Today, the City of Seattle approved an extended permit to allow the Nickelsville Ballard encampment to remain in place on Market Street (2826 NW Market St.) until the new location in Northlake (3814 Fourth Ave. NE) is ready to welcome its residents. The current permit for the Nickelsville Ballard encampment expires on Nov. 18, 2017.
The new Northlake encampment is expected to open in mid-December 2017. It will include tiny houses, necessary amenities like clean water and restrooms, and communal gathering space. The camp will be operated by the Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI) and Nickelsville’s self-managed community. Site preparation has begun.
The permitted encampment in Ballard was the first City-permitted encampment opened in fall 2015. It has successfully operated for the past two years serving up to 25 residents at a time. The City has been working since June to find a suitable relocation for the existing encampment, however finding available space was difficult. The City of Seattle made a commitment to Nickelsville and LIHI in August that it would not close the Ballard location until a suitable new location was identified and prepared.
George Scarola, Director of Homelessness, and City staff have attended community meetings in Northlake, canvassed the neighborhood, contacted businesses and spoken with residents to provide information on the upcoming move. The next community meeting is tonight, Thursday, Nov. 16 at the John Stanford Elementary School with the Parent-Teacher Association.
A broader community meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 28 from 6:30-8 p.m. Community members will have the opportunity to meet with City staff, Nickelsville residents, and camp operators. Please join us at the UW Fisheries Building – Auditorium 102 (1122 NE Boat St.) to learn more.
The Human Services Department released an evaluation of permitted encampments on June 28, 2017 that determined they were an effective strategy to address unsheltered homelessness in Seattle. Seattle hosts six permitted encampments located in North Seattle, Ballard, Interbay, Othello, Georgetown and West Seattle.