‘Nickelsville’ update: City Council’s $500,000 vote moved up to Monday

We’ve just confirmed that next Monday – June 24th – is the new date for the City Council‘s vote on spending $500,000 to assist with moving residents out of the “Nickelsville” encampment to facilitate a shutdown by September 1st. Last Friday, when we first reported the new ordinance, council spokesperson Dan Nolte told us the vote wouldn’t be until July 8th. Last night, though, we noticed the date was instead listed as June 24th, in this online update by Councilmember Nick Licata – and Nolte just confirmed to WSB that Monday is indeed the new date for the council vote. That’ll be in their 2 pm meeting at City Hall, which usually begins with a public-comment period; agendas usually come out on Thursdays, so we should see the one for this meeting later today.

43 Replies to "'Nickelsville' update: City Council's $500,000 vote moved up to Monday"

  • Jiggers June 20, 2013 (10:43 am)

    Oh boy.. I can hardly wait. I got my popcorn ready. Where is the money coming from and who is it going to?

  • Mike June 20, 2013 (11:01 am)

    Ridiculous. $500K goes a long way on park maintenance, street maintenance, etc. The professionally-homeless? Hell no.

  • Mike June 20, 2013 (11:16 am)

    somebody on the council member list have a conflicting vacation on July 8th?

  • Ex-Westwood Resident June 20, 2013 (11:16 am)

    Oh the money will come from a few places…education, city light, SPU, police, SDOT (but NOT anything to do with bike lanes)…etc.
    That or they’ll just raise fees/taxes to cover it.

  • Diane June 20, 2013 (11:48 am)

    ok, I’m totally confused here
    according to Nick’s notices that you have linked, with dates, times, what is being addressed/voted on, scattered all over the place; these communications from the city are a mess; I just had to open about 7 windows to piece together all the info
    “Before my next HHSHC Committee meeting on June 26, 2pm where we will vote on one of these options, I have a public hearing on this encampment-related ordinance, which seeks to make more sites around the city potentially usable as hosts. Here’s the official notice with details.”; (June 26 is Wednesday)
    “The City Council’s Housing, Human Services, Health, and Culture Committee will hold a public hearing to take comments on the proposal on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 at 5:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers”
    “The funding will be considered, on Monday, June 24th, in a separate bill, C.B. 117815. That bill will allocate $500,000 to provide outreach, case management, shelter, and housing to help move the campers at the encampment to appropriate shelter, housing and services”
    so now “will be considered” means “voted on”? I would have interpreted “will be considered” to mean, discuss, have public comment
    re “how that organization will be chosen and when” that will receive half a million dollars to do this; any info?
    I find it rather comical that city council now calls it an “emergency” when they have all been fully informed of the conditions in Nickelsville for 2 yrs and did nothing; it’s called election season
    how can they move the vote to Monday, without sufficient/fair amount of time for public comment?
    with all this lack of clear communication from the city re meeting times, and changing dates, makes it difficult for citizens to keep up with changes to be able to show up, or to comment by deadline

    • WSB June 20, 2013 (12:02 pm)

      We had already reported the June 25th hearing, multiple times. That came up before this.

  • Stephanie June 20, 2013 (11:49 am)

    Jiggers, Pretty sure us working citizens will be paying for it!! Amazing

  • Diane June 20, 2013 (12:06 pm)

    how about $500K to help people who really want a job?

  • Will be honest June 20, 2013 (12:11 pm)

    Professionally homeless is no joke. Though, it’s not an easy job. It looks hard and degrading and annoying. So, it’s kinda like most jobs.

  • Paul June 20, 2013 (12:27 pm)

    Just close it. This money should be spent on education etc. and not junkies.

  • cs in hp June 20, 2013 (1:15 pm)

    HPAC has requested that they designate some money for the Greenbelt- to go specifically to SPD for regular patrols throughout the summer and fall, Parks for their extra work in the greenbelt, and a non-profit (such as Nature Consortium) to help rebuild the greenbelt. We have not heard back about this request specifically, due to vacation schedules etc, but will post when we do.
    We are also under he impression that SHARE/WHEEL and Jam for Justice/Nickelsville do not have the staffing and expertise to qualify for any of this money- which is slated for a non-profit to provide outreach, engagement, case management and housing assistance, transportation subsidies, other flexible funds for food, ID cards, etc. The bulk of funding would go to providers of services, not to individual campers.

  • JustWow June 20, 2013 (1:16 pm)

    Sorry, how long have the residents had at Nickelsville to get it together in any capacity? Lucky for them this is Seattle where everyone has a bleeding heart, most major cities would have closed it down a long time ago.

  • kgdlg June 20, 2013 (1:19 pm)

    @Jiggers, many homeless work, especially at tent cities and encampments, that tend to attract a most self-sufficient population. Just sayin’

  • rico June 20, 2013 (1:21 pm)

    What a bunch of frickin morons on our council. Really, we are going to let folks illegally occupy public property and then pay big bucks to entice them to move elsewhere. That sure sets quite a precedent ensuring much more illegal occupation of public land in the future.

    Next time you can’t use the closed library or closed community center or avoid huge potholes in the street, or absorb another utility increase (to support low income subsidies), or watch budget cuts hit police or wonder how the city can offer no interest home improvement loans to low income or…… Just think about how easily the council came up with this cash and then blame the professional homeless population.

  • j June 20, 2013 (2:09 pm)


  • Del Martini June 20, 2013 (2:27 pm)

    @ cs in hp – Good on you and HPAC for making that request for SPD patrols and Parks to fix the damage/mess. I hope it is included.

    @ rico – I hear you. It is very frustrating. I think the only thing that will serve as a wake up call is for each person on the council to experience campers next door to them. And we know that is not going to happen based upon where they live. Maybe someday the state of Washington will step up instead of Seattle taxpayers being stuck with an annual $30 million dollar bill for homeless services, which includes many who arrive here from other parts of the state, region and points beyond.

  • JanS June 20, 2013 (2:28 pm)

    “professionally-homeless”, ” help people who really want a job”, ” junkies”, and again “professional homeless”…

    and then there’s this :


    G-d forbid any of you end up like this guy :(

  • Jtk June 20, 2013 (2:34 pm)

    we can all talk….. but unless you have stayed in that camp and out of your nice warm beds and your hot showers… You don’t know what these people have been through or are going through. Sure it seems like the money can go toward “better” things….. sure… how about all the garbage that piles up before the season starts on Alki beach…. or roads that need paving or re-paving.. or bus systems that need revamping… until you have been where SOME of these people have been, no one can say what they deserve… It’s like picking sides in a divorce. No one knows the situation except the two people going through said divorce. …. just a thought… I count myself Lucky that I don’t have to wear the same clothes every day or pee in a bucket… or MAYBE get a shower a week… Speculation is the devil sometimes… everyone here seems to be out for themselves…… like the average person… but what if they are just trying to help themselves as well?……

  • Hilari June 20, 2013 (2:50 pm)


    Thanks for your forward-thinking with regard to cleaning up the HP greenbelts. Your neighbors appreciate it very much.

  • One Block Away June 20, 2013 (3:11 pm)

    Just curious, how much city money is being spent on the camp today? So if they had been left alone there would not even be talk of this spend..? Am I missing something? Be careful what you wish for is coming to mind right now…

  • Seattlite June 20, 2013 (4:43 pm)

    Oh, Jtk, cry me a river. Growing up in the 50’s my dad was unemployed, so guess what, my mom went to work before it was fashionable for women to work full time. And, guess what, we were able to keep our house, put food on the table, etc. Every family and individuals have adversities and most choose to climb the hill. Those that feel entitled to government support and general handouts choose to skip down the hill.

  • Lifetime WS. June 20, 2013 (4:43 pm)

    Just keep voting these clowns into office.

  • JTK June 20, 2013 (4:49 pm)

    It is not my job, nor my responsibility to “know what these people go through”. My job is to make money to support my family and put a roof over their heads. I do feel somewhat sorry they put themselves in this position, but such is life. I want my tax dollars going to education, police, and other useful public services. I do not want it to go to people who refuse to help themselves.

  • 33Pete June 20, 2013 (4:59 pm)

    One Block Away – it sounds like you are under the misimpression that its either pay the $500K and have the camp move or let them stay. The option being advocated by the majority is more like have the camp move and pay them nothing (FYI – there are existing services available to those who don’t camp illegally). In other words, “being careful what you wish for” isn’t really an issue.

    Jtk – why is it that you think those in Nickelsville somehow have a monopoly on tough times or struggles? They don’t. So under your logic, unless you know what we have been through and the sacrifices we have made to stay in our “nice warm beds and . . . hot showers,” I suggest you take a less patronizing attitude and quit telling us what you think we owe other people.

  • iggy June 20, 2013 (5:10 pm)

    So is this a done deal? Will the City Council really pass a $500,000 allocation to Nickelsville residents? Or are we just being made aware that a vote will be taken next week, and maybe it will be voted down. Is it worthwhile to spend time sending emails to City Council, or is it a waste of time if they have already decided.

    • WSB June 20, 2013 (5:15 pm)

      If you didn’t read the original stories, just to be clear:
      What they are proposing is, as summarized on the City Council agenda for Monday, just circulated this afternoon: “Authorizing the Human Services Department to enter into a contract with a non-profit organization to provide outre ach, engagement, case management, shelter, housing and other services to immediately move the campers at the encampment at 7116 W Marginal Way SW to appropriate shelter, housing and services; appropriating $500,000 for such purpose; declaring an emergency; and ratifying and confirming prior acts; all with a three- fourths vote of the City Council.”
      The full text of the proposal, which three-fourths of the nine-member council (in other words, seven, which is how many signed the letter that led to this) must approve, is here:
      I am going to add the full text, not just the link, to this story, just so it’s preserved for posterity someplace other than city archives. Note that part of the text says “The $500,000 in funding authorized by this ordinance may be spent for services to be provided under a written contract with a non-profit organization to provide outreach, engagement, case management, shelter, housing and other services to the campers at 7116 W Marginal Way SW, and may be spent for no other purpose.”

  • JanS June 20, 2013 (5:14 pm)

    33Pete…you said ” (FYI – there are existing services available to those who don’t camp illegally)” Could you please list what those are? Provide links, cite websites, whatever it is you know. Thanks.

  • 33Pete June 20, 2013 (6:10 pm)

    JanS – here is a good start for existing services (it’s the first hit when you google seatlle homeless shelters – yep, it’s that easy and with free Internet access at our libraries, readily available to all):

  • cj June 20, 2013 (6:31 pm)

    I think my only worry regarding the 500k is that a Nickelsvill II the resurrection will show up in another year or two asking for aid and expedited services after the word gets out that this is how to get past the red tape and waiting list other hurting Americans are dealing with.

  • gia June 20, 2013 (9:05 pm)

    here is another link that provides information for resources available….


    you can also dial 211 from any phone (cell or landline) and a live person can assist you in your search for resources…

  • JanS June 20, 2013 (9:33 pm)

    33Pete…now tell me how many beds are actually open. Tell me what the waiting list is. Do you really have any idea how hard it is to actually get these services? On paper, that looks wonderful….in reality? It’s not that easy.

    Now, let’s see…2000+ homeless in Seattle….exactly how many have phones? Exactly how many computers does the library have? How long is the wait to get in , say, the Compass Center, the Ranch? How many homeless families will be broken up, how many will have to pack up each morning, with the only belongings that they have on their backs, and then have to vie for a bed the next night, and if they don’t get it, sleep in a doorway. No shower, no brushing their teeth, no laundry. How many will get job interviews living like that? I’m sure you have the answers for those questions, too…..right?

  • JoB June 21, 2013 (8:22 am)

    gia.. dial 211 from any phone and there is a good chance you will get referred to Nickelsville because the available shelters are full.

  • Jtk June 21, 2013 (8:27 am)

    Sure some choose to live this life… I work my A** off for what I have in this life, and all I am saying is I am grateful for what I do have, even people with “money” have problems… I’m just saying, until you have been in their shoes it’s easy to judge….
    I’m not saying throw money at the problem and make it go away… because it won’t… we should all lend a hand to help each other… when and IF we can …. I see so many other stories on this blog for the Diaper Donations.. and for other charity things that people give their time and money to…. just because it’s “TAX” dollars… people are having a problem… because it’s a FORCED donation in a sense… anyway… this is honestly a never ending battle…

  • JoB June 21, 2013 (9:01 am)

    Who are the “professionally” homeless?

    anyone whose take home income (from any source) is less than $1000/mo and who is not in subsidized housing.

    if i understood correctly, this year spots on the waiting list for subsidized housing were awarded by lottery.

    anyone who is unable to work because of injuries or chronic medical conditions and is working their way through the claims system.. a process that can take years.

    anyone who lost their job, lost their home and their credit rating as a result and have either run out of benefits or whose benefits won’t cover the costs of first/last/monthly to move themselves and their families into housing.

  • 33Pete June 21, 2013 (9:33 am)

    It seems there is a misperception on the part of some that not wanting to throw $500K at the Nickelsville residents somehow means we are anti-homeless.

    Ask yourself this, why should they get superpriority for the monies at issue when they are they ones who thumbed their nose at the system?

    I would, for example, be far less concerned with a proposal aimed at increasing monies going to shelter servies on a city wide basis. But that’s not what this is – this is money earmarked for one, small discreet group of people who essentially want to hold the city hostage under threat of squatting. To that, I say no way.

    Bottom line – we do NOT want our city to be a magnet for homelessness. Quite frankly, we can’t affort it and should not bear the burden of folks moving here for the sole purpose of taking advantage of our resident-paid services and free city land. Allowing tent cities and/or paying people off based on their squatting just encourages more homeless people to move here. Indeed, that’s how we got to where we are today.

  • community member June 21, 2013 (9:48 am)

    I am sure there are some people there who are eligible for disabilty assistance, veterans benefits, housing aid, job training programs, mental health care, etc. BUT the catch-22 is that the same disabilities/difficulties that would qualify them for aid are also blocking them from having ability, persistance, self-organization, etc, to apply for and wait for those benefits.
    That’s why you need outreach and case management. And it cant just be for a day or two, it has to be on-going, because when John Doe is half-way to receiving, say, medical treatment for the panic attacks that have prevented him from holding a job, and then he can’t get his prescription refilled because it got sent to the wrong pharmacy, a caseworker can help. That’s just one example.
    When churches host tent camps, the hope is that church members will choose to be mentors and provide daily encouragement, and help homeless with tasks such as getting a replacement birth certificate – tasks that are an annoying inconvenience even for highly functional employed people, but can be true barriers to anyone struggling with mental health issues, even if the mental health issues by themselves are moderate and manageable, or treatable.
    Even is someone is “employable”, they may need some sort of mentorship or case management or AA to get to work on time and keep a job.
    From what I have read, Nickelsville has provided a site to camp, and maybe food, but NONE of the case management/ mentorship support that is needed for people to get out of homelessness. And “shelters” that are run “democratically” are just flop houses. In my opinion money should only go to a “shelter” if the shelter provides multiple mentored paths for moving on.

  • AML June 21, 2013 (1:10 pm)

    Thank you 33pete- nicely said. 500K? Seriously? I would much rather see these monies go to shelters- not to help a group of people move from one place to another. What type of message is our city council/local govt. sending?

  • jiggers June 21, 2013 (3:21 pm)

    Moving up the date sounds to me that they’ll vote NO. The faster that they cut the umbilical cord, they can move on to more important issues like infrastructure.

  • JoB June 21, 2013 (3:31 pm)

    local citizens have provided most of the support to the individuals who camp at Nickelsville.
    One of your neighbors provides lunch on the weekend.
    One of your neighbors set up a fund for identification expenses and takes individuals to the DMV.. sitting with them while they process their paperwork..
    one of your neighbors takes individuals to doctor’s appointment and follows up to make certain they have medications..
    i could go on, but you get the point.
    as taxpayers, you have had a really cushy deal when it comes to these particular homeless people.
    they weren’t paid a fee by the city for providing shelter
    they weren’t consuming services on site
    and unless you volunteered you didn’t pay a penny for their sanitation, water or food.
    local volunteers picked up that tab for you.
    So after two years of your neighbors picking up the tab for those who wanted to get off the streets…
    the way you thank them is to make it more difficult for those volunteers to access those who need help
    and bitch about $500,000 dedicated to the very services you think “those” people should be taking advantage of… like shelters.
    and …. demanding that any dollars spent be spent on clearing your particular greenbelt of any campers who live there.
    That $500,000 could go to an organization like the Union Gospel Mission who already do outreach into this city’s greenbelts to try to offer options to those who live there…
    or to the Compass Center where the kinds of services that help get people off the street are already delivered…
    but that’s somehow not acceptable ?

    you want Nickelsville closed, your greenbelts swept of campers and homeless people removed from your streets…
    and you want someone else to pick up the tab for you.
    you can call the homeless all of the names you want
    but from where i sit, it looks like you are the ones demanding the free lunch.

  • funkietoo June 21, 2013 (4:49 pm)

    Well said JoB

  • miws June 21, 2013 (5:55 pm)

    Yes, JoB. Well said.


    Thank you.



  • Gatewood Guy June 21, 2013 (7:44 pm)

    Moving video, JanS. Really.

  • West Seattle Hipster June 21, 2013 (8:01 pm)

    I agree with JoB, the 500 grand should go to the Union Gospel Mission instead. Or St. Martin de Porres Shelter. Or New Beginnings. Or Jubilee Women’s Center.

    Donate hard earned tax dollars to worthy charities, not to Scott Morrow.

Sorry, comment time is over.