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).