August 27 update: SHARE/WHEEL & Tent City 3 have informed the City they have reached an agreement with a religious entity to host Tent City 3 and will move on September 7. The City will continue to monitor the situation. From our conversations with SHARE/WHEEL leadership and Tent City 3 residents, we are hopeful for a resolution by September 7. In the interim, the City’s Navigation Team will continue to visit the site to offer outreach services and alternative shelter options. We are also exploring ways to bring more outreach providers to Tent City 3 and are working with our partners at the County to make that happen.
Information below was published August 22:
Historically, Tent City 3 is hosted by non-profits, churches, and community organizations on location for 90-day durations under SHARE/WHEEL policy. Tent City 3 reached the end of its stay at the University Congregational United Church and did not have a confirmed host site to move to.
The property Tent City 3 moved to is public property that is owned by the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) and maintained by the City of Seattle.
Tent City 3 is not managed, operated, or funded by the City of Seattle.
The City’s priority is to ensure residents of Tent City 3 are safe and have access to services, including shelter.
The Navigation Team observed that Tent City 3 is currently operating as organizers intended. The team estimates there to be at least 40 people living within the site. SHARE/WHEEL has set up portable toilets, a hand washing station, and a kitchen. Tent City 3 residents told Navigation Team members they do not wish to stay at this location for an extended period of time and are seeking the City’s assistance in identifying a new location.
The City’s Navigation Team has been on site and has informally met with Tent City 3 organizers and residents, who expressed interest in seeing more resources and services at Tent City 3. The Navigation Team’s outreach workers, called System Navigators, will continue to visit the site to offer alternative shelter options, case management connections, and to discuss bringing more resources to residents. The City’s contracted outreach providers and service partners will also visit the site and offer services.
At this time, the Navigation Team is not considering an immediate removal of Tent City 3.
The City is seeking a speedy solution that accommodates both Tent City 3 and the surrounding community.
The City’s Human Service Department is working with service providers and SHARE/WHEEL to assist them with identifying new partnerships to host Tent City 3. Representatives from the Human Services Department have begun these conversations with SHARE/WHEEL. The City is exploring all avenues towards assisting Tent City 3 in finding a new, more suitable location, and urges any organization–including faith communities, non-profits, private entities–that would consider hosting Tent City 3 to please contact the Human Services Department (Homelessness@seattle.gov).
The Navigation Team and outreach providers will continue to visit the site and engage residents, offering services and alternative shelter options. WSDOT, which also owns property Tent City 3 occupies, will continue to be engaged by the City and informed of developments.