Myers Way Parcels 88 results

Housing challenges, future questions @ Camp Second Chance Community Advisory Committee:

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

For the first time since the city announced Camp Second Chance would be able to stay at 9701 Myers Way S. for at least six more months, its Community Advisory Committee met today.

The meeting included updates on camp operations and on moving campers into housing as well as questions about the camp’s future.

CAMP UPDATE: Resident manager Eric Davis distributed the monthly update: 50 campers right now, 18 women and 32 men. Campers are now in 41 “tiny houses” and 7 tents, with “2 spaces earmarked for two more houses,” thanks to donors working with “volunteers and residents.” He expressed gratitude for the city extension.

UPDATES FROM COMMITTEE MEMBERS: The meeting started, as usual, with a chance for CAC members in attendance to share comments and observations.

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Questions, comments about Camp Second Chance? Next Community Advisory Committee meeting Sunday

For the first time since the city announced it would extend Camp Second Chance‘s stay at 9701 Myers Way S. at least six more months, the camp’s Community Advisory Committee will meet Sunday. While the CAC is not a decisionmaking group – it’s all community volunteers – the meetings usually include reps from the city and from camp operator LIHI in attendance, and there’s a community comment period for questions, concerns, etc. The meeting is at 2 pm Sunday (April 7th) in the community room on the east side of Arrowhead Gardens (9200 2nd SW).

Camp Second Chance can stay on Myers Way Parcels at least six more months, city says

(WSB photo of Camp Second Chance entrance, December 2017)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Camp Second Chance, the only city-sanctioned encampment in West Seattle, is getting a six-month extension.

The camp on the city-owned Myers Way Parcels in southeast West Seattle [map] is at the end of the two-years-maximum stay that’s currently allowed under city law – and has actually been at the site going on three years. It first occupied the location without authorization starting in July 2016, gaining the authorization in spring 2017. A decision on its fate has been long expected and was just announced this morning by the city Human Services Department, which also gave six-month extensions to two other sanctioned encampments in other parts of the city. From the announcement:

Camp Second Chance, Georgetown Village, and Othello Village will be temporarily re-permitted for an additional six months. During this time, the City will develop a long-term strategy for these sites with community input that will serve residents of villages and the surrounding community.

Homelessness remains a crisis in Seattle and the City’s responsibility is to provide services and shelter resources that are effective in helping people transition from homelessness to housing — tiny house villages have proven to be one solution within the City’s overall response. In 2018, villages City-wide served 658 unique households and exited 135 households to permanent housing, an increase of 32 percent from 2017.

“Tiny-house villages” is the term the city now uses for its sanctioned encampments. As we’ve reported previously, donations have funded tiny houses for most of Camp Second Chance’s residents. The camp usually reports about 50 residents at any given time, when those reports are delivered at the monthly meetings of its volunteer Community Advisory Committee, which we routinely cover.

The camp is self-managed, with a no-drugs/alcohol policy, and the city contract to operate it is held by the Low-Income Housing Institute, which pays for staff including an on-site director (currently camp co-founder Eric Davis and case manager Richard Horne).

Also from today’s city announcement:

The City’s decision grants monthly temporary-use permits to these sites for the next six months. During this time, the City will develop a long-term strategy for these specific villages, considering all options for the future of these programs and sites. In order to develop these strategies, the City will work with communities to organize meetings in neighborhoods hosting villages to learn more about how the City can be responsive to community needs and how to best serve residents of the villages.

Last year’s decision to extend the permit for a second year was preceded by city-convened meetings, but there haven’t been any this time. In January, we covered two community meetings on the topic (both with city reps in attendance) – the Westside Interfaith Network gathering camp supporters at a meeting in Fauntleroy and the Highland Park Action Committee holding a “listening session” to decide on whether to support extending the camp’s stay. (Ultimately, as we reported March 4th, HPAC opposed it.)

The city’s explanation also includes:

The City has also learned that siting, developing, and relocating tiny house villages remains an ongoing challenge given property logistics, costs, and program needs of serving people experiencing homelessness. The City has also learned that providing 24/7, enhanced shelter is one of the best solutions to help people off Seattle’s streets and into safer living situations.

The extension of these villages does not impact the status of the other six City-funded villages.

Camp Second Chance’s status was already scheduled to be discussed at HPAC’s regular monthly meeting tonight (7 pm, Highland Park Improvement Club, 1116 SW Holden). The city’s homelessness-response spokesperson Will Lemke told WSB that the six-month extension would run to September, though the second-year extension wasn’t formally announced last year until June.

ADDED 10:35 AM: The full city announcement, which we originally received via email (as we have long been inquiring about the timetable/process for the decision), is now posted on the city website.

FOLLOWUP: How will city decide on Camp Second Chance staying or going?

(WSB photo of Camp Second Chance entrance, December 2017)

Will city-authorized encampment Camp Second Chance have its stay on the city-owned Myers Way Parcels extended, or will it have to move, as current city law would require? As reported here earlier this week, the Highland Park Action Committee has sent the city a letter opposing an extension, following its “listening session” and a community survey. That meeting was held the same week that the Westside Interfaith Network gathered C2C supporters in Fauntleroy. Will the city convene its own meeting regarding the potential extension, as it did a year ago? The city’s homelessness-response spokesperson Will Lemke says none is planned “but that could change,” and sent us this statement on the renewal decisionmaking process.

The City continues to gather information, including community input, on next steps for Camp Second Chance. A final decision has not been reached.

The City has and continues to engage a diverse range of community stakeholders; including Highland Park Action Committee, members of the Camp Second Chance advisory committee, residents of Arrowhead Gardens, homeless service providers, residents of and near Camp Second Chance, and the faith community to learn more about their experiences with the program.

We also take program performance, siting, and Citywide shelter resources into consideration during this process.

All of these factors will be taken into consideration as the City makes a final decision that best serves the community and residents of the village. Ultimately, programs like Camp Second Chance are designed to get vulnerable people the critical stability and help they need to get on a path to housing—Camp Second Chance has done that for people.

Thousands of people are living unsheltered on Seattle’s streets. Solutions to this crisis are complex and require not only substantial resources from the City, but engagement from communities to help inform and support programs. We appreciate our community partners and will continue to listen while we develop our plans for Camp Second Chance.

The city has said previously that you can comment via email at homelessness@seattle.gov. We asked exactly who has the final say – the mayor or someone else; Lemke replied, “Ultimately, the City is working collaboratively (which includes the Mayor’s Office) internally and externally to develop next steps.”

The camp’s official authorization is ending its second year, but it arrived at the site more than half a year earlier, moving from a church in South King County. According to the most recent report presented at Sunday’s monthly meeting of the camp’s Community Advisory Committee, 51 people are currently at the camp, which continues converting tent sites to “tiny houses” with the help of community donations and volunteers.

Camp Second Chance: Highland Park Action Committee opposes extension; plus, what happened at CAC’s monthly meeting

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Before deciding on whether to extend Camp Second Chance‘s stay on the Myers Way Parcels, the city has been waiting to see what position the Highland Park Action Committee takes. That’s what Lisa Gustaveson of the Human Services Department told the C2C Community Advisory Committee on Sunday.

24 hours later, HPAC has just announced where it stands. The group says 2 years and 7 months – the time that’s elapsed since C2C set up on the city-owned greenspace, initially without authorization – is long enough. “(W)e look forward to seeing a swift plan for Camp Second Chance’s relocation by the end of the month,” concludes the letter just made public by HPAC.

The letter (which you can read in its entirety here) recaps not only the community-engagement process that the group went through – including this “listening session” in January – but also Highland Park’s history, going back more than a decade, of “hosting” encampments, dating to the original “Nickelsville” camp in 2008. HPAC’s letter notes, “There is a long documented history of the City either being unable or unwilling to address the safety concerns” raised by encampments in the area. The group also underscores, “We did not come to this decision easily. We know that homelessness is an urgent issue that affects our neighbors and our communities.”

Now that HPAC has taken its stand, we’re checking with the city regarding its next step on a decision regarding C2C’s location. City rules currently say authorized encampments have to move after two years maximum at a site.

COMMUNITY ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEETING: Our notes from this short Sunday afternoon meeting are after the jump:

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CAMP SECOND CHANCE: Concerns, costs, data access discussed @ Community Advisory Committee

(UPDATED Thursday night with a second city response to the data question)

(At Sunday’s meeting, L-R: C2C’s Eric Davis, Alki UCC’s Cinda Stenger, city HSD’s Shawn Neal, committee chair Willow Fulton)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Just before the first blast of snowy weather hit our area Sunday, the latest updates on West Seattle’s city-sanctioned encampment were shared at the Camp Second Chance Community Advisory Committee meeting.

In attendance were C2CCAC chair Willow Fulton, members Aaron Garcia, Cinda Stenger, Judi Carr, and Grace Stiller, camp manager/co-founder Eric Davis, and Shawn Neal, a grants/contracts specialist with the city Human Services Department.

STATUS REPORTS: Davis provided the monthly report on the camp’s status via this one-sheet:

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CAMP SECOND CHANCE: Community Advisory Council meets Sunday

February 1, 2019 12:52 pm
|    Comments Off on CAMP SECOND CHANCE: Community Advisory Council meets Sunday
 |   Myers Way Parcels | West Seattle news

If you’re interested in city-sanctioned Camp Second Chance, which is seeking to extend its stay on city-owned land at the Myers Way Parcels, you might be interested in this Sunday’s Community Advisory Council meeting. Every month, usually on the first Sunday, the CAC meets to get updates on the encampment and to discuss any community concerns/questions that arise. This meeting is at the usual time and location, 2 pm Sunday (February 3rd) in the community room at Arrowhead Gardens (9200 2nd SW, a few blocks north of C2C). The meeting is expected to adjourn no later than 3 pm since it’s also Super Bowl Sunday.

P.S. If you missed our coverage of two recent community meetings discussing the camp’s future – here’s our coverage: The Westside Interfaith Network rallied camp supporters on January 21; the Highland Park Action Committee held a “listening session” for community comment on January 23rd. The city hasn’t set a deadline for deciding on the camp’s future but says it’s continuing to accept comments via email, homelessness@seattle.gov.

FOLLOWUP: Highland Park Action Committee’s community survey on Camp Second Chance permit extension

Sometime “soon,” the city says, it’ll conside the issue of whether Camp Second Chance can stay at the city-owned Myers Way Parcels. Current city law calls for sanctioned encampments to stay a maximum of two years at a site, and C2C is coming to the end of its second sanctioned year (following more than half a year of unsanctioned time at the site). Last week, the Highland Park Action Committee convened a “listening session” for community members and others to speak about whether HPAC should support an extension. As noted in our coverage, HPAC promised to follow up with a survey – and now that’s available. Find it here (deadline February 14th). Separate from HPAC’s process of deciding whether to support an extension for the camp, the city says it is accepting comments too, via the emailbox homelessness@seattle.gov.

Would extending encampment’s stay be a broken promise, or ‘unique opportunity’? Here’s how Highland Park Action Committee’s ‘listening session’ went

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

When Camp Second Chance became city-sanctioned/funded in 2017, city law stipulated that authorized encampments could only stay at the same time for two years maximum.

Now the encampment on the city-owned Myers Way Parcels in southeast West Seattle is hoping that law will be changed so that it doesn’t have to move when its second sanctioned year expires in March, by which time it will actually have been at 9701 Myers Way S. for more than two and a half years.

Last night, the Highland Park Action Committee convened the second of two community meetings this week in West Seattle devoted to the camp’s future. Monday night, the Westside Interfaith Network – a consortium of local faith-based organizations – rallied camp supporters (WSB coverage here). The HPAC meeting, led by acting chair Gunner Scott, was more a “listening session” to find out where the community wants HPAC to “put its support” regarding the camp’s future.

Several of the encampment-extension supporters who spoke at Monday’s meeting also spoke last night, including three of the people who were with Scott at the table at the head of the room – camp co-founder and resident manager Eric Davis, Cinda Stenger from Alki UCC (and the C2C Community Advisory Committee), and Marty Westerman from the Seattle Green Spaces Coalition. Also at the table was Barbara Dobkin, vice president of the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council, representing the communities neighboring the camp on the county side (White Center and Top Hat). We were able to record this meeting on video:

Here’s how it unfolded (followed by information on what happens next):

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‘This is the model’: Camp Second Chance supporters gather to make their case for allowing it to stay

(WSB photo of Camp Second Chance entrance, December 2017)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others?”

That was part of a collection of quotes from Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., read aloud by those in attendance on this MLK Day night at a special Westside Interfaith Network meeting, devoted to rallying support for keeping city-sanctioned Camp Second Chance in place in southeast West Seattle.

Three city reps were there to hear the testimonials that drew applause and the occasional “amen!” during the gathering that filled the Fauntleroy UCC Fellowship Hall with more than 100 people: Jackie St. Louis and Lisa Gustaveson from the city Human Services Department, and City Councilmember Lisa Herbold.

The timing is critical because the encampment is close to the end of its second sanctioned year (following nine unsanctioned months) on the city-owned Myers Way Parcels. City law currently says two years is the maximum stay allowed for an encampment. Another group, the Highland Park Action Committee, is meeting Wednesday to listen to arguments about whether it should or should not support an extension. Throughout tonight’s WIN meeting, speakers including camp residents made the case that the camp must not be forced to leave.

Cinda Stenger, a lay leader at Alki UCC who is also on the Camp Second Chance Community Advisory Committee, noted that the church has built 13 “tiny houses” at the site. (We have chronicled these reports in our coverage of most CAC meetings.) She said this is the only Seattle community that can build on site at a sanctioned encampment. “If this camp is to move, this powerful work will no longer be possible,” she said, calling the relationship between community supporters and the camp “a love affair. … Everything is about relationships … If they are to be relocated or worse, disbanded, (the city) will be breaking our hearts.”

She recapped Camp Second Chance’s backstory, with a group breaking away from a Tent City, launching on a site outside the city, then moving to the Myers Way Parcels (without authorization at first, and after a brief time on private property across the street).

Stenger said C2C, which usually has about 50 people living on the site at 9701 Myers Way S., is vital because there’s not enough low-income housing for the campers to move into. “If the camp has to move, the level of disruption to (campers’) lives is unconscionable.” Most have jobs and/or take classes, she noted.

She handed the mic to Willow Fulton, who chairs the CAC and lives near the camp, just south of the city/county line.

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Will Camp Second Chance stay on Myers Way?

(WSB photo: LIHI executive director Sharon Lee with the microphone; to her left, C2CCAC member Aaron Garcia and chair Willow Fulton)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Will Camp Second Chance stay on the Myers Way Parcels past next spring?

That was a major topic at this month’s meeting of the C2C Community Advisory Committee. The city-sanctioned encampment is continuing to transition into a “tiny-house village,” even as it approaches the end of its second official year at 9701 Myers Way S.

First, updates:

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Short session for Camp Second Chance Community Advisory Committee

Was it the Seahawks? Was it the sunshine? Or was it the lack of controversy? Not much of a turnout today for the monthly Camp Second Chance Community Advisory Committee meeting, which as a result ran just half an hour. Three committee members – chair Willow Fulton, Cinda Stenger, Judi Carr – plus C2C site coordinator Eric Davis, and one newly assigned rep from the city Human Services Department, Nissa Limbach.

CAMP STATUS UPDATE: Davis provided the latest toplines:

-46 residents (down two from last month, and they could take in two more people, Davis said)
-Now up to 36 tiny houses, 8 more to be completed, “only 11 tents left” (the people in those tents will move into the tiny houses when they’re ready)
-Asked if anyone had moved into permanent housing this month, Davis said 1 person left recently to move back with family members with whom he had reconnected – otherwise, he said, case manager Richard Horne is frustrated by the shortage of affordable housing

SINCE THE CLEANUP: Both Fulton – an area resident – and Davis said that the recently cleared unsanctioned encampment on the east side of Myers Way does not appear to have returned, and area issues have lessened. Some illegal dumping, but “pretty quiet overall,” said Fulton. Carr noted that a vehicle “with a cooler on top of it” has been at the end of the driveway at Arrowhead Gardens (where she lives, and where the CAC meets) and she wonders if someone’s camping in it. Committee discussion ensued regarding reporting it if it’s been there longer than 72 hours.

ALKI UCC: Stenger says the on-site building of donation-funded tiny houses will be on hold once five current platforms/houses are done because they need someplace to safely build the rest that’s out of the rain. Got about 1,000 feet of space? Secure so tools and materials can be left there? Can you spare it for a month or two? Contact the church. One more note: The church plans a holiday concert December 16th, and proceeds will benefit C2C and the West Seattle Helpline.

ABOUT THE FUTURE: No members of the public for comment/questions, so we asked the city rep Limbach one: The second sanctioned year for the camp expires in less than half a year. So far, that’s the limit by city law. One other encampment whose second year expires in April has already been announced as destined for closure. When will the process of determining this camp’s future begin? Reply: The city is “discussing options” and also realizing that this site has shortcomings – the absence of water and sewer service, for example. But she said she’d look into where things stand.

NEXT MEETING: December 2nd, 2 pm, community room at Arrowhead Gardens (9200 2nd SW).

(Edited Monday morning to add name of city’s rep)

What is and isn’t happening on east side of Myers Way post-cleanup, and more @ Camp 2nd Chance Community Advisory Committee

(WSB photo from September 24th)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Though city-sanctioned Camp Second Chance is on the west side of Myers Way, illegal camping on the east side has long been a concern of the C2C Community Advisory Committee, whose meeting today included new info about the recent cleanup in that area.

On hand in the community room at Arrowhead Gardens were committee chair Willow Fulton and members Judi Carr, Grace Stiller, Cinda Stenger, and Aaron Garcia. Camp operator LIHI was represented by Josh Castle and on-site case manager Richard Horne as well as C2C co-founder and camp manager Eric Davis. The city had extra representatives at the meeting to talk about the cleanup and what’s next for the area – August Drake-Ericson, manager of the Navigation Team; Lisa Gustaveson of the Human Services Department; Patrick Merriam and Jon Jainga of Seattle Parks. Also there to talk about the city’s efforts to get more affordable housing built was Dan Foley of the Seattle Office of Housing.

CAMP REPORT: Davis started with a short, emotional tribute to a founding C2C member who he said died recently of cancer. Then the current numbers:

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SUNDAY: Got Myers Way questions? Affordable housing questions? City reps to speak with Camp Second Chance Community Advisory Committee

October 6, 2018 1:10 pm
|    Comments Off on SUNDAY: Got Myers Way questions? Affordable housing questions? City reps to speak with Camp Second Chance Community Advisory Committee
 |   Myers Way Parcels | West Seattle housing | West Seattle news

If you have questions about the recent east-side cleanup along Myers Way, it’s one of the topics to be addressed at tomorrow’s meeting of the Community Advisory Committee for the city-sanctioned encampment on the west side of the road, Camp Second Chance. Here’s the full announcement:

The next meeting of the Camp Second Chance Community Advisory Committee will be Sunday, October 7 at 2:00 pm, Arrowhead Gardens Community Room, 9200 2nd Ave SW.

This month, in addition to our usual updates and stats from the camp, we will have guests joining us from the City of Seattle for a Q & A on housing and to help answer the question: What is the City doing to build new affordable housing quickly?

Dan Foley, Office of Housing
Jesseca Brand, Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA)
Lisa Gustaveson, Human Services Department

We will also be receiving an update on the recent cleanup activities and future plans for the area on the east side of Myers Way.

All are welcome. The housing-related discussion is in response to questions asked by attendees at a previous meeting. (Our September coverage of the C2CCAC is here.)

FOLLOWUP: Myers Way east-side cleanup has wrapped up

(WSB photo from late this afternoon)

As reported in our coverage of Mayor Jenny Durkan‘s Highland Park Action Committee appearance last night, the city says its cleanup of the east side of Myers Way – which, as noted here Tuesday night, involved dozens of city crews – only took three days. This formal notification is from the Southwest Precinct:

The SW Precinct would like to inform our community that the Myers Way encampment has officially been dismantled. Hundreds of pounds of trash and debris was removed and the encampment was entirely cleared out.

Although the individuals living there were offered many services that the City of Seattle has to offer, a majority of the encampment’s residents declined these offers.

The SW Precinct is working diligently to track the displacement of these individuals, and we encourage our community to stay vigilant and aware. Remember to report crime and suspicious behavior by calling 911, secure your homes and outbuildings by locking doors and windows, and get involved with your community via Block Watch and other community organizations.

Southwest Precinct crime-prevention coordinator Jennifer Danner, who sent the announcement, also reminds you that she and the precinct offer “free safety/security assessments” – e-mail her at jennifer.danner@seattle.gov to find out more.

Myers Way ‘monstrosity,’ crime-fighting emphasis, and Mental Health First Aid @ West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

For the fourth time in two weeks, the big headline in a community-meeting update from Southwest Precinct police leadership was the Myers Way east-side cleanup – now under way.

This time, the update was at the first West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network meeting since the group’s summer hiatus (most community groups skip at least a month of meetings in the summer). The meeting also included a briefing on Mental Health First Aid training. But first:

POLICE BRIEFING: Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis said they’re trying to “not spend a lot of time reintroducing ourselves to old problems … there’s a lot of frustration with problems that pop up over and over again.” He said RVs and encampments are a recurring concern and insisted “we go after them very vigorously until we get them gone.” He said they have been “dismantling that monstrosity,” referring to the illegal encampment on Myers Way where a major city-led cleanup is in its second day – we went by again this afternoon and saw 29 city vehicles large and small, including SPD’s Mobile Precinct.

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FOLLOWUP: Myers Way east-side encampment cleanup begins

(WSB photos/video from this afternoon, added 4:23 pm)

1:01 PM: As reported here three times in the past two weeks, Southwest Precinct police leadership have said a city cleanup of the east side of Myers Way – a longtime site of illegal camping – was imminent. And today, the city confirms it’s getting under way. We’ll be going there to check soon on what exactly is happening so far; in the meantime, the city has published an update saying the cleanup is “to reduce negative public health and safety impacts stemming from the encampment and to allow the City of Seattle to launch an effort to restore the forest and natural environment.” The update adds:

The encampment is large, covering over 20 acres of forest with multiple living structures and abandoned vehicles. At one point this year, the City of Seattle’s Navigation Team estimated there to be 50-100 people living unsheltered in Myers Way. The population has declined over the course of the year.

Impacts from the encampment have ranged from the presence of human waste and public safety issues, to garbage and illegal dumping impacting Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) drainage systems. A partial clean-up of the area occurred earlier this year to alleviate potential SR-509 flooding concerns.

Given the scale and logistical challenges presented by this encampment, this large-scale removal required months of planning and resource marshaling to clear this forested area. The Navigation Team and other outreach providers have been working over the last months to connect people living unsheltered to the resources and shelter required under City rules. Following the removal and clean-up of the encampment, Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation (Parks) will implement a multi-month activation process to restore the forest and encourage more regular recreational use of the greenbelt.

… The Navigation Team has been conducting repeated outreach to people living unsheltered in the encampment since the beginning of the year. Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) trash bag pilot has also been active on site (SPU dispenses and collects trash bags from occupants), however participation from encampment residents has been inconsistent and deteriorated over the year.

The Navigation Team designed an intensive outreach effort ahead of the removal, focusing nearly all outreach and shelter resources to the encampment during the month of September to help people move to safer spaces prior to the clean-up. This outreach effort includes bringing in multiple partner agencies to complement and expand the team’s efforts.

The residents of this encampment have been difficult to reach and connect to services. To date, the team has made over 250 contacts to people living in Myers Way, connecting less than 10 people to shelter.

However, as part of the intensive outreach leading up to the clean-up, the team successfully referred a mother and her 2 children to a tiny house village last week (September 10). Additionally, the team successfully moved a second young family out of Myers Way and into another tiny house village the week prior to the clean-up.

Written and verbal notice of the removal has been provided to all people living in the encampment. The encampment will received additional written notice 72 hours ahead of the clean-up, per City protocols.

Because of the advance outreach, some residents have voluntarily left the encampment to unknown destinations.

The City is working with multiple agencies to conduct the clean-up, including Parks, Seattle Department of Transportation, WSDOT, SPU, Finance and Administrative Services, Seattle Human Services, Seattle Police Department (SPD), and Seattle City Light (SCL).

Beginning September 24, the Navigation Team will lead initial clean-up efforts. The team will remove living structures and provide storage of belongings for encampment occupants. The team will continue to offer services and shelter during the clean-up. This effort will likely last the entire week. During the clean-up, other agencies will begin laying the groundwork for future activation by restoring access roads and preparing the property for work trailers.

Following the clean-up, Parks will implement a temporary multi-month activation effort to restore the forest and encourage more regular recreational use of the area.

This activation includes a daily staffing of the site, overseen by City staff, contractors, and volunteers. Workers will be on site every day to restore hillsides prone to landslides, removing brush and debris, and replanting appropriate plants and trees to the area. During this time, Parks will explore other uses of the site such as a dog park area and recreation trails.

With improved access and walking trails, SPD and Parks will be able to better monitor the area during the restoration process and beyond. The activation phase is anticipated to last from 3-6 months.

This area is separate from the city-sanctioned encampment Camp Second Chance on the west side of Myers Way, but some community members have said the sanctioned camp’s presence has led to more camping nearby. This new cleanup starts just two days before Mayor Jenny Durkan is scheduled to speak to the Highland Park Action Committee, which has voiced repeated concerns about Myers Way, as have other groups including the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council.

4:23 PM: Just back from the scene. As our video (recorded from the passenger seat while headed northbound) shows, part of Myers Way is coned off while crews from multiple city departments work at multiple sites. Just before we headed over, we heard officers dispatched after these marijuana plants were found:

We talked briefly with Sgt. Eric Zerr, who’s long been working with the city Navigation Team (we first met him during preparations for a sweep by the West Seattle Bridge a year and a half ago). He expects this phase of the cleanup to last at least through this week.

There are flaggers in the area helping direct passing traffic.

Camping updates: Myers Way cleanup promised; Delridge hillside encampment

Two camping-related updates:

MYERS WAY CLEANUP: As mentioned here in this report last Sunday, parking and dumping along Myers Way has been on the rise again. Last night, while at the Fauntleroy Community Association meeting to discuss other topics, Southwest Precinct Operations Lt. Steve Strand said a big cleanup of the area is planned in the next few weeks, with “heavy equipment” already booked. We’re checking with the city’s homelessness-related-info point person to see if we can find out more.

DELRIDGE HILLSIDE ENCAMPMENT: A nearby resident e-mailed us about an encampment growing on a hillside off Croft Place, upslope from Louisa Boren STEM K-8. County records suggest the camping is on school property, which stretches upslope to the side of the road. We asked Seattle Public Schools about their policy regarding camping on school property and how to report it. Spokesperson Carri Campbell says, “Encampments are not allowed on our property … when the district becomes aware we follow our regular procedure; our safety and security office report it to SPD.” Here’s how to report camping on school grounds, Campbell says: “Please report directly to the district’s safety and security office, 206-252-0707 or securityoff@seattleschools.org.”

What’s new at West Seattle’s only city-sanctioned encampment, Camp Second Chance

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

More tiny houses and a permanent camp manager were among the updates at a brief meeting of the Camp Second Chance Community Advisory Committee this afternoon.

C2C – at 9401 Myers Way S. – is the only city-sanctioned encampment in West Seattle; the city requires each of the sanctioned encampments to have one.

Community Advisory Council members present were chair Willow Fulton, a nearby resident; Judi Carr, a resident of Arrowhead Gardens (where the committee meets); Aaron Garcia of the White Center Community Development Association; Cinda Stenger of the Westside Interfaith Network and Alki UCC; and Grace Stiller of Weed Warriors.

Present from camp operator LIHI were Josh Castle. C2C manager Eric Davis announced he will soon be in that role as a LIHI employee, after about a year. (That drew a round of applause at meeting’s end.) Davis is a camp founder and managed C2C in a paid position under the original camp operator Patacara, but the camp changed operators during a time of controversy and Davis’s position did not become a job again until now.

He presented the monthly update on the city-sanctioned encampment: 45 residents (34 men and 11 women), four of them new, six moved out for jobs/housing/family reunification; one moved out for treatment; no one was barred during the month.

No City of Seattle rep this time – Tom Van Bronkhorst of the Department of Neighborhoods, the usual rep, was absent. Fulton had hoped for a city rep to be present as usual because on the city side of Myers Way – not at/in C2C, she made clear – there are new problems including vehicles in various states of disrepair/demolition.

She feels that such dumping/activity is a magnet for more trouble – “people see it as a dumping ground because it looks like a dumping ground” – so she feels the city should patrol the area regularly rather than wait for complaints. Davis said that vehicles are being stripped at 2, 3 am and yes, he said, the camp has called police to report it. “They just need someone to drive up and down there for six months to get it under control, midnight to six am.”

Fulton says it would be great to have a camera of some sort in the area.

Liz Giba of the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council suggested working with King County Sheriff’s Office White Center storefront Deputy Bill Kennamer. Fulton noted that the problems seem to be on the Seattle side and the city and county law-enforcement agencies seem to pass problems back and forth “like a hot potato.”

Meantime, Stenger said Alki UCC has completed eight more tiny houses for the camp and has money to build five more. The camp now has 31 tiny houses and 22 tents. (City funding covers platforms holding either tiny houses or tents, but not the structures themselves.) On September 22nd, the camp will host a celebration and blessing of the eight new houses, starting at noon, with music and food. (All welcome!) She also said she’s working on “the shower issue” (as discussed at previous meetings, camp residents are hoping a mobile shower vehicle can visit more often) and “might have a solution for that.”

Castle noted that the County Council has taken its vote on whether to give lodging-tax money to the Mariners or to affordable housing, and says more was shifted to the latter than originally proposed. (The final vote is on September 17th; the committee approval on September 5th was to allocate $165 million more lodging-tax dollars to affordable housing than originally proposed.)

Absent any further community concerns, or formal agenda items, the meeting adjourned after half an hour. Next one will be 2 pm October 7th, also at Arrowhead Gardens (9200 2nd SW, a few blocks north of C2C).

Housing challenges and other updates @ Camp Second Chance Community Advisory Committee

(L-R, city rep Tom Van Bronkhorst, LIHI’s Josh Castle and Richard Horne, committee member Aaron Garcia and chair Willow Fulton)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

No one from Camp Second Chance, West Seattle’s only city-permitted encampment, has been placed in housing in two months.

That’s what the C2C Community Advisory Committee was told when it met on Sunday for the first time since June. In the month prior to the June meeting, C2C’s case manager Richard Horne had reported, he helped seven campers find housing. On Sunday, he described the challenges that are thwarting further progress.

But first: Present from the committee were chair Willow Fulton, a nearby resident; Judi Carr, who lives at Arrowhead Gardens, where they meet; and Aaron Garcia, from the White Center Community Development Association. LIHI, which operates the camp, was represented by Horne and by Josh Castle. C2C founder and resident manager Eric Davis also was there, as was the usual city representative, Tom Van Bronkhorst of the Department of Neighborhoods.

UPDATES: Fulton started by reading a message from absent committee member Cinda Stenger, who wrote that Alki UCC – one of the camp’s major donors – has finished two more “tiny houses” for the camp, with five additional ones almost done, and is raising money for more. (City funding for the encampment does not cover tiny houses or tents, just the platforms on which they are held.)

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FOLLOWUP: Highland Park Action Committee, North Highline Unincorporated Area Council voice disappointment at Camp Second Chance extension

We published the city Human Services Department‘s announcement of another year for Camp Second Chance shortly after receiving it on Thursday afternoon. Since then, the two community councils closest to the sanctioned encampment – the Highland Park Action Committee and North Highline Unincorporated Area Council – have sent HSD interim director Jason Johnson this expression of disappointment:

The neighborhoods of Highland Park and the various neighborhoods comprising the unincorporated urban area of North Highline are extremely disappointed to hear that the City of Seattle has extended the permit for Camp Second Chance for an additional 12 months at the Myers Way Parcels (Fiscal and Administrative Services PMA #4539-4542). With this extension, the camp will have effectively been present at the current site for 2 years and 8 months, easily exceeding the allowed 2 year stay duration for encampments as outlined in Seattle Municipal Code Section 23.42.056, subsection E.1.

Camp Second Chance established itself on the Myers Way Parcels on July 23, 2016 (“Myers Way Parcels,” 2016), 10 days after former mayor Edward B. Murray declared that the property would be retained by the City of Seattle for the purposes of expanding the Joint Training Facility and for expanding recreational space (“Mayor Murray announces,” 2016). Polly Trout of Patacara Community Services—the organization which would become the sponsor for the camp—is reported to have used bolt cutters to break the lock on the fence that had been securing the property (Archibald, 2017a), thereby allowing the group of campers, who had defected from SHARE Tent City 3 earlier that year (Archibald, 2017b), to trespass and establish their new camp. The status of the camp remained in limbo for some time thereafter.

In a post on her blog concerning a possible eviction of the camp, Seattle City Council member Lisa Herbold (2016), who represents the district in which the camp is located, relayed that she had “urged the Executive [branch of city government] not only to have its work guided by established public health and safety prioritization criteria, but…asked whether outreach workers have the ability to ask for more time if – in their estimation – more time would help get campers access to services.” Seattle City Council member Sally Bagshaw and King County Council member Jean Kohl-Welles, who are not representatives of the area where the camp is located, had requested from Mayor Murray that the camp not be immediately evicted (Jaywork, 2016). Within 5 months of the camp’s establishment on the Myers Way property, the Murray administration proceeded to officially sanction the encampment (“West Seattle Encampment,” 2016), thereby delaying the community’s request to have the Myers Way Parcels relinquished to the Parks and Recreation department for future development of the site in accordance with community wishes.

I want to make clear that the communities surrounding the encampment are not strangers to disadvantage. Our neighborhoods have suffered from a lack of investment going back at least a century, and from redlining in the 1930s. The lasting effects of this lack of investment in our neighborhoods are palpable to this day!

Data from the American Community Survey (5-year Series, 2009-2013) show that Highland Park (Census Tract 113) has a lower median income ($53,182) and a higher proportion of residents who identify as a race or ethnicity other than White (49.8%) than Seattle as a whole ($65,277 and 29.4%, respectively). The King County census tract immediately to the South of Highland Park, which encompasses the land area where the Myers Way Parcels are located, shows even starker demographic departures from Seattle.

Census Tract 265 overlays the southeastern-most portion of Highland Park in the City of Seattle, as well as a portion of White Center, which is part of the North Highline unincorporated urban area. There, the proportion of residents who identify as a race or ethnicity other than White increases to 60.1%, while the Median Household Income drops to $35,857.

Like most Seattleites, residents of our neighborhoods are compassionate and wish to address the homelessness crisis with empathy. However, in as much as the City claims to promote equity, we ask that neighborhoods like ours not continue to be overwhelmed with the responsibility of shouldering the burden of the City’s homelessness policies while wealthier, less diverse neighborhoods remain largely unscathed.

Over the past decade, Highland Park has hosted three encampments and served as a staging area for a proposed safe lot for individuals residing in recreational vehicles. This burden has impacted not only our neighborhood, but the neighborhoods immediately south of us along the city limit. No other neighborhood in Seattle has willingly or unwillingly taken on as much and to the same extent!

Given this history, the Highland Park Action Committee (HPAC) has sought resolution from the Human Services Department on a number of items, including

1) The adoption of a set of best practices (manifested as our “Neighborhood Protocols for Sanctioned Encampments” which have been provided to the department on many past occasions and are again enclosed below) by which the City of Seattle will abide prior to sanctioning an encampment in any given neighborhood.

2) That the Finance and Administrative Services Department accelerate the relinquishment of the Myers Way Parcels to the Department of Parks and Recreation.

3) A plan resolving jurisdictional issues that arise from the presence of sanctioned and unsanctioned encampments at the interface of city, unincorporated county, and state land.

4) A 10% increase in the number of police officers assigned to the Southwest Precinct Patrol to help mitigate the increased burden on our current resources. (At 124 Full-Time Equivalents for budget year 2018, the Southwest Precinct Patrol Budget Control Level is the lowest in the city.)

Despite a reply on April 18 from Catherine Lester, the previous director of the Human Services Department, the Highland Park Action Committee does not feel that our requests have been satisfactorily addressed. We understand that some of our requests will require coordination with other departments. However, it is our belief that the City needs to take a holistic approach to its encampment-sanctioning process. To date, the methods employed have lacked transparency and eroded neighborhood trust in city government.

In an effort to allow residents of Highland Park and surrounding neighborhoods to get a better understanding of the City of Seattle’s homelessness response, the Highland Park Action Committee invites the Director of the Human Services Department (whomever that may be at the time) to attend our scheduled meeting on September 26, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. PDT for a moderated discussion on homelessness policy.

We kindly ask for confirmation of acceptance or declination of this request by August 17, 2018.

Sincerely,

Charlie Omana
Chair, Highland Park Action Committee

Liz Giba
President, North Highline Unincorporated Area Council

Highland Park’s decade-long history with encampment goes back to the first camp that called itself “Nickelsville,” which was evicted from public land at Highland Park Way and West Marginal Way SW less than a week after it set up in September 2008.

Camp Second Chance updates: More housing placement; renewal decision soon; unmet needs

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

With a new case manager on the job, housing placements from West Seattle’s only city-sanctioned encampment have increased dramatically.

That was part of the information shared at the monthly Camp Second Chance (C2C) Community Advisory Committee meeting on Sunday.

The city’s permit-renewal decision still hasn’t been announced – technically for a second year at the city-owned Myers Way Parcels, though it’s been almost two years already since the camp moved there in July 2016, initially without authorization. But it’s apparently imminent.

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Policies vs. people, renewal wait, and what else happened at Camp 2nd Chance Community Advisory Committee meeting

(From left, city rep Tom Van Bronkhorst, LIHI’s Richard Horne and Josh Castle, C2C resident manager Eric Davis)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

No word yet on the city’s decision about another year for Camp Second Chance at the Myers Way Parcels.

That was one headline from this afternoon’s meeting of the Community Advisory Committee for West Seattle’s only city-sanctioned encampment.

The other: Camp operator LIHI‘s new case manager Richard Horne has been on the job two weeks, and he has placed his first two campers in housing, though it was quite a drama. He also stressed to community members who wanted to complain about city homelessness-related policies and practices that he is about people, like the two he placed.

First:

CAMP OPERATIONS UPDATE: “It’s been a very productive month,” said Eric Davis, C2C’s resident manager.

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