A homeless encampment of about 45 people has relocated from its former site at a church in Seattle’s Haller Lake neighborhood to public land in the Ravenna area.
Tent City 3 moved to 6307 Eighth Ave. N.E., a triangle of grass below Interstate 5 at Northeast Ravenna Boulevard, on Saturday. The move was the first time in 13 years that the group relocated to public land, after more than 30 churches declined to host the encampment at their private locations, according to Tent City 3 camp adviser Roger Franz.
On Sunday, most of the tents had been set up, but residents and volunteers were still moving in boxes and organizing the camp. Some distributed notices to neighboring homes and businesses with information about the tent city and contact information for anyone who had questions.
The decision to move to Ravenna came at the last minute, Franz said. The camp’s time agreement with the Haller Lake church ended Saturday. Until that day, the group was hoping a church or other organization would host it for the three months before it moves to Seattle Pacific University, which has invited the camp to stay for the second time, from Jan. 10 to March 7.
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Franz said the encampment chose the Ravenna site because it’s flat and accessible to bus lines.
“This looked like the best option,” Franz said. “We can sleep through the (I-5) noise.”
The location is on a piece of land next to a sign that says “camping is unauthorized.”
Tent City 3, whose parent organizations are the Seattle Housing and Resource Effort (SHARE) and Women’s Housing Equality and Enhancement League (WHEEL), has sent a letter to the city of Seattle telling officials the encampment had to temporarily move to public land. Seattle police officers met with residents Saturday, Franz said. Camp residents are waiting to hear from Mayor Ed Murray’s office, Franz said. They’re confident they’ll be able to work with officials, but they are ready in case they are given a three-days notice to vacate the premises.
“If they give us three days to move, we’ll move,” Franz said. “But I’m not sure where we’ll go.”
Tent City 3 started in 2000 and has moved more than 70 times, according to SHARE/WHEEL. Tent City 4 has operated since 2004, mainly on the Eastside, according to the city of Seattle. It now is in Redmond.
Paige Cornwell: 206-464-2530 or firstname.lastname@example.org