By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Before Camp Second Chance moved to Myers Way three years ago, it was hosted by a church.
Now a faith-based affiliation might be in its future.
Sunday’s Community Advisory Committee meeting at nearby Arrowhead Gardens brought that bit of news, as well as a reiteration of the milestone we reported earlier in the weekend – that the last tent had been replaced with a “tiny house.”
That was a big part of the camp update presented by resident manager/site coordinator Eric Davis offered the update:
His voice broke as he marveled at the amount of support that’s been expressed by the community. “We just want to have that level of success go toward the rest of the organizations that are struggling.” He also said the shower trailer should be ready to go in a few days once the graywater tank arrives. And he confirmed there’s a new case manager on site, though he was not at the meeting.
CITY UPDATE: Shawn Neal from the city Human Services Department said his colleague Lisa Gustaveson has been looking for a faith-based organization to sponsor Camp 2nd Chance. No further details, but later in the meeting, he said that could enable an extension for the camp at the Myers Way Parcels site, where it’s passed the 2-year limit promised when it became city-sanctioned. CAC member Cinda Stenger said she knows of one faith-based organization that’s “looking at taking over the lease of the land” but she didn’t identify it or comment further. A faith-based sponsor would not replace LIHI as the camp’s contract-holder with the city, Neal said.
We sought further details from HSD today but they have none to disclose, spokesperson Meg Olberding said:
We recognize that the faith-based community is an important part of the safety net and response to homelessness in our city. Many members of the faith-based community do this great work on their own and with other agencies or entities in the community. In order to better coordinate this effort, the City has been engaging with members of the larger faith community about how to work better together in addressing homelessness in a variety of ways. Nothing concrete to share at this time, as we are in the conversation stages.
Local churches have led the way in support for Camp Second Chance, from advocacy to funding and building tiny houses.
COMMITTEE UPDATES: Chair Willow Fulton says things have been quiet and clean. One RV was on Myers Way Sunday and they’ll keep an eye on it. She’s hoping to rally her fellow nearby residents for a roadside cleanup soon. The “major stuff” is already cleaned up, so she hopes neighbors will contribute to the not-so-major cleanup. She’s also looking into “street adoption” rules. You have to commit to a mile, for a year, at least four cleanups, before the recognition signage (“this street adopted by” etc.) can go up, Fulton said. She’s hoping local businesses along Myers Way and vicinity will join in too … Aaron Garcia from the White Center Community Development Association elaboratec on the Refresh cleanup – 50+ volunteers will be in the camp and along Myers Way, painting some tiny houses, cleaning up along Myers Way, 9 am-1 pm on June 8th. He also talked about White Center Pride events next week, and an Art Walk 6-9 pm June 5th, with the Nepantla Cultural Arts Gallery in South Delridge a major hub for it; the White Center Chamber of Commerce is organizing … Stenger, with Sound Foundations NW and Alki UCC, reiterated gratitude and appreciation for the volunteers and donations that made the tiny-house-building possible … Grace Stiller with two local environmental groups had no major updates but offered gratitude. She also said the Nature Stewards have gloves they can lend for the upcoming cleanup.
COMMENTS/CONCERNS/QUESTIONS: CAC member Garcia wondered about the city’s promises of activating the east-side greenbelt after last fall’s cleanup. Stiller said that there seem to be no particular plans because the land is mostly state, not city.
NEXT MEETING: First Sunday in July falls at the end of the 4th of July weekend, so CAC members will confer via e-mail to dedide whether to go ahead with a meeting.