[Hpn] ALERT: Seattle HOMELESS CAMP forced to move again - SHARE/WHEEL info (fwd) info (fwd)

Tom Boland wgcp@earthlink.net
Tue, 9 Jan 2001 09:39:02 -0800 (PST)


ALERT: SEATTLE HOMELESS CAMP FORCED TO MOVE AGAIN - SHARE/WHEEL TENT VILLAGE CIRCULATE PLEASE to nonviolent defenders of Homeless People's Civil Rights: TO HELP SHARE/WHEEL Seattle Tent Village: CONTACT: "Anitra Freeman" <anitra@speakeasy.org> http://insideshare.hypermart.net/tentcity/index.html SHARE/WHEEL Tent City project SEE ALSO http://www.realchangenews.org/issue/current/index.html Real Change News 2129 2nd Ave. Seattle, WA 98121 Tel: 206.441.3247 Email: <rchange@speakeasy.org> Seattle Tent Vilage III photo journal (with captions): http://www.seattlep-i.com/photos/subcategory.asp?DisplayType=ThumbDesc&SubID=49 http://seattlep-i.nwsource.com/local/camp05.shtml FWD Seattle Post-Intelligencer - Friday, January 5, 2001 CAMP FOR SEATTLE'S HOMELESS IS FORCED TO MOVE AGAIN PHUONG LE SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER REPORTER Yesterday, more than 100 residents of Tent Village were notified of a city decision that, for now, ensures the encampment will continue to be on the move, dodging city enforcement from one site to another. Brad pulled back the green flap to reveal the interior of the 6-foot-by-6-foot tent he and his wife have lived in for the past four months. Two cots squeezed together form their bed. Five milk crates serve as a makeshift kitchen cupboard. Piles of donated clothes line the edge of the tent. [PHOTO by Renee C. Byer/P-I] Brad and Julia ponder their future yesterday at Tent Village on Beacon Hill, where they have lived for the past four months. Homeless advocacy groups had sought a temporary land-use permit allowing them to stay at El Centro de la Raza, a Latino community center at 2524 16th Ave. S., but the city refused the permit. After weeks of camping in parks and parking lots -- and sleeping with a knife for protection -- Brad and Julia settled at Tent Village on Beacon Hill. The married couple found privacy, a shelter where they could sleep together and a place they could call home. But on Jan. 16, they must load up the three backpacks they brought with them and clear out of Beacon Hill. Yesterday, the couple and more than 100 residents of Tent Village were notified of a city decision that, for now, ensures the encampment will continue to be on the move, dodging city enforcement from one site to another. SHARE/WHEEL, the homeless advocacy groups that organize Tent Village, had sought a temporary land-use permit allowing them to stay at El Centro de la Raza, a Latino community center at 2524 16th Ave. S. They had hoped an approval would set a precedent to legalize encampments. Tent Village moved about 13 times last year before arriving at El Centro de la Raza last July. The Department of Construction and Land Use yesterday rejected the permit. SHARE/WHEEL plans to appeal. DCLU Director Rick Krochalis said the encampment fails to meet basic housing standards and was incompatible with the neighborhood, which is zoned for single-family use. Campgrounds are not allowed anywhere in the city, he said. On Aug. 23, DCLU began fining El Centro $75 a day for violating the land-use code but held off collecting fines pending yesterday's decision. Although the city won't collect the full amount, El Centro will pay some penalty because it broke the law, Krochalis said. He added that DCLU and El Centro are still negotiating the issue. On Jan. 16, Tent Village will shut down. It may squat at Martin Luther King Jr. Park for five days and then move to St. Mark's Cathedral, which has invited it to stay for a few weeks starting Jan. 21. But Brad and Julia won't be with the group when it moves to its next site. [PHOTO by Renee C. Byer/P-I] Julia and her husband Brad head back to their tent in the El Centro de la Raza parking lot after working a four-hour security shift at Tent Village. "We're not going with them because it's so iffy," said Julia, 58, who worked as a secretary before she developed back pains that kept her out of work. "There's no guarantee that we'll be anywhere for any length of time. It could be a daily move." She and Brad live on her disability benefits of $940 a month. Curiosity brought the couple from California to Seattle last July, but high rents soon drove them to streets. "We slept wherever we could," said Julia as she sat outside her tent with a view of El Centro's basketball court. Once they tried to rent a low-priced apartment, but said it was a "miserable existence" because drug-dealing there was rampant. They tried a Seattle downtown shelter for a few days but found the rules too constricting. They couldn't sleep together though they were married. They had to leave by morning, and weren't guaranteed a bed each night. They had nowhere to store their things. "There was nowhere to go in the daytime," Brad said. Deputy Mayor Tom Byers said the city is looking at improving shelters to respond to these concerns. He also pointed to other initiatives, including $4 million in new funding for homeless-related projects approved in the 2001-2002 city budget. This year the city will spend about $14 million on such projects. Yesterday's city decision ensures that the cat-and-mouse game between the city and Tent Village will continue. In the past decade, encampments have been set up around the city and chased out with varying degrees of strictness. In 1998, city crews bulldozed a Beacon Hill encampment nestled below Jose Rizal Park. "We have a fundamental disagreement," Byers said. "We don't think the city can sanction (encampments). Once you do it, where does it stop?" SHARE/WHEEL says encampments provide safe places for homeless people and should be allowed until every homeless person has a bed. There are nearly 2,700 shelter beds in King County, a 20 percent increase from two years ago. On a given night, there are 6,000 homeless people in King County. "They don't want to realistically approach the homeless issue," complained Brad, a former carpenter. "To the city, this whole thing is an open wound." END FORWARD **In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material is distributed without charge or profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this type of information for non-profit research and educational purposes only.** ************************************************************ 9000+ articles by or via homeless & ex-homeless people INFO & to join/leave list - Tom Boland <wgcp@earthlink.net> Nothing About Us Without Us - Democratize Public Policy ************************************************************