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Tent City 3 wraps up summer stay on Capitol Hill

Dozens of Capitol Hill residents moved out of the neighborhood over the past week. Tent City 3, as usual, is on the move again.

CHS reported on the homeless community’s short summer stay at the corner of 19th and Aloha as the group filled the parking lot of St. Joseph’s into lines of tents, known as dorms, with room for around 100 residents along with tents that served as a computer room, a kitchen, a laundry room, and a community dining hall. The group also stayed at St. Joe’s in 2006 and again in 2011. Always on the move, residents told CHS Tent City 3 will next settle in Shoreline.

Under the Tent City model, the organization SHARE/WHEEL partners with private landowners to host tent cities. There are currently four official camps being operated by the organization. To qualify, residents must adhere to a code of conduct. They must also have a valid photo ID and must not have any active warrants or be registered as a sex offender.

One tent city resident told CHS the camp’s Capitol Hill location — near some of the neighborhood’s oldest, most expensive homes — was a refreshing change from some shelters or other tent cities that are sometimes outside the city and far from bus stops and services like the YMCA, grocery stores, and food banks.

Seattle has budgeted an emergency $7.6 million to help alleviate homeless camping issues across the city on top of $40 million planned to be spent on services this year. Seattle is also planning to open a homelessness services center. The city continues to wrestle with how best to clear The Jungle, the leafy, difficult to patrol area below the I-5 and I-90 interchange used for decades as an area to camp. Late this summer, the mayor’s office announced the hiring of a new director of homelessness.

George Scarola will be the first ever to serve in the new position “responsible for leading the City’s homelessness efforts across departments, providing oversight and evaluation of outcomes, strategic guidance, and leading community engagement.”

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