What’s new at West Seattle’s only tiny-house encampment, Camp Second Chance

(WSB photo: Camp Second Chance’s front gate, July)

First Sunday afternoon of the month usually brings the monthly online meeting of the Community Advisory Committee for West Seattle’s only city-sanctioned tiny-house encampment, Camp Second Chance, on the city-owned Myers Way Parcels [map]. Here’s what happened today:

CAMP UPDATE: CSC director Scott Harris wasn’t in attendance, so updated camp stats weren’t available, but Hattie Rhodes from camp operator LIHI was there with other updates. She said a city inspection is happening Tuesday afternoon to ensure that all’s well. She also said LIHI had a recent hiring fair and hopes to fill positions at encampments including CSC, which will be getting a “village organizer …. to help out at the camp.” They’re also still looking for a case manager, while serving campers with visiting CMs. Also – LIHI is opening new camps in other parts of the city and looking for more sites because “the need is still there.” She didn’t have exact numbers but said it was “exciting” to see some CSC residents move to housing at The Clay – a microapartment building owned by LIHI – to ‘take the next step in their journeys.” CAC chair Willow Fulton asked about the intake process for CSC. That’s primarily through the city’s HOPE Team, Rhodes said, but LIHI also has a waitlist in case an opening comes up at one of its camps and the HOPE Team can’t quickly fill it. What about referring someone currently living unsheltered? Refer them to the outreach workers at REACH, Rhodes suggested – she didn’t have a contact number but noted REACH has offices at 3rd/Blanchard. Rhodes was asked about CSC expansion, which Harris mentioned at the last meeting. She said “that’s not the hugest priority for us right now” though they might “see if there’s room here or there to add a few more (tiny) houses” at CSC.

COMMITTEE MEMBERS’ UPDATES: These updates often range beyond camp-related matters, and this time was no different. Aaron Garcia of the White Center Community Development Association wanted everyone to know that the county eviction-prevention/rent-assistance program is still open and WCCDA is assisting White Center families with getting into the process. He also said there’ll be a vaccination clinic at Steve Cox Memorial Park on August 18th; it’s meant to be second dose for those vaccinated at the recent clinic, but first doses will be available too, noon-6 pm … Cinda Stenger from the Westside Interfaith Network said the group is continuing to assist more than a dozen Central American refugee families who have settled in the area so if CSC hss extra clothing, they would appreciate being able to re-donate to the refugees (they’re also looking for kids’ clothing and other housewares) … Grace Stiller of Weed Warriors recapped the recent wrap party for the latest phase of her organization’s Myers Way Parcels wetland-restoration program (WSB coverage here); she’s looking ahead to Phase 3 of the restoration project, working closer to Hamm Creek, dependent on funding. … Chair Fulton, who’s been keeping watch on illegal dumping along Myers Way, says the most-recent ones have been cleaned up. Concerns remain about the safety of people walking along Myers Way, especially considering pedestrians are pushed farther into the road by the fencing set up to prevent access to the roadside greenbelt. Once again this month, though, no city rep was present to hear those concerns.

NEXT MEETING: September’s date is to be determined, since the first Sunday will be during Labor Day weekend.

4 Replies to "What's new at West Seattle's only tiny-house encampment, Camp Second Chance"

  • Auntie August 2, 2021 (8:02 pm)

    “Once again this month, though, no city rep was present to hear those concerns.”Where is Ms. Herbold – this is her district. There is no reason she cannot attend or at the very least send a representative to these meetings!

    • WSB August 2, 2021 (8:30 pm)

      She’s on a ton of committees but not that one. The city rep who is supposed to attend is from the Human Services Department (though for a while a Neighborhoods rep attended instead).

      • Auntie August 2, 2021 (9:00 pm)

        OK, thanks for the clarification. However, I still think it’s sad that a city that claims it is doing all it can on the homelessness front can’t get someone to these meetings. This seems to be a successful program that is worth paying attention to. Thanks LIHI!

        • Willow August 4, 2021 (11:28 am)

          One of the challenges the City reps (and LIHI reps) have conveyed is that it’s challenging for them to attend a Sunday meeting – they have asked for a weekday, preferably before 5:00. This is a challenge for many civic meetings, as it means that citizens that work M-F 9-5 are often unable to participate or would have to take time off their jobs in order to. Weekday evenings are also a challenge because many of the people involved already have other community or family commitments.  Everyone’s time is equally valuable and I’m not sure what the answer is (we are trying to work through some options), but this is also a big reason many community members end up feeling left out of civic activities and decisions. 

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