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CAMP SECOND CHANCE: Notes from June’s Community Advisory Committee meeting

June 7, 2020 6:57 pm
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 |   Myers Way Parcels | West Seattle news

(WSB file photo)

The Camp Second Chance Community Advisory Committee met this afternoon via videoconference and phone, for updates on what’s happening at the tiny-house encampment in southeast West Seattle. Here are our toplines:

CAMP UPDATE: Camp co-founder and site coordinator Eric Pattin says 53 people are living there right now – 20 women, 33 men (the village has 49 tiny houses); referrals come from the city’s Navigation Team … 2 residents have moved out to affordable permanent housing … 2 new tiny homes have been placed … No cases of COVID-19 at the camp; they’ve had one round of testing (as noted last month) so far. … Two 911 calls this month, one for a disruptive resident who wound up being transferred to the encampment at Lake Union (which has behavioral-care services on site), one for a person who was having trouble with a seizure disorder. … The camp’s been getting so much food donated, including some it can’t use (baking mixes that require oven access, for example) that they’re working to get unneeded items donated in turn to the White Center Food Bank.

CAMP OPERATOR/SPONSOR UPDATE: Josh Castle of LIHI said two more tiny houses are being finished by Sound Foundations NW and Fauntleroy UCC volunteers. They’re building 2 houses every 3 weeks for other LIHI sites. Volunteers are still able to work at the site via a separate entrance in the back. “Weather, pandemic, whatever, they’re always there,” camp co-founder Eric Davis said in appreciation. A church representative wondered if the camp needs more fire extinguishers. Pattin said they’ll discuss, though they do already have at least 15 on site, in the residential and community areas. In Q&A, it emerged that the church/LIHI paperwork has not yet been finalized due to changing city ordinances regarding encampment sponsorships. They might instead enter into a Memorandum of Understanding regarding a partnership. …LIHI will be organizing advocacy for at least two upcoming City Council meetings related to funding for homelessness response, one this week, one on June 24th.

CITY UPDATE: Shawn Neal from the Human Services Department was on the call but had no specific CSC notes.

OTHER COMMITTEE UPDATES: Chair Willow Fulton keeps watch on her Myers Way neighborhood and noted there’s an illegal-dumping site that hasn’t been addressed lately … Cinda Stenger of Alki UCC/Westside Interfaith Network says the West Seattle Helpline – with which she also volunteers – needs men’s clothing, so the camp will go though its excess donations … Aaron Garcia of White Center Community Development Association says a project with “70-80 units of affordable housing” in WC is reaching the design phase and they are launching a small community group that will be meeting multiple times during the summer… Judi Carr of Arrowhead Gardens had nothing to report as they’re “staying quarantined” at the senior-living complex that’s just a few blocks north of Camp Second Chance … Grace Stiller said that she’s hoping to work with LIHI on getting the camp involved with grant-funded Weed Warriors and is ready to start scheduling training; Castle said they’ll make it happen. “It’s a pretty exciting thing … to do this work,” he said.

The Camp Second Chance Community Advisory Committee usually meets the first Sunday of the month; its members will confer soon to decide if they want to stick with that for July 5th, or reschedule.

CAMP SECOND CHANCE: Testing, and other news from Community Advisory Committee meetng

(WSB file photo)

Everyone at Camp Second Chance – the city-sanctioned tiny-house encampment in southeast West Seattle – got tested for COVID-19 when a mobile testing team visited last week. That was part of the news at this mnnth’s meeting of the CSC Community Advisory Committee, held online this past Sunday afternoon.

Camp co-founder/site coordinator Eric Pattin said the testing van from Swedish visited on Friday, and they’re expecting results later this week. No one has been showing symptoms, he added.

In his general camp update, he said 49 people are at Camp Second Chance right now, 17 women and 32 men. 1 person moved out to permanent housing this past month.

Another milestone for the encampment was shared by reps from Fauntleroy UCC, the camp’s new sponsor: It’s taken over oversight of tiny-home building from Alki UCC, which had long been wrangling that. (CSC has a large area where volunteers have built tiny houses for other sites, too.) Otherwise, the church is still working on what kind of programming to provide, as well as still finalizing documents with LIHI, which manages CSC.

No major updates from CAC members; no one from the city participated, nor was there any community comment from non-committee members.

As for the camp’s needs, Pattin expressed gratitude for community donations and asked that no one bring clothing – they have far more than they need. Food is always welcome, though, especially cans (chili, ravioli, etc.).

The meeting only ran about 20 minutes; the CAC will continue meeting at 2 pm on first Sundays, so the next meeting will be June 7th.

Camp Second Chance doing OK in virus crisis

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

No cases of COVID-19 are reported at southeast West Seattle’s tiny-house encampment Camp Second Chance, but the pandemic has affected life at CSC in a few ways.

That was part of the discussion as the Camp Second Chance Community Advisory Committee met by videoconferencing and phone on Sunday afternoon.

The camp’s status was presented during the 40-minute meeting by site coordinator Eric Pattin.

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2 safety concerns discussed @ Camp Second Chance Community Advisory Committee

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Pedestrian safety and coronavirus concerns were two of the topics when the Camp Second Chance Community Advisory Committee met Sunday afternoon for updates on and discussion of the city-sanctioned tiny-house encampment on Myers Way.

But first:

CAMP UPDATE: Eric Davis, camp co-founder and special projects manager for operating organization LIHI, said CSC currently has 49 people – 17 women and 32 men. This past month has seen two move into permanent housing.

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CAMP SECOND CHANCE: What the Community Advisory Committee heard this time

February 10, 2020 8:05 pm
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 |   Myers Way Parcels | West Seattle news

As city leaders consider loosening the rules to allow more tiny-house encampments, West Seattle’s lone authorized encampment Camp Second Chance continues to do well, according to updates at its monthly Community Advisory Committee meeting on Sunday afternoon.

CAC UPDATES: A larger group than usual was present at the front of the room, and each offered an update at introduction time:

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CAMP SECOND CHANCE: Next Advisory Committee meeting 1 week later than usual

January 29, 2020 9:17 pm
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 |   Myers Way Parcels | West Seattle news

The Community Advisory Committee for Camp Second Chance usually meets the first Sunday afternoon of each month, but instead of this Sunday, the February meeting will be on the second Sunday: 2 pm February 9th, in the community room on the east side of Arrowhead Gardens (9220 2nd SW). If you have questions or concerns about West Seattle’s lone city-authorized tiny-house encampment, that’s the place to bring them. Our past coverage is archived here.

What’s up at Camp Second Chance? Here’s what happened at Community Advisory Committee’s first 2020 meeting

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

2020 will be the fourth full year on the Myers Way Parcels for city-supported tiny-house encampment Camp Second Chance.

The year’s first monthly meeting of the CSC Community Advisory Committee happened this afternoon at Arrowhead Gardens, a few blocks north of the encampment. Here’s what happened:

CAMP UPDATES: Co-founder/site cooordinator Eric Davis said 51 people are now at the camp, occupying 45 houses with five more being replaced. No one has exited to housing this past month, but Davis said at least four people are likely to be moving out soon, as they just got vouchers. Five of the 50 tiny houses are being replaced; Davis explained that they’re the oldest ones, donated to CSC from another village, Davis said, and had mold and other safety issues.

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Camp Second Chance updates, from first Community Advisory Committee meeting since announcement of new church sponsorship

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

A week and a half after Fauntleroy Church‘s sponsorship of Camp Second Chance was announced (WSB coverage here), the tiny-house encampment’s Community Advisory Committee met this afternoon.

Turnout was light as usual, and no major community concerns surface. The meeting yielded some updates, though:

SPONSOR UPDATES: Fauntleroy Church’s pastor Rev. Leah Atkinson Bilinski was at the meeting, telling the committee, “My church is really excited to enter into this important relationship” with the camp. She said the church has launched an Implementation Task Force to decide what sort of “programming” it can provide for the camp.

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VIDEO: Camp Second Chance gets at least 1 more year on Myers Way – with church sponsorship

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The tiny-house encampment Camp Second Chance will stay on the city-owned Myers Way Parcels at least one more year beyond the end of its current permit extension next March – with one big change:

The city will lease the land currently being used for the camp to Fauntleroy Church, which will take on the camp as what its pastor Rev. Leah Bilinski describes as a “missional outpost.”

This was announced at tonight’s public meeting about the encampment’s future, held at the city Joint Training Facility, a few blocks north of the site the camp’s been on for more than three years. (We recorded video of the meeting and will add it when it’s ready – update, both clips added inline below.)

The church and city reached a deal earlier this week – after the Fauntleroy congregation voted on Sunday to move ahead – but would not confirm it until tonight’s announcement; we had an embargoed conversation with Rev. Bilinski in advance. This had been months in the making, and the city had made no secret – as we reported back in June – that finding a faith-based sponsor would be an option. (CSC got its start at a church in unincorporated King County before moving to West Seattle in the summer of 2016.)

As explained by both the pastor and the city, the agreement is a draft right now, to be finalized within the next few months. LIHI remains the camp operator, with a contract with the city (we have a request out for the current amount of city money it receives), and “the city will continue to monitor the village for compliance and performance.” LIHI will also have an agreement with the church, spelling out who’s accountable for what in the partnership.

Speaking to the meeting tonight, Rev. Bilinski said, “We’re doing this because our faith calls us to follow Christ” – to stand with people in need, including those who are homeless, and -“we believe in the residents of Camp Second Chance … I don’t know a person who has walked into Camp Second Chance without being impressed,” and hopeful. It’s a strong community, she declared, “and we’re delighted to be a part of that.” Read More

THURSDAY: City meeting about Camp Second Chance’s future

(WSB photo from June)

If you’re interested in the city-sanctioned “tiny house village” encampment on the Myers Way Parcels, Camp Second Chance, tomorrow night is the first major city-convened meeting about it in more than a year. In September, the city announced it had extended the camp’s permit another 6 months; what happens after that is expected to be discussed at tomorrow’s meeting, which was announced a month ago. It’s happening 6:30-8 pm Thursday (November 21st) at the Joint Training Facility (9401 Myers Way S.), a few blocks north of Camp Second Chance, which has been on Myers Way almost three and a half years. As of the most-recent Community Advisory Committee meeting, 33 men and 17 women were living at CSC.

CAMP SECOND CHANCE: Brief Community Advisory Committee meeting

Short meeting this afternoon for the Camp Second Chance Community Advisory Committee – two members were there, along with, one camp rep, three community members (including John Walling, who records all the meetings on audio). The designated city rep was ill but sent committee chair Willow Fulton a reminder of the November 21st meeting the city is convening to discuss the camp’s future.

CSC site manager/co-founder Eric Davis brought an update on the camp status: 50 residents, down 5 from last month, 33 men and 17 women. Three people “transferred” (to different tiny-house villages in the city), he said, and two left to reunite with their families. He said the camp had one 911 call this past month, for “a medical issue” (records show that was on October 27th, while there was one call from outside the gate on October 13th). No one was “permanently barred” for violations during October.

Asked whether the impending closure of a tiny-house village in Northlake will affect CSC, Davis said they would probably take in “five or six” people to help ensure no one winds up on the street.

In community updates, Fulton also mentioned the kitchen project at the camp, as well as fast city response to illegal dumping at other sites along Myers Way … Committee member Cinda Stenger from Sound Foundations NW said the nonprofit is undergoing a leadership transition but has money available to build more tiny houses where/when needed. … Davis was asked what the camp needs and he says the community’s been very generous but if you are wanting to help, hand warmers, blankets, and canned goods are always useful.

AUDIO: You can listen to the meeting recording here:

WHAT’S NEXT: The city meeting about CSC is at 6:30 pm Thursday, Nov. 21, at the Joint Training Facility (9401 Myers Way S.) … the next Community Advisory Committee meeting is at 2 pm Sunday, December 1st, in the community room at Arrowhead Gardens (9200 2nd SW).

CAMP SECOND CHANCE: City announces November meeting

The city’s long-promised meeting about Camp Second Chance‘s future has finally been announced: 6:30 pm Thursday, November 21st, at the Joint Training Facility (9401 Myers Way S.), a short distance north of the encampment. CSC is now in its fourth year on the city-owned Myers Way Parcels. In September, shortly after announcing another six-month extension for its permit to be there, the city said that if they don’t reach an agreement with a potential “faith-based sponsor,” they’ll start planning to dismantle the camp. But in the meantime, there’s also a city proposal to dramatically increase the number of this type of “tiny-house village” encampments citywide. CSC started with tents, but with donated materials and labor, its dwellings were all converted to “tiny houses.” As of last month, 55 people were living at CSC.

Camp Second Chance permit extended another 6 months, city announces

(WSB photo from June)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The city permit for sanctioned West Seattle encampment Camp Second Chance has been extended six more months, to March 2020.

The city quietly announced in an online update Friday afternoon. We learned about it today at the start of the monthly C2C Community Advisory Committee meeting.

Lisa Gustaveson from the city Human Services Department was at the meeting to elaborate. The city is still talking with a possible faith-based “sponsor” for the camp, she said (as also mentioned in the city-website post) but if that doesn’t come through, the city will start moving to dismantle the camp: “We would work very closely to find places for every person to go to … to find permanent housing or be referred to another program that works for them.”

Tom Van Bronkhorst of the city Department of Neighborhoods said the city is working toward an October community meeting at the Joint Training Facility, which is just north of the camp, to talk about C2C’s future.

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Camp Second Chance’s future: Community Advisory Committee meeting September 7

When the Community Advisory Committee for city-sanctioned West Seattle encampment Camp Second Chance met earlier this month (WSB coverage here), they expected the city would call a wider community meeting about C2C’s future, so they canceled the September committee meeting. But now it’s back on – a week later than usual – because the city so far hasn’t organized a wider community meeting. So the CAC meeting (usually on 1st Sundays, but that falls during the holiday weekend) is set for 2 pm Saturday, September 7th, with this focus: “This month we will have representatives present from the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods and the Human Services Department providing a status on the permit for Camp Second Chance.” (Its previously announced six-month extension is about to expire.) The committee will meet in the usual location, the Arrowhead Gardens (9200 2nd SW) community room, all welcome.

CAMP SECOND CHANCE: Permit-renewal meeting ahead, and other Community Advisory Committee updates

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

On the way to today’s Camp Second Chance Community Advisory Committee, we were in an Arrowhead Gardens elevator with former camp resident Zsa Zsa, who remarked that she’d just visited C2C and noticed a lot of new faces – because others had exited to housing, as had she.

How many? At the meeting, the city-sanctioned camp’s manager/co-founder Eric Davis announced the latest numbers:

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Updates on Camp Second Chance & vicinity @ Community Advisory Committee:

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The east side of Myers Way is being resettled by unauthorized campers, for the first time since last fall’s major sweep, the Camp Second Chance Community Advisory Committee heard today.

While that side of Myers Way is not part of the camp, nor is it an official part of the CAC’s scope, it’s a frequent topic at the committee meetings.

Chair Willow Fulton, who lives near C2C, was first to mention it during the Sunday afternoon meeting.

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Faith-based sponsor for Camp Second Chance? That and more @ Community Advisory Committee

(WSB photo, Friday)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Before Camp Second Chance moved to Myers Way three years ago, it was hosted by a church.

Now a faith-based affiliation might be in its future.

Sunday’s Community Advisory Committee meeting at nearby Arrowhead Gardens brought that bit of news, as well as a reiteration of the milestone we reported earlier in the weekend – that the last tent had been replaced with a “tiny house.”

That was a big part of the camp update presented by resident manager/site coordinator Eric Davis offered the update:

His voice broke as he marveled at the amount of support that’s been expressed by the community. “We just want to have that level of success go toward the rest of the organizations that are struggling.” He also said the shower trailer should be ready to go in a few days once the graywater tank arrives. And he confirmed there’s a new case manager on site, though he was not at the meeting.

CITY UPDATE: Shawn Neal from the city Human Services Department said his colleague Lisa Gustaveson has been looking for a faith-based organization to sponsor Camp 2nd Chance. No further details, but later in the meeting, he said that could enable an extension for the camp at the Myers Way Parcels site, where it’s passed the 2-year limit promised when it became city-sanctioned. CAC member Cinda Stenger said she knows of one faith-based organization that’s “looking at taking over the lease of the land” but she didn’t identify it or comment further. A faith-based sponsor would not replace LIHI as the camp’s contract-holder with the city, Neal said.

We sought further details from HSD today but they have none to disclose, spokesperson Meg Olberding said:

We recognize that the faith-based community is an important part of the safety net and response to homelessness in our city. Many members of the faith-based community do this great work on their own and with other agencies or entities in the community. In order to better coordinate this effort, the City has been engaging with members of the larger faith community about how to work better together in addressing homelessness in a variety of ways. Nothing concrete to share at this time, as we are in the conversation stages.

Local churches have led the way in support for Camp Second Chance, from advocacy to funding and building tiny houses.

COMMITTEE UPDATES: Chair Willow Fulton says things have been quiet and clean. One RV was on Myers Way Sunday and they’ll keep an eye on it. She’s hoping to rally her fellow nearby residents for a roadside cleanup soon. The “major stuff” is already cleaned up, so she hopes neighbors will contribute to the not-so-major cleanup. She’s also looking into “street adoption” rules. You have to commit to a mile, for a year, at least four cleanups, before the recognition signage (“this street adopted by” etc.) can go up, Fulton said. She’s hoping local businesses along Myers Way and vicinity will join in too … Aaron Garcia from the White Center Community Development Association elaboratec on the Refresh cleanup – 50+ volunteers will be in the camp and along Myers Way, painting some tiny houses, cleaning up along Myers Way, 9 am-1 pm on June 8th. He also talked about White Center Pride events next week, and an Art Walk 6-9 pm June 5th, with the Nepantla Cultural Arts Gallery in South Delridge a major hub for it; the White Center Chamber of Commerce is organizing … Stenger, with Sound Foundations NW and Alki UCC, reiterated gratitude and appreciation for the volunteers and donations that made the tiny-house-building possible … Grace Stiller with two local environmental groups had no major updates but offered gratitude. She also said the Nature Stewards have gloves they can lend for the upcoming cleanup.

COMMENTS/CONCERNS/QUESTIONS: CAC member Garcia wondered about the city’s promises of activating the east-side greenbelt after last fall’s cleanup. Stiller said that there seem to be no particular plans because the land is mostly state, not city.

NEXT MEETING: First Sunday in July falls at the end of the 4th of July weekend, so CAC members will confer via e-mail to dedide whether to go ahead with a meeting.

Milestone at Camp Second Chance: No more tents, all ‘tiny houses’

When the Camp Second Chance Community Advisory Committee meets tomorrow, they will no doubt hear about the milestone reached at the encampment on Friday: Its last tent was taken down, replaced by another “tiny house.” Donors have been funding the construction, which has been done under a tent on C2C’s Myers Way Parcels site:

Though Saturdays are the days with big volunteer turnouts, a few were at the camp on Friday, including Tomasz Biernacki, who showed us another recent upgrade:

That’s the shower trailer donated to the camp by the Kent Sunrise Rotary. As we’ve reported in previous CAC coverage, the camp had been seeking better hygiene access; previously, it had been getting weekly visits from a mobile shower trailer. This one is set up with an electric water heater (below) connected to the power grid; the water is trucked in and trucked out.

As of our visit Friday, the plan was to build 6 more tiny houses for C2C, which would bring the total to 50, housing about 60 people. Two additional ones would replace the “overnight tent” by the camp entrance.

Biernacki also noted that some of the tiny houses still need to be painted and said the White Center Community Development Association‘s upcoming Refresh event will include that. Meantime, if you have questions or comments about the camp, Sunday’s Community Advisory Council meeting is at 2 pm at Arrowhead Gardens (9200 2nd SW).

Hygiene help and other quick updates @ Camp Second Chance Community Advisory Council

Hard to drum up quorum for a public meeting on a sunny Sunday afternoon but a small gathering convened the scheduled Camp Second Chance Community Advisory Council meeting, lasting less than 20 minutes, in the community room at Arrowhead Gardens, a few blocks north of the city-sanctioned encampment.

CAC member Cinda Stenger led the meeting in chair Willow Fulton‘s absence. Here’s the official camp status update, distributed and read by co-founder and on-site manager Eric Davis:

That’s compared to 50 residents at the time of last month’s meeting (WSB coverage here), and an addition of two tiny houses. As for the forthcoming film-festival premiere of “Stories of Us,” you can find out more about it here.

In committee updates. Stenger spoke on behalf of Sound Foundations, the group – which has grown out of Alki UCC involvement and is now “much larger” than that, Stenger said – building tiny houses at the camp, now on its 20th house. As an example of other volunteer involvement, she mentioned that an area company HR specialist came to C2C to help campers work on their resumés.

Shawn Neal from the city Human Services Department mentioned that the much-discussed hygiene trailer has arrived but had no updates otherwise. He was the only city rep and did not mention anything about the camp’s siting status, more than one month into its six-month extension announced in March.

Davis said the hygiene (shower) trailer’s been on site for about a week and a half and needs some work such as a bladder so the wastewater won’t go into the ground – “that’s coming in a week or two.” It should be in operation in about two weeks. He said the camp has many offers of volunteerism, from home-building to barbecues, and expressed gratitude for the community generosity.

Aaron Garcia from the White Center Community Development Association said its refocused Spring Clean might center on Camp Second Chance and the surrounding greenbelt – they have to figure out a plan for an event, possibly in early June. One possibility for inclusion in the event: Painting some of the tiny houses that haven’t been painted.

ISSUES: Davis wondered if the city could do anything about overgrowth along Myers Way in the Joint Training Facility vicinity north of C2C. Neal said he’d look into that.

COMMENTS: C2C board member Zsa Zsa said she’s moving from the camp into housing and is grateful for the camp and the services it has provided. “You’re a great model of how (C2C) can work.” Another community member offered words of praise for the camp. No other members o the public attended.

The Camp Second Chance CAC meets 2 pm first Sundays at Arrowhead Gardens (9200 2nd SW); next scheduled meeting, June 2nd.

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

April 4, 2019 11:56 pm
|    Comments Off on Questions, comments about Camp Second Chance? Next Community Advisory Committee meeting Sunday
 |   Myers Way Parcels | West Seattle news

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 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.