CAMP SECOND CHANCE: Permit-renewal meeting ahead, and other Community Advisory Committee updates

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

On the way to today’s Camp Second Chance Community Advisory Committee, we were in an Arrowhead Gardens elevator with former camp resident Zsa Zsa, who remarked that she’d just visited C2C and noticed a lot of new faces – because others had exited to housing, as had she.

How many? At the meeting, the city-sanctioned camp’s manager/co-founder Eric Davis announced the latest numbers:

-53 residents (16 women, 37 men)
-All 50 “tiny houses” built, no more tents
-5 more people placed in housing in July, with help of new LIHI case manager Billie Jean Hendricks
-New security shack provided by LIHI
-New kitchen on the way
-One 911 call in July (“medical reasons”) from the camp

He also had gratitude for help from organizations and other donors, from local churches to “even Bobby Wagner from the Seahawks.”

EXTENSION/RENEWAL? Committee chair Willow Fulton said the city wants to have meetings next month as part of the extension/renewal process. She said the city asked if they wanted to incorporate a community meeting into a CAC meeting or have a separate meeting. She said the CAC asked for the latter, and they want it held at the nearby Joint Training Facility, no date yet but likely “early to mid-September,” which would be close to the end of the six-month extension the city announced in March. With a community meeting expected, the CAC likely won’t meet next month, Fulton said. If you have comments about the renewal in the meantime, said city Human Services Department rep Shawn Neal, email

OTHER REPORTS: CAC member Grace Stiller followed up on last month’s report of possible noxious weeds in the area. She said one stand of poison hemlock was found and has to be removed – that might already have happened. She expressed gratitude for the responsiveness of the King County Noxious Weed Program. She’s visited the camp and says it “looks great.”

CAC member Aaron Garcia expressed concern about the plans for greenbelt areas near the camp, including the space across the street that was cleared last fall but which, as noted at last month’s CAC meeting, has seen some new unauthorized camping. Are there plans to activate the space? Regular visits by the Navigation Team? Recurring trouble in that area “takes so much air out of the success of Camp Second Chance,” Garcia observed. Neal promised to share that feedback with others at the city (for which he was the lone rep again this month). A community member agreed that the problems outside the camp tend to color community discussion of the camp, even though C2C has no control over what happens outside its gate.

Garcia also had some community notes: Friday, August 9th, 3-6 pm, school supplies, food, entertainment at Greenbridge Plaza, and Saturday, August 10th, Cine en el Parque (Spanish with English subtitles), “Spider-Man,” at Dick Thurnau Memorial Park. The White Center Community Development Association, for which he works, continues to plan the 8th/108th affordable-housing project, which requires a Comprehensive Plan Amendment; another community meeting will be coming up regarding that, he said, but no date yet. Though “people don’t want to come and talk about zoning,” it’s “important that we get our communities out there and have our voices heard,” he said.

NEARBY: Chair Fulton, who lives near the camp, said she’d reported some dumping elsewhere on Myers Way via Find It, Fix It and it had been cleaned up. She also noted an incident last month with a fire call to the Myers Way Parcels in the evening and then an injured person found later. And she observed that fencing placed on the roadside many months ago to deter illegal parking and dumping has been effective but is also forcing some pedestrians to walk in the street when going to and from the transit center that’s adjacent to Arrowhead Gardens.

Maybe some other form of barrier? “What’s there now is a really unsafe situation for people who need to use the transit center,” she said. It’s also an aesthetic problem too, she noted.

Garcia said that dovetailed with his concerns about activating the greenspaces – a more holistic look at “fix(ing) Myers Way,” maybe with the city and state working together.

COMMUNITY QUESTIONS/COMMENTS: Zsa Zsa took the mic and said that “because of Camp Second Chance I got a second chance to move forward in my life.” She’s now living in Kent. But the camp is a vital place to “get people off the street” and offering “stability” in many ways – even an address at which people can receive mail. She’s also trying to give back by serving on advisory councils, including one related to health care for homeless people.

The Camp Second Chance Community Advisory Committee meets first Sundays most months, 2 pm at Arrowhead Gardens (9200 2nd SW). As mentioned above, a September meeting is not likely because of the expected community meeting on renewing the camp’s permit.

7 Replies to "CAMP SECOND CHANCE: Permit-renewal meeting ahead, and other Community Advisory Committee updates"

  • Question Authority August 5, 2019 (10:06 am)

    Regardless of the success stories coming out of the camp or other attributes, it was to be there for a certain period of time and not continuously rubber-stamped for another extension.  It sets a bad example that rules don’t apply, and everything can be looked at through Rose Colored Glasses when it comes to it’s impact on the local community.

    • flimflam August 5, 2019 (4:38 pm)

      the fact that the space was essentially broken into and commandeered doesn’t sit well with me either – cutting off locks to a property that isn’t yours doesn’t really help winning over doubters, in my opinion. 

  • Penny Lane Pannek August 5, 2019 (11:32 am)

    In regards to Eric Davis for Camp second chance thank you Eric for helping me out with the phone it was much needed at the time and I’m doing much better thank you congratulations on handling this last year so well. Only the best for second chance as they further their process and there process in relieving Seattle’s homeless. Second thing in regards to the people at Myers way, I also heard that there was a few that were camping there I’m not really sure I haven’t been over that way in a minute however I will tell you that when they kicked us out the last time that the flyer that they gave us had two phone numbers on it for us to call for outreach for help for information and both phone numbers that had been made available to us had no idea what we were talking about and they only gave us about a week and a half to find other spots 2 go to and they basically bulldozed everything into the ground overnight and then poof their trucks were gone the next morning and that was it. It was pretty shady by the way the city handled it and I doubt very much that the duwamish people on their board had any idea what was happening or the fact that they just bulldozed all the stuff into the ground I’m sure they would like to know about that if they even have heard about it so this time if the city is to do something I hope they’re not so shady about things especially people that are concerned about the environment and what goes into our ground. Also the trash accumulation if y’all were paying attention they would give us purple plastic bags to fill which we did and had all of our trash and certain areas in bulk for them to come pick up but there was a lot of other things that were left on side of the road scrap stuff from house trash excessive trash barrels of trash couches mattresses in such and there’s been folks videotaped several different slumlords dropping off their garbage right where we were at and then taking off in their trucks so just so you know it’s the majority of the big stuff is was not us by the majority. That was somebody else ie slumlords people that didn’t want to pay for dumps at the dump…. just so you’ll know. One small dumpster would have handled the whole problem except for the unauthorized jumping from slumlords Etc. It’s a shame that citizens are misinformed so many times because of the media and how they portray things things have not been accurate for years on both sides of the fence it’s time we recognize that so we can get something done to appease everybody okay.

  • buttercup August 5, 2019 (3:46 pm)

    Oh Lord, here we go again. Anal retentive people and their regulations again. And again, no suggestions where these people can live safe and able to get their lives back together. Didn’t hear or see anything bad happening in the camp.  If they’re moved out maybe a church in Highland Park or White Center can help them because there’s a few cold hearted people who wish to make life hell for them. 

  • 1994 August 5, 2019 (9:00 pm)

    Second chance had its chance and needs to move along or close.  City property belongs to everyone and should not be used exclusively by particular groups , especially such as those attempting to creating housing when in fact this area is not zoned for housing or camping.  No one is more cold hearted than those who are worried about losing their funding to keep this shack housing going. All those dollars could have probably been better spent trying to route this group of people to cheaper areas to live, which in fact Z sa Zsa says they now reside in Kent. 

  • KBear August 5, 2019 (10:50 pm)

    Yup. More NIMBYS hating on the homeless. No solutions, just chase ’em away. 

  • Willow August 8, 2019 (8:03 am)

    For those who say the presence of this camp in this space somehow harms the surrounding community, I’m curious to hear specifically how.Is it the brighter street lights that have been put in? Is it the regular cleanup of illegally dumped trash along the road?  (Much of which is obviously from households and businesses in the area)Is it the 50ish people at a time that have access to food, hygiene and a secure place to sleep and keep their belongings while they figure out how to make ends meet in these difficult times?Is it the people that have been able to find jobs and/or housing as a result of the support and connections they’ve found there?Is it the numerous housed community members that have gained new perspectives from having an opportunity to make personal connections and impact? Is it the use of an otherwise empty and blockaded gravel lot at the literal furthest edge of the city  for these life changing activities?Please – tell me – because I am honestly baffled that some people would put so much energy into opposing something that is doing so much good in our area. 

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