In addition to providing shelter for more than 50 people, Camp Second Chance on the city-owned Myers Way Parcels in southeast West Seattle has been contributing to other tiny-house encampments by hosting a space for building more of the small structures (after replacing all the tents at CSC, as we reported last year). The volunteer-powered operation, Sound Foundations Northwest, which sprung from the efforts of West Seattle’s Alki UCC and Fauntleroy UCC, has found a new home of its own.
Sound Foundations NW has announced a new partnership with the Low Income Housing Institute, which operates Camp Second Chance and other tiny-house encampments. A LIHI warehouse space in SODO will be the new home of the tiny-house-building operation. The announcement says, “This new partnership will help meet the demand of building several more tiny homes while getting homeless residents who are transitioning to permanent housing the essential services that have made this model a success.” No one living in a tiny-house encampment, for example, has tested positive for COVID-19, the organization says, while 440 people in other kinds of shelters have. Also, they cite a higher success rate of tiny-house encampment residents exiting into long-term or permanent housing.
Along with moving to a bigger space – 6,000 square feet, double the CSC space’s size – as of November 3rd, Sound Foundations NW is redesigning its building process to speed it up. Currently, they’ve been able to complete two tiny houses every three weeks. With an assembly-line system, Sound Foundations NW says, they could eventually build up to two a day – something they don’t believe anyone else in the country is doing. The operation is needed because while the city has supported the operation of tiny-house encampments like CSC (the only one in West Seattle), the city does not fund the tiny houses themselves – it’s all donation- and volunteer-supported, and hundreds more will be needed. (They have a fundraising campaign going to support the move.)
Once the operation is moved from what’s known as “The Big Tent” at CSC, Sound Foundations NW will donate the tent to the encampment to serve as its new community center.