Community Post

Tent Cities Are Pretty Good Neighbors

CDNews World HQ is within snack-eating distance of the AM/PM at 23rd & Cherry, so we get our fair share of trash that needs to be picked up along the borders of our estate. But we’ve noticed that things have been cleaner in the last month, in spite of the increased foot traffic with the nice spring weather we’ve had.

This morning on the way home from an errand I met one of the people responsible for that increased cleanliness. Kelly is a member of Tent City 3, which has been set up at 22nd & Cherry since late April, and he was out on one of their multi-daily patrols on the blocks around their camp. Armed with gloves and a big trash bag, he was picking up all of the trash that he found along the way.

Homeless shelters and tent cities have been a source of controversy in some neighborhoods. But as someone who lives and works not far from one of the SHARE/WHEEL operated camps, I really think that they’re actually a positive addition to the neighborhood. They’re organized, responsible, and they’re actually doing the neighborhood a big service by going out and picking up the trash that they’re not even responsible for.

0 thoughts on “Tent Cities Are Pretty Good Neighbors

  1. Tent City’s two visits to St. Joseph’s church at 19th & Aloha were without incident.


  2. It is great to hear that the Tent City visit has been a positive experience, especially for those that are closer to it. My partner and some of his Seattle University Nursing School classmates organized and made a chili dinner for the Tent City a couple of weeks back as a project and from what I heard had a very positive experience as well.

  3. Keep drinking the SHARE/WHEEL cool aid. I guess you’ve never heard of Tent City leader and resident Leo Rhodes, homeless for 20 years.

    Nor 20 days,

    Not 20 weeks.

    Not 20 months.

    20 years.

    At this point, can’t be just drop the ‘homeless’ euphemism and call them ‘happy campers’?

  4. I also live in the neighborhood. When tent city is in residence, there is less liter, and fewer problems around 23rd and Cherry. I didn’t realize they were serving Kool-Aid, but I think it’s a great idea. It could be a neighborhood “meet and greet”.

  5. for the increase in property values you’re sure to abscond with now. it’s not fair.

  6. I agree that the litter patrol is nice, but every year at tent time we get a handful of peeps meeting just about every afternoon in the shadows of the emerald city church grounds smoking grass and hanging out for a while. This is just out of range of the tent city patrol area and I can’t say I’ve taken the initiative to follow them back to be sure they are residents there. I am, though, a vigilant guardian of my street scene and am sensitive to the people and patterns I see. Maybe I infer too much, but it stands to reason that these people, like myself, are not saints, and since they are not allowed to blow off steam at “home,” they seem to look for the closest safe place. It may be nice to live next to them, but just a few blocks away is different.

  7. If you feel so strongly about it call the police or confront them. What’s the big deal smoking a little grass in a church parking lot after picking up a bunch of litter in the neighborhood? If I could I’d pay someone, say, a fat joint a week to pick up all the litter within a two block radius of my home. And I’d let em burn it in my yard to boot.

    The ‘hood is better off with these folks here no doubt about it. They may not be upstanding citizens 100% of the time but they sure are better than a lot of the born and bred yahoos that come out after dusk. Sometimes just having another body present can diffuse a situation or stop an assault.

  8. Waiting lists for low income housing are two years long (i.e. Plymouth Housing Group) or closed (Seattle Housing Authority Section 8 waiting list, closed since 2008 and not expected to open till 2010 at the earliest). The One Night Street Count found 2,872 people on the streets of parts of Seattle & King County in January. Whether one is homeless 20 days or 20 years, it’s too long, and when it happens because we are thousands and thousands of units short of sufficient low income housing, why blame someone who gives his place in line to someone else?

  9. We live less than half a block from the tent city, and have had nothing but positive experiences from their being here. Other than a few more people visible during the day, we have seen nothing negative, and the neighborhood actually feels safer.

  10. “increase in property values you’re sure to abscond with” What does this mean? You own property you deserve to reap the benefits like everyone in Seattle does. Is this some kind of psudosocialist guilt trip?

  11. I used to live across the street from them when they were at this same location a few years ago. They were great neighbors, friendly, and actually better than the other neighbors surrounding my home. I now live a few blocks away, but I’m glad to see the space back up and running for a great group of folks.

  12. follow them to make sure they are tent city residents.Then, report the offenders to the security guards at the entrance. This is completely against tent city rules as well as being intoxicated. The offenders will be escorted OUT OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD. However, I agree that if they are picking up litter and doing no harm, they should enjoy that small “luxury”. I have seen many residents in the neighborhood lighting up joints in front of children and that is when we should be concerned.