‘Quiet month’ at Camp Second Chance, director tells Community Advisory Committee

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

The Community Advisory Committee for West Seattle’s only city-sanctioned tiny-house encampment, Camp Second Chance (9701 Myers Way S.), has changed the day/time of its monthly meetings, after 4 1/2 years. The group now meets on second Tuesdays at 6 pm. Here’s what happened at last night’s meeting:

CAMP UPDATES: Camp director Scott Harris said that October “was kind of quiet.” Two 911 calls were made, both medical-related and both for the same person. The camp now has 53 residents, with 3 people exiting this month, including camp founder Eric Davis, who’s moved to California to be with family. The last fall windstorm did some damage to the big white tent (where tiny houses used to be built), which still has a 2-foot tear, though “the structure itself is sound.” It’s currently being used for storage and various activities, for as long as it holds up. They lost another tent, too. An expected expansion is still in the works but Harris had no further details; he believes a meeting with the city is coming up soon. Meantime, the hygiene trailer has a new pump; it’s needed a lot of maintenance in the past half-year. … Case manager Marjorie Johnson said she’s working on housing for more than 20 of the camp residents. She has four clients with King County Housing vouches, two more are in the process, two are going to be moving into The Lark in Burien soon, six emergency housing vouchers are being sought from Seattle Housing Authority for the LIHI units opening on Capitol Hill, and she’s working with Sea Mar to get three women into a new complex on Beacon Hill, plus she’s working with 7 others on housing. Documentation is important for people to get housing and jobs, so she noted that 10 camp residents now have Social Security cards, six have new IDs. She’s planning a December 21 holiday party – starting the day after Thanksgiving, the residents get to decorate their doors for a contest, and at the party they’ll vote, with prizes …. She’s looking for Christmas-decoration donations that people can use to deck their doors. She’s also looking for donated items for gifts for the holiday party. She’s “super-excited” about all this and feels campers are doing “super-amazing work” with her. … Asked about COVID, Harris and Johnson were not sure about the vaccination percentage but estimated “at least over 50 percent.” The camp still isn’t allowed to have visitors, though Harris said it could certainly set up screening so that only vaccinated visitors were allowed. No COVID cases since September.

COMMITTEE MEMBERS’ UPDATES: Cinda Stenger from Alki UCC and the Westside Interfaith Network said that WIN will have Thanksgiving-type hot lunches November 20th and 27th at the Body of Christ Church near McLendon Hardware in White Center and “camp residents are always welcome” along with others. They also welcome donations of items such as men’s clothing and canned food. … Aaron Garcia of the White Center Community Development Association is working to help people who need to get into the King County rental-assistance program. They’re also working with the North Highline Subarea Plan and Community Needs List projects – recognizing that it’ll be used to “prioritize the limited resources that North Highline gets.” He also noted the Design Standards and encouraged support for people to get involved wearing “their housing lens.” And he said the 34th District Democrats are working on a holiday service program to support CSC. They’ll provide a meal to the camp on December 12th … Committee chair Willow Fulton said things are fairly quiet in the camp neighborhood aside from “speeding traffic.” She also continues to be concerned about the safety issue posed by fencing along the Myers Way roadside. In discussion later, the dangers of that stretch were reiterated; it was noted that some of the campers who have to walk along the road are disabled and “can’t move very fast.” … Joan Gregory from Fauntleroy UCC said the church will have a giving tree this holiday season supporting organizations it works with, including CSC.

ALSO NOTED: A mini-doc about Sound Foundations NW – the tiny-house-building factory that was founded at CSC – includes interviews with four camp residents, including two of the people who are soon expecting to exit to housing. It’d expected to be ready in a few months.

NEXT MEETING: 6 pm Tuesday, December 7th, online.

7 Replies to "'Quiet month' at Camp Second Chance, director tells Community Advisory Committee"

  • WanttoGive November 11, 2021 (7:20 am)

    I would love to donate extra holiday decorations! Where can I donate?

    • Willow November 12, 2021 (8:50 am)

      Thank you! You can bring donations to the gate at  9701 Myers Way S.

  • Derek November 11, 2021 (7:27 am)

    Need more Tiny House villages in West Seattle and other parts of the city!! They’re great!

    • Cole November 11, 2021 (12:44 pm)

      I agree. We need to create more of these places in Seattle for homeless and people in need. I plan to donate some food and sleeping bags to the camp this holiday. 

    • Hmmm November 11, 2021 (7:33 pm)

      Only if they are drug free! I like the part about helping people get Id so they can get jobs and hopefully perm housing. 

      • Jen Scarlett November 12, 2021 (7:53 pm)

        Not everyone is able to “get jobs”, and people can be in various stages of recovery, both from mental and physical injury.  But everyone should have safe and warm housing.  Stable housing comes first.  It makes so much more possible, but some people will need lifelong care and support, we dont all function at the same levels, or all the time.  Fyi, I’ve been homeless twice, I’m now sober 7 years and am buying my own drafty old house.  Never thought I’d be where I am today, but recovery takes time and compassion

        • Lisa Morrow November 12, 2021 (10:18 pm)

          Your story is an important one. I cannot understand why many do not see that the stability provided by secure housing  is the essential foundation to everything else. Employment, better mental health and addiction recovery are damned near impossible goals without that stability.

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