After several months in a cramped vacant lot in the Central District, Tent City Three moved recently to the parking lot of St. Mark’s Cathedral at 10th Ave E and E Galer St.
Tent City Three is a homeless encampment community that moves from donated space to donated space every couple months. It is scheduled to stay at St. Mark’s into June.
During past stays at St. Mark’s, Tent City Three has gone largely unnoticed. Because the camp is set up behind a hill in the parking lot, they are not visible from 10th Ave E. However, the camp has quite a view across Lake Union.
“It’s a million dollar view,” said a Tent City resident who gave me a tour of their new digs. During a 2009 stay at St. Mark’s, a photographer went onto the roof of the cathedral and took a photo of the camp that made it into Time Magazine’s Year in Pictures.
The residents of the camp have strict rules about drugs and alcohol, and they meet often to discuss community issues. Decisions are made democratically. Aside from helping to move every few months, each community member takes their turn covering security for the camp and doing patrols around the neighborhood to make sure everything is in line. A resident on patrol the morning of April 10 called police after seeing a man flee with from a Central District barber shop with a TV.
Tent City Three is powered largely by donations, which you can bring to the entrance to drop off. Food that can be cooked in a microwave is best, as well as tents (new or used) and blankets. Also, they can never have enough hand sanitizer and duct tape.