News about tent city in Seattle

As the working poor and homeless in Seattle experience the aftershock(s) of the current 'economic boom', a large group of homeless youth, women, men & children are responding to the growing need and shrinking options for one to find a safe place to sleep.

As area shelters run 'at capacity' each and every night, and hostility toward poverty, homelessness and shelter grows throughout the City Council and community, homeless folks have created what is known here locally as Tent City 3.

Over 100 individuals have erected dozens of tents, bathroom facilities and eating areas at a local non-profit's (El Centro De La Raza) property. Individuals are required to attend 'voting' meetings, be sober and participate in the daily operations of this remarkable community. Tent City currently operates on about $2 a day. Tent City 3 has increased community support dramatically since its birth on April 1, 2000 (after Winter response shelters closed) despite enormous resistance from City officials.

The City's Department of City Land Use have been fining Tent City Residents $75.00/day while our "fine" Mayor Schell "figures out" how to respond to the need for safe space as homeless folks continue to be arrested, beaten or killed. Meanwhile, our Sidewalk Ordinance, our Park's Exclusionary Law, and lack of protections tenants face continue to radically shrink options for safe space and/or shelter for many, many folks. (currently, the city council is very excited about a new technosystem designed to "track" homeless folks accessing services throughout the system. The cost? Millions).

Meanwhile, as the DCLU continues to accumulate astronomical fines against homeless folks, and while the Mayor and City Council schmooze with Microsoft-ies about data systems to count and track homeless folks, the tent poles continue to be raised at Tent City...where staying together means staying alive.


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