Camp Second Chance permit extended another 6 months, city announces

(WSB photo from June)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The city permit for sanctioned West Seattle encampment Camp Second Chance has been extended six more months, to March 2020.

The city quietly announced in an online update Friday afternoon. We learned about it today at the start of the monthly C2C Community Advisory Committee meeting.

Lisa Gustaveson from the city Human Services Department was at the meeting to elaborate. The city is still talking with a possible faith-based “sponsor” for the camp, she said (as also mentioned in the city-website post) but if that doesn’t come through, the city will start moving to dismantle the camp: “We would work very closely to find places for every person to go to … to find permanent housing or be referred to another program that works for them.”

Tom Van Bronkhorst of the city Department of Neighborhoods said the city is working toward an October community meeting at the Joint Training Facility, which is just north of the camp, to talk about C2C’s future.

This is the second six-month extension of the camp’s permit beyond the two years originally promised by the city. In all, the camp already has been on the city-owned Myers Way Parcels (map) for more than three years, originally occupying the site without authorization shortly after leaving its original site on church property in South King County. Over its time at this site, the camp has evolved into an all-tiny-houses “village” with community donations and volunteers buying and building the houses.

At today’s advisory committee meeting, we asked about how/if C2C would be affected by this week’s announcement of a regional homelessness strategy; Gustaveson replied that it won’t affect them at least at the start, but the camp beds are now considered as shelter beds, so they will be administered by the regional entity.

Today’s meeting also included the monthly camp update: C2C has 55 residents right now and has placed 8 people in permanent housing in the past 3 months, with 3 more moving out in the next 3 days, director Eric Davis told the committee. He also said 5 people from the camp – which is supposed to operate drug- and alcohol-free – were referred to inpatient treatment for “overmedicating and/or use of meth and/or heroin.” 3 availed themselves of the treatment option, he said (and confirmed on our followup question that the other 2 are no longer in the camp).

One resident of Arrowhead Gardens, which is a few blocks north of the camp (and where the C2CCAC meets), was one of two members of the public to speak at the meeting. She said she is happy to hear about the extension and believes that the camp’s presence cuts down on unauthorized camping and other illegal activity in the area. Another commenter also said that “destroying (the C2C) community” would be senseless.

Also at the meeting:

COMMITTEE UPDATES: Chair Willow Fulton says that offsite, there’s evidence of more unauthorized camping. There’s also evidence of illegal dumping in the area, not related to camping. … Member Aaron Garcia noted that his employer White Center Community Development Agency continues to work on the affordable-housing project for 8th/108th. WCCDA also is planning the annual White Center Summit for November 9th.

WHAT’S NEXT: While awaiting the date of the promised community meeting on C2C’s future, you can send any comments/questions to the city at … The advisory committee’s next meeting, always open to the public, is at 2 pm Sunday, October 6, in the community room at Arrowhead Gardens (9200 2nd SW).

17 Replies to "Camp Second Chance permit extended another 6 months, city announces"

  • flimflam September 7, 2019 (4:42 pm)

    huh. so another sanctioned camp overstays its originally stated and agreed to time line…same thing happened in Ballard when they put a camp on Market street a couple years back.the city needs to stick to their agreements – not a shock though.

    • Glen September 7, 2019 (6:52 pm)

      If it’s not causing harm and helping people out why complain and moan about it?

      • flimflam September 7, 2019 (9:32 pm)

        so the city/camp’s word is meaningless and open for negotiation? 

  • West Seattle Hipster September 7, 2019 (6:21 pm)

    Perhaps a more appropriate name would be Camp 7th Chance?

  • 1994 September 7, 2019 (6:58 pm)

    Disappointing decision from the city. The longer the so called temporary housing camp lingers the more difficult to remove it.  Even the city paid high paid homeless consultant specialist a year or 2 back recommended no camps.

  • Jim P. September 7, 2019 (8:46 pm)

    “In all, the camp already has been on the city-owned Myers Way Parcels (map)
    for more than three years, originally occupying the site without
    authorization shortly after leaving its original site on church property
    in South King County”And they will be there when your grandchildren enter college.  Probably be demanding a pension and retirement benefits too by then as well as freehold title to the land.

    • Mr J September 7, 2019 (9:59 pm)

      Wow. You have yours so (expletive) the poor? Selfish libertarian nonsense that keeps the poor poor and the rich richer. Cool.

  • dsa September 7, 2019 (10:16 pm)

    C2C staying is not the issue.  The city’s word is.  Who can believe what they say?

  • Sin September 8, 2019 (8:12 am)

    I’m grateful that this enriched encampment STAYS! There’s no other institution,  shelter, encampment, for the homeless that not only house but promotes growth and development for all who resides in that community.   What would be the alternative; shuffle people about inhumanely every so often not matter what climate dictates to make appear that there is success assisting individuals who need a “hand up”?  Well for all of you who want  C2C to leave and you’ve   suffered, and feel as if you have done so much!!! Take yourself off the cross……….WE NEED THE WOOD! CAMP SECOND CHANCE ………..They are beyond reproach…… The Original Trailblazers in my opinion!

  • RT September 8, 2019 (10:50 am)

    Based on the photo of this site and its setup, it  is definitely preferable to cardboard boxes,  torn tents, accumulated garbage, human and animal waste, and hazardous fires/camp stoves scattered across the streets, under overpasses, and in parks.   Microhouses with a place to put garbage and access to sanicans helps all of us. 

  • JillB September 8, 2019 (6:49 pm)

    So glad that they are staying. I hope they get a sponsor and can stay there. It’s a clean and safe place for people to live while in transition. 

  • jwalling September 9, 2019 (12:05 am)

    Camp Second Chance is a model village for homeless people.  It should be imitated, not disbanded.  I live at Arrowhead Gardens. C2C residents are our neighbors. They are good neighbors and a good influence on Myers Way.    C2C transitions homeless people from living on the streets to permanent housing.   C2C provides a stable and secure shelter while people seek assistance and hold jobs.  If you haven’t visited C2C, please do. They are very welcoming. They can use more blankets for the coming winter. –John Walling 

  • Linda September 9, 2019 (9:14 am)

    Myers Way wildlife and vegetation don’t seem to be ideal situation.  Could we also look at the Arroyos near Arbor Heights for these encampments, fair is fair, please give our South Seattle area a break.  If there is true social justice, this higher income neighborhood should also welcome encampments.

  • Ex-Westwood Resident September 9, 2019 (3:11 pm)

    I’m wondering if there is any data on the number of people they have transitioned from C2C to permanent housing and how long those people lasted in that housing.   Also, is C2C a “Low Barrier” camp where they allow drug and alcohol use?

    • WSB September 9, 2019 (3:43 pm)

      No, it is not, and has never been.

      • Ex-Westwood Resident September 10, 2019 (8:55 am)

        Great to hear that C2C is NOT a “Low Barrier” camp. I know that other “Small Home” camps are “Low Barrier” camps. Notably those run by SHARE/LIHI.Now is there any data on the number of people that have successfully transitioned to permanent housing?Are there services there for employment opportunities, trade skill training…etc?Admittedly, I don’t know a lot about C2C, only that it is a “Tiny Home” homeless encampment, so thanks for the info on it. 

  • Mark L Ufkes September 9, 2019 (6:40 pm)

    I live in White Center and have toured the camp and met with the on-site administrator and several of the residents.  It is clean, well-organized, and multiple church and community groups have donated hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars in materials to build the dozens of handsome small homes there.  It is a clean and sober community as well, and the residents watch out for each other.  It would be a waste of resources and very expensive to move it to another location.  These people are helping themselves with lots of support from our community and it is one model that is making a small but effective difference.  As long as they are doing so well, let them stay.   And thank you Seattle for continuing to remove the homeless groups across the street on the 509 hillside.  A police officer at Camp Second Chance told me to not go down there without a gun.  I did anyway.  I found a pile of over 40 propane tanks at one camp (anyone missing a propane tank?)  This was a couple of weeks before Seattle cleaned it out again. Stay on that site Seattle.  Keep that area clean.  The folks on the 509 hillside need to be pushed into Camp Second Chance across the street, for their own safety and well-being.  Mark Ufkes   

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