[Hpn] Present address of Seattle Tent City

Anitra Freeman anitra@speakeasy.org
Thu, 27 Apr 2000 23:50:09 -0700 (PDT)


On Fri, 28 Apr 2000, unclescam wrote:

> anitra,
>    could you give us a census of the folk in tent city? you know a
> demographic breakdown. how many are using the circle?

Roughly.  Just before the tents moved on Tuesday, residence was up to
90.  This includes about six people who were staying in SHARE shelters
or had even gotten their own housing, but because they were experienced
with SHARE/WHEEL and previous Tent Cities volunteered to sleep out to
provide experience.  Of the rest of the folks, about 10 had been barred
from other shelters for various reasons; a little over half were
working, usually on schedules that made meeting traditional shelter
in/out times difficult.  One-third to one-half were folks who have their
own tents and sleep out regularly, on their own in isolated areas.  
About 15 were women; there were about eight couples.  Reasons for
staying at Tent City varied: preferring it to traditional shelters (one
woman says "there's better ventilation"; another woman says "I feel
safer out here"; another man said quite honestly, "I'm in recovery; it's
easier to stay off the stuff here"); not being able to find space at
traditional shelters (many had given up looking); not being able to fit
into traditional shelters (couples wanting to stay together; working
people who couldn't make shelter in/out hours); being barred from
traditional shelters (some people who can't get along with others in
cramped quarters can get along fine in a Tent City); wanting to show
support and win the right of all to sleep safely.

Now, at All Saints, we're down to about 30 people.  Most of the folks
who have their own tents are back out camping on their own.  Some of the
SHARE shelters have volunteered to take in extra people, to get the most
vulnerable of the rest inside.

Write On! / Anitra L. Freeman / http://www.speakeasy.org/~anitra/
"Never doubt that a small group of imperfect people can improve the
world--indeed they are the only ones who ever have." Not Margaret Mead