What’s new at West Seattle’s only city-sanctioned encampment, Camp Second Chance

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

More tiny houses and a permanent camp manager were among the updates at a brief meeting of the Camp Second Chance Community Advisory Committee this afternoon.

C2C – at 9401 Myers Way S. – is the only city-sanctioned encampment in West Seattle; the city requires each of the sanctioned encampments to have one.

Community Advisory Council members present were chair Willow Fulton, a nearby resident; Judi Carr, a resident of Arrowhead Gardens (where the committee meets); Aaron Garcia of the White Center Community Development Association; Cinda Stenger of the Westside Interfaith Network and Alki UCC; and Grace Stiller of Weed Warriors.

Present from camp operator LIHI were Josh Castle. C2C manager Eric Davis announced he will soon be in that role as a LIHI employee, after about a year. (That drew a round of applause at meeting’s end.) Davis is a camp founder and managed C2C in a paid position under the original camp operator Patacara, but the camp changed operators during a time of controversy and Davis’s position did not become a job again until now.

He presented the monthly update on the city-sanctioned encampment: 45 residents (34 men and 11 women), four of them new, six moved out for jobs/housing/family reunification; one moved out for treatment; no one was barred during the month.

No City of Seattle rep this time – Tom Van Bronkhorst of the Department of Neighborhoods, the usual rep, was absent. Fulton had hoped for a city rep to be present as usual because on the city side of Myers Way – not at/in C2C, she made clear – there are new problems including vehicles in various states of disrepair/demolition.

She feels that such dumping/activity is a magnet for more trouble – “people see it as a dumping ground because it looks like a dumping ground” – so she feels the city should patrol the area regularly rather than wait for complaints. Davis said that vehicles are being stripped at 2, 3 am and yes, he said, the camp has called police to report it. “They just need someone to drive up and down there for six months to get it under control, midnight to six am.”

Fulton says it would be great to have a camera of some sort in the area.

Liz Giba of the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council suggested working with King County Sheriff’s Office White Center storefront Deputy Bill Kennamer. Fulton noted that the problems seem to be on the Seattle side and the city and county law-enforcement agencies seem to pass problems back and forth “like a hot potato.”

Meantime, Stenger said Alki UCC has completed eight more tiny houses for the camp and has money to build five more. The camp now has 31 tiny houses and 22 tents. (City funding covers platforms holding either tiny houses or tents, but not the structures themselves.) On September 22nd, the camp will host a celebration and blessing of the eight new houses, starting at noon, with music and food. (All welcome!) She also said she’s working on “the shower issue” (as discussed at previous meetings, camp residents are hoping a mobile shower vehicle can visit more often) and “might have a solution for that.”

Castle noted that the County Council has taken its vote on whether to give lodging-tax money to the Mariners or to affordable housing, and says more was shifted to the latter than originally proposed. (The final vote is on September 17th; the committee approval on September 5th was to allocate $165 million more lodging-tax dollars to affordable housing than originally proposed.)

Absent any further community concerns, or formal agenda items, the meeting adjourned after half an hour. Next one will be 2 pm October 7th, also at Arrowhead Gardens (9200 2nd SW, a few blocks north of C2C).

7 Replies to "What's new at West Seattle's only city-sanctioned encampment, Camp Second Chance"

  • Tedb310 September 9, 2018 (8:19 pm)

    Take a look at paragraph five, “He presented the monthly update…”. Imagine how it would feel to have a roomful of people, no matter how well intentioned give a status update on your existence. I think we lose track of these individuals humanity. I’ll admit I catch myself doing it. 

  • 22blades September 10, 2018 (6:44 am)

    ” She also said she’s working on “the shower issue” (as discussed at previous meetings, camp residents are hoping a mobile shower vehicle can visit more often) and “might have a solution for that.” I hope they will be able to come up with a good design and soon. I think access to good hygiene is such a basic need for someone’s dignity.

  • AvalonTom September 10, 2018 (8:41 am)

    A correction if I may,  The article said “(City funding covers platforms holding either tiny houses or tents, but not the structures themselves.)” The city might fund the platforms holding the tents, but the tiny houses are 100% donated including the platforms and pier block they sit on.  I know as im one of the people building them.

  • Steve September 10, 2018 (10:06 am)

    Meanwhile, our elected reps(city council), right now, are considering giving 180 million dollars of our tax money to Safeco field. Priority check please.

    • WSB September 10, 2018 (11:49 am)

      As mentioned above, it’s the County Council. Separate governing body.

  • Sura Hart September 10, 2018 (10:09 am)

    Than you for this information about Second Chance. I’m embarrassed & sad to say I was not aware of Camp Second Chance in W Seattle, have not seen it. I’d like to stay informed and contribute what I can. Not sure what that is, so I plan to attend the Oct 2 meeting. Thank you, AvalonTom and others, for building the tiny houses.I believe every one of us should have basic needs met: shelter, warmth, bathing, nutritious food, good company, empathy, dignity and significance within one’s community. With so many good people and resources in W Seattle, I’d like to see all we can do to support people at Camp Second Chance to be healthy, physically, emotionally, socially.

  • joy spencer September 21, 2018 (12:33 am)

    I live at Shag and went to the last meeting which really didn’t amount to much. Nothing has really gotton better and it is so sad to see. We at Shag have personaly donated over a 100 lbs of food clothes and misc. items. Just hope the next meeting gets better results.

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