Windstorm damage and other Camp Second Chance updates @ Community Advisory Committee

December 16, 2021 11:56 pm
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 |   Myers Way Parcels | West Seattle news

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Windstorm damage was the biggest news in the Camp Second Chance update presented at this month’s meeting of the tiny-house encampment’s Community Advisory Committee, held online Tuesday night.

CAMP REPORT: Camp director Scott Harris reported that 53 people are now at CSC. Three people have exited to housing, two people are awaiting approvals, four people have King County Housing Authority vouchers and are seeking rentals, eight people have Seattle Housing Authority vouchers and are also awaiting/looking for units. Harris noted that county vouchers mean a 1-bedroom is affordable, while city vouchers only cover a studio. They have room for one new camper.

Harris added that one camper got a new job. Following up on last month’s word of a holiday contest, door decorating has started – with about 10 participants so far. The camp’s holiday party is set for noon-3 pm December 21st and that’s when they’ll be judging the decorations, as well as handing out gifts – a “big load of blankets” just arrived, and a dozen Seahawks-themed baskets that they’re going to give away via a drawing. They received gifts from a variety of groups.

Two 911 calls were made from the camp this past month, Harris also reported – one for a “disorderly” person, one for a person with recurring medical problems. Then he mentioned that the ‘big white tent” that used to house tiny-home-building (since moved offsite) was lost in last week’s windstorm, along with some other items, It’s a total loss. Cleanup should be done by week’s end. Three of the tiny houses next to the tent suffered some awning damage. Meantime, a “village organizer” has been hired and should start soon. She’ll work 4-12 pm and probably weekends, maybe a Friday-Wednesday schedule. They also have approval for a temporary overnight security person.

Harris and Josh Castle from LIHI (the camp’s operator) met with reps of the new King County Regional Homelessness Authority who came to tour CSC and find out how it worked. They discussed the CACs, Harris said, adding that the county intends to continue them but hasn’t worked out the logistics yet.

In Q&A, we asked about a timetable for the upgrades that were funded in the new city budget (including water and sewer service). The new hygiene trailer is on order, Harris replied. Planning for expansion – 20 more tiny houses were to be funded – and upgrades will happen soon, but no date yet. The expansion is expected to result in a larger footprint for the camp at its city-owned site on the Myers Way Parcels. Harris said they’re expecting to add another case manager once the population expands, and they’re looking at on-site mental-health support.

COMMITTEE MEMBERS’ REPORTS: CAC chair Willow Fulton again noted concerns about Myers Way safety, particularly for pedestrians. She also wondered about a seemingly larger number of emergency responses in the general area. … Member Aaron Garcia said his employer, the White Center Community Development Association, and King County Public Health have a vaccine clinic this Friday, 2-5 pm. … Member Grace Stiller said she’s excited about the potential water line going into the camp, and announced her group has received a 2-year grant to continue with wetland restoration by the CSC site (here’s our coverage about some of their work).

HOLIDAY SUPPORT: Alki UCC is serving Christmas morning breakfast at Camp Second Chance. … the 34th District Democrats brought dinner last weekend and have ordered $900 worth of socks and other items to donate … Fauntleroy UCC has amassed donations for the camp, too. Distribution of donations – and what to do with overflow – was discussed.

NEXT MEETING: Second Tuesday in January, 6 pm, online.

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