FOLLOWUP: How will city decide on Camp Second Chance staying or going?

(WSB photo of Camp Second Chance entrance, December 2017)

Will city-authorized encampment Camp Second Chance have its stay on the city-owned Myers Way Parcels extended, or will it have to move, as current city law would require? As reported here earlier this week, the Highland Park Action Committee has sent the city a letter opposing an extension, following its “listening session” and a community survey. That meeting was held the same week that the Westside Interfaith Network gathered C2C supporters in Fauntleroy. Will the city convene its own meeting regarding the potential extension, as it did a year ago? The city’s homelessness-response spokesperson Will Lemke says none is planned “but that could change,” and sent us this statement on the renewal decisionmaking process.

The City continues to gather information, including community input, on next steps for Camp Second Chance. A final decision has not been reached.

The City has and continues to engage a diverse range of community stakeholders; including Highland Park Action Committee, members of the Camp Second Chance advisory committee, residents of Arrowhead Gardens, homeless service providers, residents of and near Camp Second Chance, and the faith community to learn more about their experiences with the program.

We also take program performance, siting, and Citywide shelter resources into consideration during this process.

All of these factors will be taken into consideration as the City makes a final decision that best serves the community and residents of the village. Ultimately, programs like Camp Second Chance are designed to get vulnerable people the critical stability and help they need to get on a path to housing—Camp Second Chance has done that for people.

Thousands of people are living unsheltered on Seattle’s streets. Solutions to this crisis are complex and require not only substantial resources from the City, but engagement from communities to help inform and support programs. We appreciate our community partners and will continue to listen while we develop our plans for Camp Second Chance.

The city has said previously that you can comment via email at We asked exactly who has the final say – the mayor or someone else; Lemke replied, “Ultimately, the City is working collaboratively (which includes the Mayor’s Office) internally and externally to develop next steps.”

The camp’s official authorization is ending its second year, but it arrived at the site more than half a year earlier, moving from a church in South King County. According to the most recent report presented at Sunday’s monthly meeting of the camp’s Community Advisory Committee, 51 people are currently at the camp, which continues converting tent sites to “tiny houses” with the help of community donations and volunteers.

15 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: How will city decide on Camp Second Chance staying or going?"

  • Buttercup March 7, 2019 (3:26 pm)

    Close this camp and I will be thousands plus 51 living on the streets of Seattle. Is this what Seattle gas become? A city(Highland Park Action Committee) concerned about rules and regulations or what Seattle was always known for? A city and population who cared about one another. Maybe it’s time for the Highland Park Action Committee to step up and help find a place for the people to move to or better yet an true blue invitation to host. They keep saying they’ve hosted although they never had beginning involvement to truly and unselfishly help the homeless. They picked up the ball and took the accolades. 

  • alkiobserver March 7, 2019 (5:12 pm)

    Crazy! And, somehow all of this quasi-sanctioned/maybe-sanctioned/totally city sanctioned camping horse pucky is supposed to be better than the city building large, cheap dormitory-style housing? It just doesn’t make sense to me that the city is more keen on putting tiny shed-type houses on single-family lots than just building a few dorm towers. College kids fare just fine in those. You put self-serve community kitchens and have social services available in the ground floor. 

    • WSB March 7, 2019 (6:48 pm)

      Couple points of clarification – these aren’t single-family lots – this is commercially zoned, though the city committed to future park use.

      Also, the city’s not funding the tiny houses. They’re being paid for by private donations. The city doesn’t even pay for the tents.

      • WW Resident March 7, 2019 (7:29 pm)

        Then where have the hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer money for the homeless gone? 

  • 1994 March 7, 2019 (7:17 pm)

    Tiny houses are not the solution,  just another illusion of being better than a tent. Close it down. This is city property that should be available to all or none.Maybe homeless service providers pay for tents using city/taxpayer funds they received? I had a coworker who lived in a tent in a North Seattle homeless camp and she told me they were provided new tents frequently but she had no idea how they were purchased.  Tents gets ruined when used continuously in our damp climate. 

  • WS Resident March 7, 2019 (9:10 pm)

    What a B***S*** response from the city, via Lemke. If the residents of Highland Park were smart, they would start fundraising for lawyers, since it seems the city only cares about hearing from one side of the issue. 

  • Question Authority March 8, 2019 (6:00 am)

    The Homeless Industrial Complex is a sham and the current an ever-increasing scrutiny of it is long overdue.  It has become a for-profit industry under the premise of helping those less fortunate with little results to show for the cost.  There are better models to follow and Second Chance is not one of them as it clearly violates the prior agreement, let alone the way it was founded.

  • WS GUY March 8, 2019 (8:14 am)

    This place really needs to go, it’s a waste of money, it’s a waste for taxpayers. Literally no one benefits. We really need to push them out further south

  • zark00 March 8, 2019 (11:05 am)

    WS Guy really says it all – no solution, no compassion, no understanding, nothing but a NIMBY.  Just “push them out” – they’re subhuman right?  So just push them out like so much garbage. 

    • West Seattle Hipster March 8, 2019 (1:05 pm)

      Anyone in Seattle who pays taxes has done more than enough to contribute to a solution.  However, the so-called leaders of the city have failed to do their part.

      • wscommuter March 8, 2019 (10:48 pm)

        Perhaps you’re right … what, precisely, is it that “city leaders have failed to do”?  Just so we can understand what you seem so sure of.  What is this solution you seem to be aware of that eludes our electeds?  

  • SG March 8, 2019 (11:36 am)

    Oh the irony of the “No Trespassing” signs on the fence of the property that they trespassed on, built on, and now live on. SMH

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