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Nickelsville

A homeless encampment in the city of Seattle dubbed Nicklesville after former mayor Greg Nickels.

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SEATTLE — One day after the city’s deadline to close Nickelsville, all of the homeless residents of that tent city have moved to three new locations throughout Seattle.

Sequence 1Most neighbors are taking a wait-and-see attitude. Some of the homeless moved into the ‘Union camp’ Sunday.  It was a surprise for the guy living in the house directly across the street.

“This is an unusual sight right here, right in front of my bedroom,” said Ed Ealy.

Ealy came home this weekend to find homeless people camping in tents across the street from his 22nd Avenue home.

“All of the sudden you wake up one day, look out the door and there’s something you really don’t know anything about,” said Ealy.

Nearly a dozen tents popped up since Sunday inside the church overflow parking lot.  This is just one of three locations set up across Seattle.

“I don’t have any problem with them, but I’m just a little bit disappointed,” said Atifa Kalil, who lives near the ‘Jackson camp.’ “We had no idea these people were moving here.”

Churches aren’t required to offer public feedback in cases where they sponsor ministries for the homeless such as Nickelsville.

And for the homeless residents moving in, they say the new urban locations could mean better access to help and a permanent home.

“Here we’re closer to services, closer to bus lines, closer to grocery stores,” said former Nickelsville resident Mike Singer.

Neighbors near the Skyway location also have mixed emotions about the new tenants.

“I’m kind of glad they have somewhere that the homeless can stay,” said neighbor Mele Tovia. “But I feel like we have to watch out for our kids.”

And some folks at the apartments across the street from the Skyway location say as long as the camp doesn’t bring any trouble, there’s no reason to be suspicious about their new neighbors.

“Live with us, try to blend in with us,” said neighbor Alexis Gordon. “We try to treat everybody like family. I don’t discriminate against anybody. Just because you don’t have four walls and can’t flip on a light don’t mean you’re any less than a person than me.”

Organizers say they tried their best to send out fliers to people in all three neighborhoods before they moved in, but it doesn’t look like they were able to reach everyone.

A community meeting is scheduled Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the Skyway location, where organizers hope to answer any questions by neighbors.

Nickelsville moveSEATTLE – Neighbors across Seattle are waking up for the first time to new tent cities popping up in their area.

Nickelsville disbanded their camp in South Seattle yesterday and moved into three separate locations.

These new locations are nestled inside dense neighborhoods with homes overlooking rows of tents.

Hear how homeowners are reacting to their new neighbors coming up at 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Q13 FOX News.

SEATTLE — In only a few hours, more than 150 people have to clear out and move into one of three new camps scattered throughout Seattle.

There’s only a hand full of people left at old Nickelsville guarding whatever property has been left behind, and there’s still plenty of stuff here.

Seattle Police officers could be seen roaming the site around dusk on Sunday.

Contractors started early Sunday morning putting up no trespassing signs. This has been Nickelsville’s home on the south side of Seattle for the last two years, but the camp has been around since 2008.

Organizers say they’ve taken countless people off the streets.

“Hundreds if not thousands of people at this location,” said organizer Peggy Hotes. “Families, single people, couples, all with their pets.”

This weekend has been a mad dash to pack up and tear everything down – all in preparation for a new divided Nickelsville.

“It’s a lot of work, people are tired, sometimes they’re grumpy but there’s also a feeling of hopefulness,” said Hotes.

Nickelsville is moving to three new locations; one at a vacant lot at 20th and Jackson street, one at an overgrown lot in Skyway, and a third at a church property near Union and 23rd.

Neighbors like Lance Storli just found out about the new tenants moving next door – and he’s welcoming them with open arms.

“These people need a place to go,” said Storli. “I know they’re really respectable, it’s just, they’re down on their luck.”

The City of Seattle has placed a few homeless families from Nickelsville into more permanent housing but the need is still great.

SKYWAYNickelsville resident Kenneth McDaniels says help is out there, but what he really needs is a job.

“Hopefully I can get back to work, I’m a carpenter,” said McDaniels. “There’s a lot of work out there, it’s just most of the places I go to I’m over qualified or they didn’t want to pay me what I want.”

Nickelsville orgainizers have been scrambling to find new locations since the city told them they had to go. They couldn’t find a spot big enough to accommodate everyone. Now they hope the divided locations won’t change their sense of community.

“As long as everybody’s been together, it would have been nice to have a large area, large enough to house everybody,” said McDaniels

Organizers say they hope to get all personal property out of the old Nickelsville by tomorrow and then spend the next two days cleaning out the site.

nickelsvilleSEATTLE – For more than two years Nickelsville has been the city’s homeless encampment, but it’s closing Sunday.

Three locations have been named as potential sites for the new encampments. One of the relocation sites sits in the Central District. It has 12,000 square feet of space, enough to hold about 30 tents. The two other locations are at 1418 22nd Avenue, which is a vacant lot, and 12914 Martin Luther King Jr Way South in Skyway, another vacant lot.

Violeta Quiroz lives directly behind the location of the Central District site, and she worries about her soon-to-be neighbors. “They could be friendly or not — we don’t know,” she said. “We’re taking the risk here.”

The lot near 20th Avenue South and South Jackson Street isn’t going to be vacant for much longer. A local church is partnering with the Low Income Housing Institute which owns the property. They are giving at least some of Nickelsville’s displaced residents somewhere to go.

“It’s sort of horrifying that you can have such a wealthy city like Seattle and still be living in a tent,” Sharon Lee, executive director of the Low Income Housing Institute, said. “It’s better to be living in a tent in a community with other people than to be on your own.”

Nickelsville has been home to more than 150 people and the people there, for a variety of reasons, don’t have a lot of other housing options.

“It just happens, it’s just people,” Kara Serwatka said. Serwtka is homeless and lives in the tent city. “It’s not always of your doing.”

Truby McDowell recently moved in to Nickelsville. Now she and her six kids have pack up again.

“It’s very difficult especially with the kids. I have kids from 18 months to 11 (years old) so it’s very hard,” McDowell said.

Once it became clear the city was serious about the Sept. 1 deadline to shut Nickelsville down, the Low Income Housing Institute and local churches stepped up.

“They’re going to be providing counseling, food, they’re going to provide back-to-school backpacks and supplies for children,” Lee said.

At the Central District location, only families with children will be allowed. No drugs, alcohol, or guns will be permitted and there will be 24-hour security at the lot.

SEATTLE — In 72 hours, more than 150 homeless men, women and children have to pack up their belongings and find a new place to live.

NICKELSVILLE CAMPFor more than two years Nickelsville has been the city’s homeless encampment, but it’s closing Sunday.

One of the relocation sites sits in the Central District. It has 12,000 square feet of space, enough to hold about 30 tents.

Organizers already have their eyes on several additional sites in the city, but most residents had no idea they’re about to get a new neighbor. Resident’s reactions to the move was mixed.

“I don’t think it’s safe for us to live with the homeless who are strangers,” Central District resident Atifa Kilal said.

Ajax Wood disagreed and said he supports the move.

“I think it’s great,” Wood said. “I mean, it ain’t cool there’s homeless people, but let’s do what we can.”

Violeta Quiroz lives directly behind the location of the Central District site, and she worries about her soon-to-be neighbors. “They could be friendly or not — we don’t know,” she said. “We’re taking the risk here.”

The lot near 20th Avenue South and South Jackson Street isn’t going to be vacant for much longer. A local church is partnering with the Low Income Housing Institute which owns the property. They are giving at least some of Nickelsville’s displaced residents somewhere to go.

“It’s sort of horrifying that you can have such a wealthy city like Seattle and still be living in a tent,” Sharon Lee, executive director of the Low Income Housing Institute, said. “It’s better to be living in a tent in a community with other people than to be on your own.”

Nickelsville has been home to more than 150 people and the people there, for a variety of reasons, don’t have a lot of other housing options.

“It just happens, it’s just people,” Kara Serwatka said. Serwtka is homeless and lives in the tent city. “It’s not always of your doing.”

Truby McDowell recently moved in to Nickelsville. Now she and her six kids have pack up again.

“It’s very difficult especially with the kids. I have kids from 18 months to 11 (years old) so it’s very hard,” McDowell said.

Once it became clear the city was serious about the Sept. 1 deadline to shut Nickelsville down, the Low Income Housing Institute and local churches stepped up.

“They’re going to be providing counseling, food, they’re going to provide back-to-school backpacks and supplies for children,” Lee said.

At the Central District location, only families with children will be allowed. No drugs, alcohol, or guns will be permitted and there will be 24-hour security at the lot.

Folks from Nickelsville said they’re working to finalize plans on two more campsites in the city and plan to release the locations of those sites Friday.

nickelsvilleSEATTLE – More than 100 people living in a homeless camp in West Seattle are preparing to pack up and move before a Sept. 1 deadline that requires them to relocate goes into effect.

One location that has been announced sits in a vacant lot on the 2000 block of South Jackson Street in Seattle’s Central District. The property is owned by the Low Income Housing Institute, which is currently leasing the land to a local church.

But that space is only large enough to accommodate around 35 people; additional locations for the homeless camp are scheduled to be announced Friday.

Another issue that has arisen is that the number of people living in the West Seattle camp continues to remain at capacity, suggesting that the need for housing for the homeless exceeds even what Nickelsville provides.

Watch Q13 Fox News at 4 and 5 p.m. for details.

SEATTLE — With just a month to go before the Nickelsville homeless encampment is shut down in south Seattle, the City Council on Monday closed the door to more tent cities in the future.

In a big blow to the homeless, a majority of the council argued that encampments are the wrong approach to helping those on the streets.

“It makes me very sad to know that — that this failed,” said Susan Russell, who lived on the streets after losing her job due to an automobile accident. “Being out on the street, outside of an encampment, is very dangerous.  I’ve been there, I’ve done it.  I don’t wish it upon anyone.”

At issue Monday was a plan that would have allowed highly regulated and pre-approved homeless tent cities on private properties, so long as they weren’t in residential areas.  (They are already allowed on church property.)

Nickelsville, located along West Marginal Way, is an unsanctioned encampment that has been the source of some problems for the surrounding community

Monday’s debate basically came down to this: Are tent cities just an unsafe and unsanitary solution that perpetuates living on the streets, or are they a necessary for a homeless population that far outpaces the city’s resources?

“Having a safe encampment is way better than leaving people on the street,” City Councilwoman Sally Bagshaw said.  “Being in an encampment, as contrasted with living under the viaduct, is substantially the better way to go.”

But a majority of the council argued that encampments are not the solution.

“We have been trying stopgap measures since I’ve been on the City Council, and they don’t work,” Councilman Tom Rasmussen said.  “Allowing more encampments ignores history.  It’s a failed, counter-productive reaction today to Nickelsville.”

There were a lot of disappointed homeless and homeless advocates at City Hall after the vote.  They’ve pushed the expansion of encampments, not as a permanent solution, but as way of giving those at Nickelsville and others at least another option.

“There are many that have jobs and are well-educated that are homeless today and they should never have to live on the street,” said Russell.  “The encampments are necessary.”

Earlier this summer, the City Council voted to provide $500,000 help for residents of Nickelsville to secure services and temporary housing at Union Gospel Mission.

 

nickelsvilleSEATTLE — The city council voted unanimously to allocate $500,000 to relocate residents of Nickelsville in West Seattle.

The monies earmarked with Council Bill 117815 will be used to fund the outreach, engagement, case management, shelter, housing and other services to Nickelsville residents. The Human Services Department will oversee implementation of the program.

After West Seattle residents near Nickelsville complained about public safety and the cleanliness of the encampment, city leaders met to find a solution. A statement from council president Sally Clark’s office said the passage of the bill “underscores a majority of council members’ long-standing position that encampments are not an acceptable response to homelessness in Seattle and that providing housing, treatment services, and shelter are the most appropriate assistance to set homeless individuals on a pathway to ending homelessness.”

The city of Seattle currently invests more than $30 million annually in homeless programs and services throughout the city. In the past two years, the council has provided an additional $1 million for shelter, re-housing and other services.

“Our goal is to provide safe, secure housing, to anyone at the West Marginal Way SW location who is willing to accept it,” Clark said.

Earlier this month, council members requested that Mayor Mike McGinn direct the Human Services Department to prepare a plan that would provide immediate, targeted outreach and services for Nickelsville residents by Sept. 1. Other metropolitan areas such as New Orleans, Baltimore and San Francisco have implemented a similar approach in providing outreach and engagement, along with housing, shelter and services to address homelessness.

The Housing, Human Services, Health and Culture Committee will hold a meeting about alternatives for encampments on June 25 at 5:30 p.m. and will hold another meeting on June 26 at 2 p.m. where the committee may pass legislation that broadens the ability of encampments to locate on public or private property in Seattle.

SEATTLE — Angry members of the Nickelsville homeless tent city showed up at City Hall Wednesday to protest the impending closure of their encampment.

nickelsvilleThey say city leaders are abandoning them without adequate alternatives, forcing many of them back onto the street.

“I’m really frustrated about it,” Nickelsville resident Terry Smith said. “It’s just like going up against a brick wall, because, you know, they are not listening to us.”

The protest came about because of a letter earlier this week from City Council members saying Nickelsville must leave its current location on city-owned property on West Marginal Way by Sept. 1.

Smith, who has lived at Nickelsville for a year, says the community it provides is what’s kept him going. “I’m not on the street,” he said.  “Nickelsville has given me a way out.”

But council members argue the time has come to disband the 2-year old homeless encampment.

“We know that there are health and safety concerns,” said City Councilman Tom Rasmussen, who, along with six of his colleagues, signed a letter to the mayor to shut the camp down. “There have been charges of criminal activity going on as well, and, you know, something has to be done to ensure that this doesn’t continue.”

Mayor Mike McGinn disagrees with the council’s decision to shut down the encampment.

“With the council not prepared to provide any other legal alternatives, and with their strong desire to sell the property to Food Lifeline, you know, I just had to accept the inevitable,” McGinn said.

For at least a couple years he has urged lawmakers to officially sanction a permanent spot for Nickelsville.

“September 1 is the date that’s out there. Unless the council wants to change their policy direction, that’s where we’re heading,” McGinn said.

The council members who are pushing to evict Nickelsville say they will provide up to $500,000 in public money to help the 125 members of the encampment find space in other estab

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