Remember Nickelsville?

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    NV’s “advisors” have been necessary evils but have outlived their usefulness. Tent City 4 has now been shut down, and all the residents are now part of Camp Unity, outside of SHARE/WHEEL influence. I say hooray for them and intend to find ways to support them.

    An overwhelming number of residents appear to be fine with having the handouts that come daily and make no effort to seek a way out. Depression, addictions, mental illness are some of the reasons why there’s little or no effort on their part. Shelters are not an answer to many of them because they will not be put indoors at a place that has rules or restrictions of any nature.

    Why is it no one addresses the most pervasive problem at NV which is the drug problem inside camp. Meth, coke ,and heroin are readily available and are taking down the camp. Are we to ignore the elephant in front of us?

    Nothing will change at NV as long as their own security people are on the take in the drug trade.

    SPD needs to do a sweep and clean out the vermin and remand them all to rehab. THEN maybe NV can return to what they were attempting to do as a community when they landed there in the Spring of 2010. Back then it DID feel like they had a cooperative going and it was working. Most of those residents got out and several have left recently due to the problems that are mounting.

    Several have taken the steps necessary to find alternatives to NV and have gotten themselves out of the drug and poverty cycle.

    If NV could straighten itself out and get their own charitable organization status there might be hope for them, but at a different site obviously. The concept of having a place for displaced people to land, in transition to more appropriate housing is a good idea. Sounds like the mayor has tried some things but the council drags its feet or plainly just says no.

    All of this is probably moot as it appears NV is on it’s last legs anyway.



    >>If I remember correctly, it took quite a few people to change your mind about NV. In the beginning you were totally against it. And now it’s your baby to advise the rest of us?

    –You do not remember correctly, Jan. What I was totally against from the beginning – and what I am STILL totally against – is allowing kids at Nickelsville.

    My overall view of the camp has not changed either. As long as it’s there, I think it’s great that people are supporting it, and I do my part. But even so, I put pressure on the Mayor and Council to replace the camp with something safe and permanent, something that’s run by the City, not a non-profit.

    And I urge others to put pressure on them as well. Otherwise, they will keep dragging their feet, secure in the knowledge that they can continue to get away with doing nothing.

    Politicians: whatever their other contributions to society, they could be an important source of protein.



    thanks for the correction, DBP. Merry Christmas !




    as far as i know, tent city 4 still exists.

    i believe it is still supported by the Catholic Diocese..

    i don’t know what kind of arrangement Scott came to with them but i do know there were negotiations that resulted in a continuing commitment to tent city 4.

    Camp Unity is the part of tent city 4 that did not agree to that compromise and split off.

    I believe they are in the process of filing as a 5013c.

    they are currently hosted by an Eastside Church that i believe to be either in the process of getting the necessary permits or already have them.

    I follow them on facebook at happy.camper eastside..

    at least i think i got it right..

    i am not so good with these things.

    What Camp Unity has that the campers who would have liked to split off from Nickelsville to form a true self managed tent city don’t is a church that has a recent history of hosting the homeless… and thus qualifies for a permit.

    Although there are several churches here on the West side that have gone above and beyond doing what they can for Nickelsville,

    so far we don’t have a church with recent experience hosting the homeless that is willing to host a break off group of campers…

    if we did.. there are plenty of people willing to help those campers get their permit and file for 501c3 status…

    I agree that it appears that drugs have become a significant problem at Nickeslville again… or at least they were…

    though to be honest. I don’t know that i could escape the temptation of drugs if i lived there… anything that would allow you to escape the misery of that life would be incredibly tempting.

    I do know that the residents regularly try to police their own encampment…

    I have heard that the latest set of elections have put a better arbitration team and possibly a better security team in place…

    but i also know they don’t get much support from their advisers in their efforts.

    and yes, i know that for a fact.

    On more than one occasion I have personally alerted Scott to drug and other problems within the camp.

    As far as i can see the only response to that has been an effort to discover what evidence i had and to create excuses and alibis and to try to get me banned from camp.

    for all i know i am banned as i type for what i have written in the past few days.

    I don’t know since i haven’t been in camp much for a while due to some rather severe health problems.

    like Jan.. i really can’t afford to got there right now:(

    it is hard telling whether there are still enough campers in Nickelsville that have worked with me in the past to fight a permanent ban.

    But i am still in contact with a wide range of campers ..

    some currently living in camp and some not.

    and very involved with a group of people who do what they can for those who want to work their way out.

    i do’t know if you visit facebook or not..

    but Nickeslville currently has two groups…

    the official site is Nickelsville Works…

    it is .. or was.. heavily edited for content

    The other site is Nickelsville

    it is moderated by one of our own posters here on the forum and is edited only for the same kind of rules that exist here.

    and then there is my favorite facebook site for the homeless in Seattle

    Homeless in Seattle…

    there is now a regular poster there who visits Nickelsville regularly.

    DBP thinks the city will come up with a solution..

    and one of the rumors i have heard may point towards that possibility…

    but i think it is far more likely that the onus for a solution to Nickelsville rests with the volunteers who have spent time in camp and come to know and care about many of the residents…

    and to be honest..i am not sure just what we are going to be able to do .. though i do have some ideas.



    i apologize for the grammatical and spelling errors i can see in my previous post.. but after writing it, i don’t have the energy to go back and edit today:(

    please bear with me.



    >>but i think it is far more likely that the onus for a solution to Nickelsville rests with the volunteers who have spent time in camp and come to know and care about many of the residents…

    –Jo, I love what you do for Nickelodeons, but with all due respect, I don’t think it’s a good idea for a disparate group of volunteers to be steering homeless policy and doing the City’s job for it.

    What I’d like to see is for the City to be setting policy, establishing meaningful oversight, and providing SOME funding. Under that scenario, you could keep doing what you’re doing now, the only difference being that you would no longer need to waste your time butting heads with the likes of Mr. Morrow – because the rules and expectations under which you and he both operated would be clearer.

    It’s as much for the volunteers as for the Nickelodeons interest that we need to see some change here. Only the City can make that kind of change happen.


    Genesee Hill

    The City of Seattle should close the filthy dump and send the bums on their way.



    GH…I have to ask…are you being serious or just a little facetious.?




    i have seen the results of the city’s solution for homelessness up close and personal and they aren’t pretty.

    the city had one pilot program last year for a 24 hour shelter which would supposedly allow residents to live at the shelter and hold down a job.

    I don’t know if that experiment is still running, but i do know that without secure lockers for personal possessions it was still a far cry from making transitioning from shelter living to secure indoor housing possible.

    transitioning from the streets to a full time job to inside housing requires a secure place to keep your possessions while you work and the ability to come and go from the shelter according to your work schedule … not according to an arbitrary check in time to secure a bed.

    is the council aware of that fact? yes, they are.

    has that changed anything for the homeless in our city? no, it hasn’t.



    GH, if you were indeed being serious, I should let you know that this bum has made his way back into permanent housing recently.

    Yes, it was with the help of generous friends, and helpful agencies, but I did my part too, complying with all that was needed to do, to get back to where I am.



    Genesee Hill

    I am serious in that Nickelsville has very apparently nose-dived.

    Children, dope, and total losers are a bad combo. Especially in the pig-sty, that is Nickelsville.

    The camp should be shut down. Mayor McGinn and the council are shirking their duties. That camp is pathetic in every way, shape, and form.

    Is every person there a “bum”? Of course not. But who gives a rip who I consider to be a bum?

    That camp is not fit for humans (or dogs or cats) to live in and should be shut down.



    So we can move the people who are ok to your yard? No, they are not all bums.

    And a Merry Christmas to you, too. Here…let me introduce you to Hooper 1961….



    So where do all these people including children go, GH?



    I don’t know you Mike, but I am happy for you after seeing what you’ve gone through. It is ridiculous how long it takes for someone to get off the streets once they have become homeless for whatever reason’s. For some it takes longer to get off the streets than other’s do. The bottom line is that no one really gives a sht! about you. Society as whole needs to look down on group of people to make themselves feel better and point their fingers at, even while they think they are helping you. Hopping through hoops and bullsht is what it is bullsht! Society wants you to struggle, be downridden and keep you there. If people actually cared, they’d personally take you off the streets when its snowing and cold during winter and at least make room for you in their garage on a makeshift cot. The City couldn’t care less. A politcian wouldn’t be re-elected if their main agenda is spending public money to fund homeless people. Voters would kick their azzes to the curb quicker than a rat eating cheese. If they really did care, they wouldn’t have this Nickelsville mess. They waste milliones of tax dollars on worthless studies and projects that don’t even pass through when those monies could do better by bettering the broken down system that has failed for homeless people. Grants tha the City gives is comical. No one cares if you are homeless! It doesn’t matter that once you’ve hit the streets. You are stereotyped into 1.a drunk 2.mental.or 3.a drug addict. This country is full of hypocrites. You see it day in and day out. People love to read and watch other people’s misfortune’s and not be part of the solution but rather be more of a hypocrite. It makes them feel good about themselves. Hypocrites!



    Genesee Hill…when was the last time you were at NV? Took them food, or was part of church group who took them clothing and food? Did yu go down there and help them bail during that huge storm No? you didn’t? Do you know anyone personally at NV?

    Yes , I understand that there are less than savory people who end up there. But please don’t categorize everyone there as bums. How nice of you to sit in your nice warm, cozy home on Christmas Eve, meting out your judgement on the people and families there.

    I suggest you go volunteer your time, meet some of the people who live there, and who help out there.

    Compassion goes a long way.

    (Oh, and how many druggies, drunks, etc. live in your neighborhood? I used to live up there on your hill, and I knew a few…but, it’s hidden amongst the nice neighborhood…geez) Guess that makes it OK…

    yeah, your attitude ticked me off…there are human beings living down there in the camp…they may not be who you rub elbows with, but they’re still human beings …



    i have seen what happens to those who have to leave Nickelsville and don’t have access to shelters.

    Nickeslville isn’t THE answer but it is better than no answer.


    Betty T

    Genesee Hill

    It must be so nice to sit in a nice warm house and go to work every day.. But there are those who don’t have that luxury, many not by their own choice. If all these people are “kicked out” of Nickelsville do you have a better place for them?Maybe some are bums, maybe some are druggies, maybe some have mental issues but some have fallen on hard times. Unless you’re involved with Nickelsville you shouldn’t judge their residents. Many have told me they feel safer there than in any shelter and deffinitely on the streets or under a bridge. They don’t have to worry about being beaten up or robbed . They have their own space to leave their belongings to go look for work or help or go to the Launrymat. I definitely wouldn’t live there by choice but there are those that do. Some of these people work when they can find it. Unless you’ve been involved in some way, “How dare you group all homeless people into one category.” All the donors and volunteers who help when and where they can, do it willingly, no one twists their arm. The city would like to do away with all homelessness but that will never happen here or anywhere else.

    Evidently you haven’t been to Nickelsville for some time beause there are no children there except for one boy. He’s very helpful, very polite, goes to school and is almost a straight “A” student because his mother cares.

    It sometimes is a long road of appointments and paperwork for anyone trying to get help and Mike can vouch for that. Some manage to struggle through and move on to training and a small place to live. It could take medical help and counciling to get them to return to productive people.I’m proud of every person that has succeded in accomplishing it this past year.

    Nickelodians have worked very hard to make it as liveable as possible without much help from the city. As you travel the highways and freeways, you should checkout all the greenbelts and wooded areas and see just how many people are out there with little or no help. I’m not a political person but it really upsets me to hear people badtalk all homeless people. Until you meet some and hear their story you just can’t begin to understand.



    Well said, Betty…


    Betty T

    I know and have met so many people who have no real idea as to who or what people make up the homeless population. They have their own biased opinions and don’t take the time to find out who they really are.Anyone who thinks they’d never live at Nickelsville don’t realize that anyone of us could end up there in the blink of an eye if not for those we know who care enough to help when we need it. People like you Jan and our Mike.

    We recently had a man who has been homeless move into our building and so many of us have stepped up to help him in one way or another in spite of his being an alcoholic. At least he’s a good natured one, has a sense of humor and is friendly.

    Our building is “62 and older”. Several years back the sisters moved a lady in who was homeless , gave her bare necessities. She took everything she owned with her in her cart every time she left the building. It wasn’t long until she left by choice to go back to the street.

    Its hard for some to understand this but Im sure you, JoB, Mike, myself and many others on the Blog do understand.



    Yes, Betty, very well said. Thank you.

    And thanks to Jo and Jan, and others that have spoken in support.




    Oh Genesee Hiiiiiillllll!

    Where arrrreeeee yoooooooouuuuu??




    Genesse Hill. it is not good for goats either apparently.



    As Promised: A Nickelsville Sanitation Update

    I prepared this a week ago, but I had to wait for my contact at the County to double-check it to ensure that it was correct and current. Thanks for your patience.

    I spoke with Morgan Barry, Health Education Consultant with Public Health – Seattle & King County (PHSKC). Ms. Barry updated me on the rodent and sanitation situation at Nickelsville. Here are the main points:

    § As soon as the health inspector’s September report on the rodent/sanitation situation at Nickelsville was issued, the Mayor’s Office took steps to address the problems. The Mayor’s Office charged the Facilities and Administrative Services (FAS) Department to work with PHSKC and lead the City’s response. These steps include: rodent-resistant food storage containers, cinder blocks to raise the tents (raising tents

    off the ground discourages rodents from living under them), and a large new Dumpster that is being emptied often. A representative from FAS has been visiting the community once or more a week to see the progress and learn the on going concerns.

    § In addition to these preventive measures, a private pest control company has been contracted with. The company has set over 20 bait stations. Residents have reported there is improvement, and in January, Public Health will receive a report from the pest control company that will help define how much progress has been made.

    § The City has put together an “inter-departmental team” of representatives from several City departments including FAS, Public Utilities and Human Services, and from PHSKC to address the concerns of the community. The team has developed some additional steps that it believes will help improve the conditions in Nickelsville and the team plans to meet with representatives from Nickelsville in early January to discuss these additional steps.

    § Another important development: Ms. Barry told me about a program within PHSKC known as “Health Care for the Homeless.” As the name implies, Health Care for the Homeless has social workers who go directly to where homeless folks are and offer various kinds of health care and shelter assistance. In the case of Nickelsville, this program is focusing on families with children coming into Nickelsville. When such a family appears in camp, the NV authorities are supposed to contact the HCH social worker at once, so that the City can find the family better shelter and prioritize them for housing.

    § Finally, the City and PHSKC extended an invitation to the Public Health Reserve Corps, asking if they would be willing to meet with the NV community leadership, the City, and PHSKC about working together to improve conditions at the NV site. A meeting will be scheduled in early January.


    In summary, Ms. Barry tells me that PHSKC has ramped up its presence at the camp, that the health situation there is improving, and that the City (with help from PHSKC) will continue to be engaged with the camp for as long as it remains open.

    I will continue to update the sanitation aspect of the story as it develops, but right now I need to get more info on the camp’s long-term future. I’m still waiting to hear from Messrs Licata and McGinn about whether they’ve made any progress.


    Betty T


    Good work!



    Re: Nickelsville shut-down

    (This is partly in response to a question raised on another thread in relation to pets at Nickelsville.)

    The soonest I can imagine Nickelsville being shut down (with or without the cooperation of the residents and/or Mr. Morrow) would be next spring. I base that estimate on discussions between the City and a potential tenant who wants to start building on the site in the summer or fall of 2013. Those discussions were reported in the WSB news section.

    The spring shut-down assumes that (a) negotiations with the tenant have proceeded and (b) city officials have either developed an alternate site for Nickelsville or have developed the intestinal fortitude needed to shut the camp down without an alternate site.

    Unfortunately, the way things have been going, it seems unlikely that McGinn & Co. will be able to find another site by spring, so they may well go the evacuation route in the end. Yes, strange as it seems, our so-called leaders might find it easier just to tear down tents and kick a bunch of people out on the street than to figure out a solution to this problem. (It’s happened before.)

    In any event, timing is key. If the City chooses to forcibly close the camp, summer is the best time to do that, since putting people out on the street in fall or winter looks bad.


    If the City fails to take some action by the end of summer, a number of other factors could come into play:

    1) The tenant could back out of the deal, making the City look foolish for having wasted an opportunity to create jobs and increase the tax base.

    2) The political and economic costs of fixing the camp’s problems (rats, kids in camp, neighbor complaints) will continue to accumulate.

    3) An individual citizen or advocacy group could file a lawsuit against the City on the grounds that the camp is a health hazard and/or a nuisance.

    The City can continue to be reactive or . . . they can try being proactive for a change. The choice is theirs, but I’ll tell you this much. The longer they wait to deal with the situation, the more they risk losing control over it all together.

    Think it couldn’t happen? Think again . . .

    Think “Seattle Police Department Reform” for example.

    Whose calling the shots on that one now?

    –Definitely not Seattle.

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