Dear Community:prayer flags

Our camp continues to be peaceful and productive. Currently there are 16 residents at our encampment, temporarily located at the intersection of East Spring St and 24th Avenue in Seattle’s Central District. We are the guests of Umoja PEACE Center and Omari Tahir-Garrett, who has been graciously caring for the community. All the current residents are former residents of Nickelsville’s Dearborn site. We have a wait list of homeless people who have asked to join the encampment, but we are full and need more land to expand our program.

Living in community takes a lot of work and time and skill, and I have been inspired by the continued commitment to self governance. We enjoyed making prayer flags last weekend with Love Wins Love and are looking forward to meeting with Call of Compassion NW for a community conversation next week.

We are working on getting all of the residents on wait lists for housing and our goal is to have all of the current residents living indoors by November 1. I have been interviewing residents about their goals and needs, and working to find each one a housing solution that works for them. Eight of our current residents are either working or on disability. Others are looking for work, planning on returning to school, applying for disability, or dealing with health issues. We are also linking residents to other services and resources.

All of the residents are committed to upholding our shared community agreements, which includes not using intoxicants at our present site. We have not had to bar anyone from the site. Some participants have left voluntarily, either because they found a better living situation or because the camp was not a good fit for them.

Right now our biggest needs are land, money, and volunteers.

Land: our current site is temporary, and we need multiple new sites to run our program. Any snippet of land in Seattle that is near a bus line can be used. Ideally, we would like three lots big enough for 20 tents and twelve additional sites big enough for one or two people. We are also hoping to rent houses or other structures to run indoor shelters. If you have ANY land or structures that can be used to keep houseless neighbors safe until they find a safe place to live indoors, please contact us. Let me say that again. Tonight, people will be sleeping in scary, awful, dangerous, miserable places and if you have any scrap of space, indoor or outdoor, we can convert that into something that is better than where someone is suffering tonight. Anything.

Money: we need money for trash removal, food, camping gear, shower passes, bus fare, and supplies. We need to keep emergency money in the bank to rent a U-Haul in case the site is swept, and also would love to have a bus or truck donated for this purpose. We are also raising money to rent land. We also need money for our housing fund to use for rental application fees and first/last/deposit on housing rentals. You can give three ways!

We need these volunteer to:

  • Cook and donate dinner through our Meal Train
  • Garden
  • Build tent platforms
  • Scout for new sites
  • Help residents search for housing
  • Fundraise

Thank you all for your continuing support. May we all be blessed with generosity, courage, and determination. May we all be safe, fed, and housed. May we all cultivate community, friendship, neighborliness, compassion, and peace.

Best wishes,

Polly