CAMP SECOND CHANCE: Updates from Community Advisory Committee’s July meeting

Next Saturday will mark exactly 4 years since Camp Second Chance arrived on Myers Way, originally an unauthorized tent camp, eventually a city-sanctioned tiny-house village. The anniversary was mentioned briefly during this afternoon’s meeting of the CSC Community Advisory Committee. The committee usually meets on the first Sunday of the month, but pushed the date back a week because of the holiday.

CAMP UPDATE: Camp co-founder and site coordinator Eric Pattin said the camp currently has 55 residents – 37 men and 18 women; 2 people have exited to housing, and 6 new residents have moved in. Camp operator LIHI and Operation Sack Lunch is bringng hot food to the camp. … Josh Castle from LIHI said the new business tax approved by the City Council will help fund affordable housing and services. They’re advocating for budget measures next Wednesday to cover tiny-house encampments as well as permanent affordable housing. There are public-comment opportunities (online) next Monday and Wednesday. … We asked if there had been any COVID-19 cases at the camp; no, said Pattin. Everyone was tested “a month or two” back. Do new arrivals get tested before being referred? No one was certain whether that was part of the Navigation Team’s referral process; camp co-founder Eric Davis said it should be. … LIHI and Fauntleroy UCC are still talking about the official role the church will have with the camp, Castle said, since the recent change in city law means the original plan for partnership is no longer necessary to keep the camp from having to move,

CAC MEMBERS’ UPDATES: Chair Willow Fulton, who lives near the camp, reports “some activity on Myers Way” near the camp that appears to be city equipment storage on a site the size of the camp. No city rep was in attendance so no one was available to clarify; LIHI’s Castle will investigate. Meantime, she along with dumping on the east side of that street, noise, and racing problems. …Member Cinda Stenger thanked the camp for donating an oveerflow of donated men’s clothing, which she says has been given to the King County Drug Court‘s rehab program … Member Grace Stiller says the Myers Way weed-removal project is under way and “going terrifically well,” removing mostly blackberry and tansy after an online training session. The project, funded by a grant, is likely to continue through Saturdays in August.

COMMUNITY QUESTIONS/CONCERNS: In addition to the aforementioned COVID-testing discussion, there was a question about how LIHI is preparing for a possible surge in homelessness when the eviction moratorium expires. Advocating for the city to extend the moratorium, and to spend more on affordable housing, is something community members can do, Castle said. The King County Council meeting on Tuesday afternoon is another policy-advocacy opportunity, he said.

NEXT MEETING: The CAC will meet again at 2 pm Sunday, August 2nd.

3 Replies to "CAMP SECOND CHANCE: Updates from Community Advisory Committee's July meeting"

  • Willow July 12, 2020 (9:35 pm)

    Wow – thanks for the reminder that it’s been 4 years.  Reading that original story and the lengthy comment string is quite a reminder of the journey it’s been.

  • 1994 July 12, 2020 (11:02 pm)

    Josh Castle from LIHI said the new business tax approved by the City Council will help fund affordable housing and services. They’re advocating for budget measures next Wednesday to cover tiny-house encampments as well as permanent affordable housing. “NO, NO, NO! The new tax should be spent on permanent structures with running water, electricity, a cooking area, property taxes paid…….NO, NO, NO to using tax money to perpetuate residing in encampments. LIHI wants to keep people homeless because it keeps LIHI in business. Unbelievable.

    • Barb Oliver July 13, 2020 (3:52 pm)

      That’s one way of looking at it.  I’d like to respectfully offer another.The tiny home program has been one of the most successful programs to get people from on the streets into permanent homes.  Tiny homes have always been considered transitional homes.  The transition rate last year in Seattle from homelessness to permanent housing was 18%.  This year it is 33%.  Camp Second has the highest transition rate at 44%.In a perfect world, every homeless person should have a place that has a home with a kitchen and a bathroom.  However, we don’t live in a perfect world.  There is a strong shortage of low income housing in Seattle.  LIHI is doing their best to change that.  Last year alone they transitioned over 1200 persons into permanent housing.  The reality is with a shortage of housing and the number of homeless people, the wait lists are long.Transitional tiny homes get folks off the streets and into a place that is warm, safe and dry.  And now with Covid-19, a way to keep them healthy.  I build tiny homes in a space at Camp Second Chance.  I know most of the residents there.  Often they will say to me, “this home saved my life.”  When you are on the streets, your focus is very narrow:  “What am I going to eat?” and “Where am I going to sleep?”.  Being in a space that is warm, safe and dry allows folks to start thinking about the next steps.  Often they go back to school.  Many who go back to school get jobs where they don’t need low income housing.  Those who work don’t have to worry if their stuff will be stolen when they get back from work.  Women do not have to worry about being assaulted or worse.The tiny home villages teach and re-teach folks about what it’s like to live in a community.  I can tell you story after story about how the folks at Camp Second Chance take care of one another.  It is an important lesson when going from homelessness to being sheltered.Right now I am building tiny homes six days a week just to keep up with the demand.  If you would like to talk to me further about this, feel free to email me at  You are also welcome to come and tour the facility where we build tiny homes.  I look forward to answering any more questions that you may have.Barb OliverSound Foundations NW

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