City threatens Nickelsville, Haller Lake encampments

Residentially Challenged courtesy of Wesa [flickr] via our group pool [#]

The city of Seattle sent two letters out on Thursday, accusing organizers of Nickelsville of violating the Consent Decree with SHARE/WHEEL set up in 2002, which led to the validation of Tent City 3 at Haller Lake Methodist Church in North Seattle. (#)

In their letter notifying SHARE/WHEEL and Nickelsville members of the violation of the Consent Decree, Diane Sugimura and Suzanne Skinner insist that there is a connection between SHARE/WHEEL and Nickelsville, and that if one of the two encampments is not closed by the end of the day today, the decree will be nullified, and both camps would presumably be shut down. (#)

Sugimura and Skinner also sent a letter to the staff at University Christian Church, letting the church know that if their site was chosen as a merger location for both encampments, they would be considered “Hosts” and subject to a laundry list of regulations set up as part of the decree. The city mentions that another option may be to set up a homeless shelter in the church’s basement. (#) According to the P-I, the pastor of the church was not available for comment about the letter.

I think the most interesting part of the story is the city’s insistence that SHARE/WHEEL members are involved with Nickelsville, and therefore the encampment is subject to the decree set up with that organization six years ago. Granted, the members of Nickelsville haven’t been particularly transparent regarding who is in charge of the encampment, and it appears SHARE/WHEEL has tried to distance itself from Nickelsville. But for the city to threaten both Nickelsville and the Haller Lake encampment (which has been in existence for six years) without absolute proof of SHARE/WHEEL’s involvement seems a little… I don’t know… illegal?

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