Camp Second Chance, at 9701 Myers Way S., remains West Seattle’s only city-sanctioned tiny-house encampment, though the city wants to add more around Seattle. CSC’s Community Advisory Committee meets every month for updates and community Q&A; here’s what happened at its February meeting, which happened online this past Sunday afternoon:
CAMP UPDATE: CSC’s site coordinator Eric Pattin said 54 people are there now, 15 women and 39 men. One person moved into affordable housing; two others left.
Four emergency calls were made over the past month. Asked to elaborate, Pattin replied, “Mainly medical, one domestic violence.” The latter resulted in one of the departures he had mentioned.
CASE MANAGEMENT UPDATE: José Ruiz from LIHI, the encampment operator, is handling this right now, until a new case manager is available to resume work at the site. He says a woman from CSC will be moving to housing this week; he’s also working with a social worker from Providence to help two people move. They also have three veterans who are registering with a program. In 2020, 52 percent of the people who exited CSC went to permanent housing.
MORE LIHI UPDATES: Josh Castle talked about the Hope Factory – the new tiny-house-building operation that has its roots at CSC – open house this past Saturday; “that was pretty exciting.” He replied to a question following up earlier concerns about behavioral/mental-health services for villagers. He said that though LIHI hasn’t signed a deal yet, it plans to contract with behavioral-health specialists “so they are available to multiple villages.” Discussion ensued about ensuring someone is available for CSC. Andrew Constantino said that some of LIHI’s older village like CSC will be adding staff, likely an evening person, though the job’s not posted yet.
COMMITTEE UPDATE: Chair Willow Fulton says things on Myers Way overall “are going fairly well” although she’s noticed more people who are likely staying in nearby unsanctioned camps. The recent stormy weather brought down trees on Myers Way, and power lines, and during one bout of bad weather she noticed Camp Second Chance residents helping direct drivers safely around the area. “It was a heartwarming and impressive thing … they were out there for hours.” She expressed appreciation and “huge kudos” to the campers who did that. … Arrowhead Gardens resident Judi Carr said they’ve seen “more people walking around” and some trash has turned up near the complex entrance, so she’ll be reporting that to the city via Find It Fix It. She’s hearing that some of her neighbors are starting to get vaccinated though she herself hasn’t had luck finding an appointment yet. Another AG resident in attendance said they’re trying to become a vaccination site but haven’t had any luck getting vaccine access yet … Committee member Cinda Stenger helped a former camp resident, who’s been in temporary housing, go look for permanent housing (in Snohomish County) … Member Grace Stiller said the weed-removal program at CSC is “going well – moving forward, digging roots” and is tackling a “huge pile of blackberries” before tree-planting. … Stevi Hamill from Fauntleroy UCC, which is continuing a partnership with the camp via its homelessness initiative, said the church id helping in any way they can.
CITY UPDATE: Shawn Neal from the Human Services Department said that “more villages are in the works … though it’s going more slowly” than they would prefer. City Councilmember Andrew Lewis has proposed expanding the tiny-house system; here’s the proposal (note that the potential site list does not show any West Seattle locations).
NEW MEETING TIME? The group has been considering a change from the regular 2 pm first Sunday. If you have an opinion on times that do and don’t work, email Fulton at email@example.com. Next meeting is likely to be in the regular spot, though, Sunday, March 7th, 2 pm, online.