Camp Second Chance updates from August meeting of Community Advisory Committee

Just wrapped up online: The August meeting of the Community Advisory Committee for Camp Second Chance (map), West Seattle’s only city-sanctioned tiny-house encampment. No major news, but here are the toplines:

CAMP UPDATES: Site coordinator Eric Pattin said the camp has 56 residents now, 17 women, 39 men, including three new residents; one person recently exited to housing. New case manager Mario said several other residents are about to leave for housing, too. … Sound Foundations Northwest‘s tiny-house building on the site, with distancing and other health precautions, continues. The camp itself has been fully converted to tiny houses, so the newly built ones go to other encampments. … Asked if the camp has any needs, Pattin suggested wipes, disinfectant spray, and disposable masks would be helpful. He was also asked about COVID testing; still no positive tests, and no residents with symptoms, Pattin said.

COMMITTEE MEMBER UPDATES: Chair Willow Fulton said that aside from the city work next to the camp, things have been quiet.

That site is being used to filter wastewater from Seattle Public Utilities work – we inquired too after it was first brought up as a mystery last month, and the explanation from SPU was that it’s being used as a “decant” facility:

SPU Source Control conducts annual storm drainage line cleaning within the Lower Duwamish Waterway to remove accumulated pollutants from our pipes prior to these pollutants reaching the river. The work is conducted by a contractor using a vacuum-like Vactor truck and high pressure water hoses to rinse and capture materials from inside of the pipes. The material removed from these pipes is trucked to a decant facility where the solids are separated from the water used for cleaning by screening larger particles and settling out finer material.

The solid material is trucked off site for disposal at appropriate solid waste landfills and the liquids are sampled to ensure they meet allowable discharge limits, then disposed of to the sanitary sewer system.

Fulton was told it would be removed by fall, but the CAC agreed they have some environmental concerns to ask the city about … Elsewhere along Myers Way, some illegal dumping has continued and neighbors keep reporting it to the city … Committee member Grace Stiller says the project to remove noxious weeds near the camp “is going really, really well … making amazing progress.” Some wetland willows will be planted after the clearing is complete – that’s a “native butterfly plant,” Stiller said. … Aaron Garcia from the White Center Community Development Association and Judi Carr from nearby Arrowhead Gardens were in attendance too.

CITY: No city rep in attendance for a second consecutive monthly meeting.

COMMUNITY CONCERNS: An Arrowhead Gardens resident wondered how COVID prevention is going; Pattin explained their procedures, including mask-wearing. The resident also said there’s a problem with streetlight outages along Myers Way. … There was also some discussion about the lack of a safe crossing on Myers Way in the camp vicinity.

NEXT MEETING: Since the regularly scheduled “first Sunday” will be during the Labor Day weekend, the CAC might cancel or move it – that’ll be announced later this month.

2 Replies to "Camp Second Chance updates from August meeting of Community Advisory Committee"

  • Park land August 3, 2020 (2:09 pm)

    Any word on if the camp will vacate the land?  It was my understanding that the city granted them the right to stay there, and extended it another year.. but there are time limits on how long a sanctioned camp can stay in one location and we are well past that. Not that I’d be surprised to see the city not follow their own laws… :) Curious if it will ever be turned into park land as it was intended? If it’s not, the city should stop pretending and just build proper housing for these folks on the land instead.

    • WSB August 3, 2020 (3:00 pm)

      There is no longer a time limit on sanctioned encampments. That was passed some months back. As for the park, with Parks shelving TFN even the already designed landbank parks (including 3 in WS), I wouldn’t expect to see that any time soon.

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