By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Pedestrian safety and coronavirus concerns were two of the topics when the Camp Second Chance Community Advisory Committee met Sunday afternoon for updates on and discussion of the city-sanctioned tiny-house encampment on Myers Way.
CAMP UPDATE: Eric Davis, camp co-founder and special projects manager for operating organization LIHI, said CSC currently has 49 people – 17 women and 32 men. This past month has seen two move into permanent housing.
No 911 calls and no one’s had to be barred from camp. Davis mentioned the TV show “Tiny House Nation” had visited and distributed jackets, also promising to get some tools the camp needs. Also visiting recently: A ministry from the Ukraine that’s been there before and is hoping to replicate this model.
CORONAVIRUS: Shawn Neal from the city Human Services Department said CSC, other tiny-hous encampments, and shelters each had been – or would be – visited for distribution of a Public Health guide to sanitation. (HSD has since published this Monday update on what it’s doing citywide.)
NEW ORDINANCE: Neal was asked about the newly approved city ordinance regarding encampments. He confirmed the number allowed around the city was increased to 40 and that the former 2-year time limit would no longer be in effect, though sanctioned encampments would be reviewed once a year.
PEDESTRIAN SAFETY: Grace Stiller, committee member, is still concerned about whether the fence in the walking area along the west side of Myers Way will be moved to accommodate walkers’ safety. Maybe even make t a double fence, she suggested.
CAC chair Willow Fulton observed that trash containers in the fenced area are an obstruction too. Volunteer Sal, in attendance, suggested jersey barriers be used to prevent parking and protect people walking. Fulton said they’ve “brought up the idea” before. An attendee asked whatever happened to talk of a sidewalk. Fulton agreed that’s a concern, as she sees Arrowhead Gardens residents walking along the road too. They might need to agitate for it. AG resident leader Diane Radischat said they have reminded the city that AG “is 600 voters at one address.” Subsequent discussion involved researching first into who originally placed the fence,
Radischat later mentioned they’ve been continuing to push the city for “no parking” signs on Myers Way bt maybe they can at least get “No Overnight Parking” to discourage trucks, etc., and expecting that will cut down on parking overall. “This has been very frustrating.”
EAST SIDE OF MYERS WAY: Fulton is concerned about the promised activation of greenspace on the east side of Myers Way to prevent everything from invasive species taking over to the return of unsanctioned camping, She expects the latter to increase as the weather warms up and as the city sweeps other areas, leaving some unhoused people looking for where to go next. She’s hoping to get guests at next months to address the topic.
SPONSOR UPDATE: New camp sponsor Fauntleroy UCC‘s Rev. Leah Atkinson Bilinski reported that many church members are pitching in. They will be there for projects and a potluck March 22nd as part of a “Worship Without Walls” day. Meantime, the church is still working on finalizing sponsorship documents with the city and LIHI.
POLICE PARTICIPATION: The CAC would still like to have occasional participation from a Seattle Police rep. Radischat mentioned that AG is offering an empty commercial space to SPD free of charge as a place where officers could spend some time, write reports, up their visibility in the area. She said SPD reps had come to view it three times already.
NEXT MEETING: 2 pm Sunday, April 5th, in the community room at Arrowhead Gardens (east side of complex, 9220 2nd SW).