me as a strong,physically capable and able individual.

    Sarcastic and judgemental statements make me sad. I just shake my head and wonder…why is it necessary? I don’t get it.

  • miws October 21, 2011 (9:14 pm)

    Thanks to all of our West Seattle supporters, not only for donating towards the cost of the gravel, but for the pledges to come down and help spread the gravel as well.


    On a more personal note, I appreciate the commenters here that have spoken to why some of down here are unable to commit as much as we’d really like to in physical labor.


    The man that JoB spoke of above also has chronic COPD. Myself, I have asthma, which was aggravated by my carrying several relatively lightweight bucketfuls of bark mulch over the berm and into the Camp over a 2-1/2 to 3 hour period Tuesday morning, then, after lunch shoveling several wheelbarrow loads of the mulch for about another 2 hours, after I already felt quite spent.


    Any work I do tomorrow, will be relatively low impact, such as raking the gravel, as my breathing is still pretty difficult.


    Also, thanks to WSB for publishing this!



  • JanS October 22, 2011 (12:11 pm)

    and please remember that some of the residents are EMPLOYED. This is not a camp of “ne’er-do-wells”, who are lazy shiftless bums. Yes, as in any community, there are people who are less willing (or unable) to do the hard work for many reasons.

    This attitude that some of the commenters here have that they are simply looking for handouts is mistaken. My advice to Monroe1200 and ProudPugetRidger..get you a$$es down there and meet some of these people, instead of sitting in your comfy home and bitching about those less fortunate than you. I’m so glad I don’t have the bitterness that you somehow evoke, IMHO..

  • miws October 22, 2011 (9:25 pm)

    Thanks to the folks who came down and helped shovel, haul, and spread the gravel today!


    Each part required a certain level of stamina, especially wheeling the wheelbarrow loads over the berm, something I would not have been able to do.


    The Volunteers that joined us down here worked hard, as did many our our residents.


    As far as directly working with the gravel, about the only thing I would have been physically able to to was help to spread it.


    Instead, at the request of Head of Security, I took over for the guy doing Security on the berm, so that he could join the wheelbarrow crew.


    Oh, and one of the Volunteers even brought his own wheelbarrow, shovel, and other tools!



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