[Hpn] Bellevue church votes to not host Tent City 4
William C. Tinker
Mon, 31 Jan 2005 08:20:30 -0500
It still appears Nimbyistic attitudes,and apathy is still our greatest foe
good fight to end homelessness!
A Brother In The Struggle
William "Bill" Tinker
Bellevue church votes to not host Tent City 4
January 31, 2005
By Jim Brunner
Seattle Times staff reporter
A Bellevue church decided yesterday against hosting Tent City 4 next month,
leaving residents of the homeless encampment uncertain about where they'll
go when their permit at another area church expires in a few weeks.
Members of Aldersgate United Methodist Church cited neighborhood concerns
and safety of children enrolled at a church preschool, said the Rev. David
Tinney, pastor of the church. The proposal fell short of the 75 percent
majority needed for approval.
Tinney said he favored hosting the camp and had reminded the congregation
of Bible verses compelling Christians to care for the poor.
But church members were swayed, in part, by overwhelming opposition from
the 150 families with children enrolled in the preschool. At least 15
families threatened to withdraw their kids if the camp shared the church
Tent City 4 is currently housed at St. John Mary Vianney Catholic Church in
Kirkland, but its permit for that site expires on Feb. 20. The 60 or so
residents are not sure where they'll wind up next.
"We don't have anybody else right now. We're just hoping another church
will step up and take us in," said Leo Rhodes, who has lived at the tent
city for about eight months.
Tent-city critics said the Bellevue church and its neighbors had been given
little notice of the proposed move. "I think the biggest issue for them was
they would have been dumping this on their neighborhood with very little
notice," said Steve Pyeatt, a Kirkland resident and co-founder of King
County Communities for Fair Process, a group opposing tent cities on the
While rejecting the tent city, church members indicate a desire to aid the
homeless in other ways, Tinney said. He vowed to make good on those
sentiments: "We're not going to let it die. It's going to be something that
will change who we are as a church."
Jim Brunner: 206-515-5628
Copyright (c) 2004 The Seattle Times Company