New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, Truevine of Holiness Missionary Baptist Church and the Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI) are sponsoring a new permitted tiny house village at 18th and Yesler in Seattle’s Central District. This village will provide safer spaces to live for unsheltered people experiencing homelessness. The City of Seattle is supporting case management services and operations at the village.
At community meetings on May 22nd and June 12th, neighbors had the opportunity to engage with the sponsors and ask questions. We have posted answers to the questions that we heard most frequently below.
What is the official name of this village?
The official name of the tiny house village located at 18th and Yesler is True Hope Village.
How was this property selected?
The City is currently supporting six permitted tiny house villages. In an effort to distribute villages across Seattle, the City Council requested that District 3 be considered as well. The location was one of several sites in the Central Area and Capitol Hill that was considered.
Who is sponsoring this village?
True Hope Village is sponsored by New Hope Missionary Baptist Church and Truevine of Holiness Missionary Baptist Church.
Does this village meet the threshold for religious permitting as outlined in Code Section 23.42.054?
Yes. The Estate of Chris Demopolis (18th and Yesler, LLC) signed a lease agreement with the LIHI, which in turn assigned the lease to the New Hope Missionary Baptist Church for use in their community ministry to people experiencing homelessness. The churches will use space in a community tent on the site to outreach to the residents.
How will the physical design of the site meet the needs of the 18th and Yesler neighborhood?
True Hope Village will install a 6’ cedar privacy fence around its perimeter to be visually appealing from the exterior. Tiny homes will be attractively designed and set back 25’ from the nearest neighbors. The village’s restroom and shower facilities will be connected to City utilities and will receive regular trash and recycling service. The site will be subject to drop-in inspections by Seattle-King County Public Health, Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections (SDCI) and the Fire Department to ensure that all health and safety regulations are being followed.
Did the community have the opportunity to provide input on this project as it was being developed?
Yes. Two community meetings were held to share information with community members and receive their feedback. The first meeting was held on May 22nd. The second meeting was held on the evening of June 12th at Ernestine Anderson Place. Both events were well attended. Comments and questions from both meetings were collected by LIHI, New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, Truevine of Holiness Missionary Baptist Church, and multiple City of Seattle departments. Community members also reached out to each of those entities by email, phone calls, and face to face meetings to ask questions, express concerns, and offer feedback. Community feedback informed the project design and will continue to influence the project going forward.
How can the community provide ongoing input about this village?
True Hope Village will establish a Community Advisory Committee (CAC) that will provide advisory input on operations. Members of the CAC will include businesses, community leaders, immediate neighbors, service providers and others. The Committee of seven stakeholders will meet monthly and meeting notes will be posted on the City of Seattle’s Homeless Response website (www.seattle.gov/homelessness). If you would like to serve on the CAC. Please contact Josh Castle at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tom Van Bronkhorst at tom.vanBronkhorst3@seattle.gov. Community members may also provide feedback to the City of Seattle via email at email@example.com.
What is the City of Seattle’s role in this project?
The City of Seattle’s Fire Department, SCDI, and Seattle-King County Public Health will perform periodic, unannounced inspections of the site to ensure all safety codes are being met. Additionally, the City of Seattle Human Services Department will contract with LIHI to provide onsite case management and operations of this village.
How long will this village stay at its current location?
Under the current ordinance, permitted villages on private or public land can operate for 12- months with an option for an additional 12-month extension. This site is sponsored by religious organizations–under the Seattle Land Use Code there is no time limit. The lease on the site is for two years with six-month extensions thereafter. Anticipated opening is mid-July.
Who will live in this village?
Residents will include homeless families, couples, singles, students, seniors and veterans. Homeless students will include those participating in the Seattle Vocational Institute’s (SVI) pre-apprenticeship training program and the Urban League’s Career Bridge program. Homeless families and singles will be referred by the New Hope Baptist Church, Urban League, Seattle Indian Center, the Navigation Team and others.
How can I help?
Neighbors and businesses have generously supported other tiny house villages through donations of hot meals, blankets and clothing. Please contact Josh Castle at firstname.lastname@example.org for information about how you can support True Hope Village.
What is the staffing plan?
A LIHI staff person will be on duty 24/7 to monitor activities and respond to inquiries from both residents and community members. The staff will perform regular perimeter checks, organize trash cleanups, and respond to neighbors. LIHI will also provide an onsite case manager to support residents’ housing search and help connect them to other community supports as needed.
Will drug or alcohol use be permitted at this village?
No. True Hope Village will be drug and alcohol free.
Are there environmental concerns with this piece of property?
Several decades ago the site housed a dry-cleaning business that disposed of chemicals onto the ground. An environmental assessment has revealed no health hazard to people living at the site provided that sleeping structures are elevated off the ground to provide constant air flow. All sleeping structures will meet this requirement. The barrels on the site were left-over from the soil assessment and are scheduled to be removed.
Is it possible for me to tour the village?
Yes. True Hope Village will welcome neighbors and provided tours.
Thank you for taking the time to learn about how we are responding to the crisis of homelessness in Seattle