and Facebook: www.facebook.com/shareshelters
UPDATE MAY 2
P.O. Box 2548
Seattle, WA 98111
May 2, 2016
Adrienne Quinn, Director
King County Department of Community and Human Services
Elissa Benson, Deputy Director
King County Facilities Management Division
Dear Ms. Quinn and Ms. Hansen:
The SHARE Central Committee was authorized by the SHARE Power Lunch/Board of Directors to expand the area for the homeless community now protesting the loss of a badly needed indoor shelter network due to being defunded by King County – also as a matter of health, safety and survival – near the King County Administration Building.
The Central Committee was asked by the SHARE Power Lunch to expand when Tent City6’s participants health and safety was endangered by crowding and close living conditions. We have warned both of you of this before, and with over 200 people checking into the encampment daily, that time is now.
This is especially the case given the concerns expressed in Ms. Hansen’s letter Friday. That letter reiterated previous Health and Security requests to provide 3 foot walkways and large areas near doors, bike storage racks, and walkways into the building. While not unreasonable on their face, many of the requests that have been made have significantly reduced the space people can use for sleep and survival. The alternative of scattering, or turning some away, is unacceptable. Over 13 homeless people have died outside or by violence this year, and 67 last year.
We have therefore decided to add onto the area being used for this protest and survival action and are now using some of the unused land at 420 5thAvenue. As you know, the property west of the present Parking Garage is a combination of grass and scrub, flat and hilly.
It is formerly owned and operated by the Facilities Management Division, who has thoughtfully allowed a Pea Patch in the southern portions of the half blocks. This, the entry to the Parking Garage, and a path are the only present uses here. ¾ of it is unused, and there are actually fewer challenges in operating a Protest/Survival Encampment here than at the Plaza where we have successfully operated for a month.
Like the Plaza, we will leave this land like it was found. We will stay out of, and away from, the Pea Patch. Some of us have worked with Seattle Tilth before, because they have visited some encampments and encouraged homeless people gardening there. We are confident that a mutually beneficial relationship can be worked out with them at this location.
Like the Plaza, we have no interest in staying on Goat Hill any longer than necessary. When a way is found to reopen our indoor shelters all operations around the County Administration building will shut down. Everyone who is in good standing and staying with us will have the opportunity to move to a reopened SHARE Shelter or Tent City 3, 4 or 5.
This is our goal. Preserving existing shelter is certainly both necessary and achievable in the Homeless State of Emergency declared by both the County and City. We appreciate that this goal has also been declared by King County Government in their adoption of the All Home Strategic Plan (2.1.a – support existing shelters) as their Continuum of Care Ordinance for King County in 2016.
Regardless of documents, we know you are reasonable people. To increase the number of unsheltered homeless people in a County that already has over 4,500 people sleeping outside every night - when the option of restoring the most cost effective and largest shelter network in the County is achievable - is unreasonable.
SHARE, and the Central Committee, are eager to work with both of you to resolve these challenges peacefully, in a way that respects human life and peace.
SHARE’s Tent City 6 and 7 Central Committee
Update April 29
#GIVEBIG TO SHARE ON MAY 3!
This year, you no longer need to wait to make your GiveBIG donation to SHARE/WHEEL. All gifts pledged through the Seattle Foundation between now and midnight May 3 will be supplemented by the Seattle Foundation stretch pool.
Help SHARE in its time of crisis. Donate here https://givebig.seattlefoundation.org/npo/seattle-housing-and-resource-effort
Setting the Record Straight 4/9/16 Statement of SHARE
The City of Seattle and King County Departments that work on homelessness are tag-teaming the advancement of a number of false assertions about SHARE and our crisis. Most of the corporate media have accepted these false assertions without question. Few members of the press have made any serious effort at either providing SHARE an opportunity for rebuttal, or ferreting out the truth themselves.
These false assertions are based on self-interest – the City of Seattle and King County bureaucratic ‘Homelessness Leadership’ don’t want to keep their commitment (All Home Strategic Plan 2.1.a) to support King County’s existing basic shelters.
In plainer English, leading City and County bureaucrats are throwing up popular but false excuses not to support SHARE because of our grassroots, empowered model. They’d rather spend money on things other than a cost-effective, self-managed shelter network.
In part, this is because they persist in--and perpetuate--the horrible myth that enough good affordable housing outcomes exist for all who need them, and the problem is simply a matter of pushing people into those excellent outcomes.
In a County where 4,505 people were found without any shelter at all, where at least 67 homeless men and women died outside or by violence in 2015, and where we’re short on affordable housing by THOUSANDS of units, this outcomes-based funding myth is the most disheartening and disingenuous of all.
Funding from the City of Seattle
The Myth The Seattle Human Services Department (HSD) has allocated over $600,000 to pay for SHARE’s indoor shelter network in 2016 and we’re closed now because that money’s been misused.
The Reality: SHARE and HSD negotiated and signed a contract for 2016 with a budget document showing that the SHARE Indoor Shelter Network would receive $328,781 from HSD this year (on a monthly, reimbursable contract), BUT THAT THESE SHELTERS ACTUALLY COST $647,182 to operate. The SHARE Indoor Shelter Budget accepted by the City listed other fund sources and fundraising to make up the difference. This listing included King County and the United Way, in the amount of $75,000.
We had reasonable belief, based on our year-long efforts to secure funding from these sources, to budget (with the City’s acceptance) for the support of these two fund sources.
Because of SHARE’s efforts, the Four-Year All Home Strategic Plan that the County, the City and United Way agreed to obligates all parties to ‘support existing shelter.’ (2.1.a.)
SHARE also listed many other funding sources that we – not the City or County – have made yeoman efforts to acquire through grantwriting, fundraisers, and developing and maintaining a grassroots funding base. Without County or United Way support, though, SHARE just can’t keep pace with rising costs, rising demands (in this State of Emergency), and perpetual underfunding on a reimbursable contract basis.
A Red Herring: WHEEL, SHARE’s partner organization, independently operates an excellent, low-barrier and staffed Women’s Shelter. It’s open now, and we hope it will remain unaffected by SHARE’s troubles. The WHEEL Women’s Shelter has its own independent budget and monthly City reimbursement agreement, in the amount of $282,181. HSD bureaucrats have occasionally added the WHEEL shelter funding amount to the SHARE Indoor Shelter Network funding amount in their public statements about SHARE’s crisis, either through confusion and error, or to deliberately make it seem that SHARE has more resources than we actually do.
The Big “Surprise”
The Reality Both King County Community and Human Services Department staff leaders and elected officials have known for years about SHARE’s financial crisis, but the mainstream media has bought their “We’re shocked, SHOCKED” routine hook, line and sinker.
Don’t just take our word for this: Attached are 38 communications with the City and 16 communications with the County that all speak to our financial emergency.
When King County first cut our funding to zero for 2015 (in the fall of 2014) we appealed in writing. We’ve appealed the latest two King County refusals to fund us. We visited the Community and Human Services Director’s Office on February 12, 2016 to discuss this matter with her. Upon finding her out on vacation, six SHARE representatives spoke to the second and third-highest Department staffpeople about our financial crisis. We’ve got the video to prove it.
Our letters and testimony to the County Council regarding this financial crisis over the last two years have been relentless. We’ve also leafletted the County’s Chinook Building on numerous occasions regarding our crisis, and held educational sleepouts there.
Our warnings, requests and letters to City Officials have been even more relentless, especially regarding the disbursement of funding allocated for Seattle tent cities. On December 17, 2015 we told HSD Director Catherine Lester in writing that “Without payment for these trash bills our organizations will likely go broke. Reimbursements in this manner are standard practice for organizations like ours that have partnerships with the City.” (Some of these trash reimbursements have still not been paid by the City.)
Even prior to this, our leafletting City Hall about SHARE’s budget crisis on September 4, 2015 resulted in a snap meeting with HSD Director Lester and the Deputy Mayor later the same day. SHARE members left the meeting in tears when our pleas for financial support were rebuffed. Later, Lester’s Deputy Director, Jason Johnson, took the lead in first misleading the Honey Bucket Company into thinking they would be reimbursed, and then reneging on this commitment.
On February 5, 2016, a SHARE Board Member – at a City Council Roundtable Discussion arranged by Councilwoman Bagshaw and attended by Human Service Department Leaders – said “It is my responsibility to inform you that today SHARE IS IN A STATE OF EMERGENCY. Without immediate intervention we will NOT be able to keep going. Right now three of our nine employees are holding their paychecks because our cash flow is so bad. We have been warning of this financial crisis for years. A big reason we have not been listened to is the lack of respect for our life-saving work from funders.” (This testimony was submitted in writing and can also be viewed on the Seattle Channel.)
For the past two years SHARE has sent numerous letters to King County and City of Seattle Leaders describing our financial troubles and asking for help. We’ve testified at City and County Council meetings, and have met with City and County Councilmembers. We did a month-long educational campaign last June, and slept outside and leafleted the County Chinook Building several times explaining our crisis and asking for help. We’ve testified at “All Home” Governing Board meetings for years, and in fact got them to agree that supporting our existing shelters was a priority of the 10 Year Plus Four Year Extension Strategic Plan to End Homelessness.
Affordable Housing Outcomes
The Reality In a “State of Emergency” where over 4,500 people are unsheltered in King County, bednights, survival and dignity are admirable outcomes. There are not enough good affordable housing outcomes for all who need them, by THOUSANDS of units. If funding is only based on affordable housing outcomes, that’ll leave many people and programs (like SHARE’s) behind, to die on our streets.
For decades, bednights of shelter were fundable outcomes, lauded by our partners, who recognized we were doing much with very few resources. SHARE has become the largest and most cost-effective network of shelters in the region, with a portable, flexible shelter base, using space that otherwise would be unused, in church halls and community centers. We’re creative, flexible, and bare-bones. Our small cadre of organizing staff make minimum wage, and we work miracles every day on a shoestring. We are proud of our work!
For the record, we are appealing King County’s latest funding denial. In their communications to us, King County stated that we were eliminated on eligibility criteria, and in one case the reason given for denying our proposal was because King County does not consider Tent Cities to be shelter. The 150+ participants in our three self-managed Tent Cities consider this to be an affront.
The Myth SHARE has an excellent track record of keeping people alive, but can show no other outcomes.
The Reality Many SHARE outcomes are invaluable but immeasurable on a numeric scale. Where else in Seattle, or anywhere, do homeless people themselves get to set policy, create rules, and run their own shelters? Every member of a SHARE has a voice, and a right to express his/her opinion at meetings. Everyone within SHARE is equal. This gives SHARE members back our dignity, which was largely stripped from us when we became homeless. SHARE gives its members life, but also dignity, a foundation, and a great sense of purpose.
In addition, SHARE’s network of shelters has generated more faith-community and neighborhood partnerships and new participants in surviving and solving homelessness than any other provider in town.
The Reality SHARE has operated—and carried government funding contracts—for decades. We are inordinately scrutinized and often audited out-of-cycle because of our homeless-led model and our commitment to speaking truth to power. Our external controls include annual independent financial reviews and regular in-depth reviews and audits by our funders (notably the City of Seattle and King County for the use of Reduced Fare Bus Tickets). We were audited out of cycle just last year by HSD. They found our systems and controls to be in order; their main finding was that we are under-funded.
Our internal controls include our use of an independent bookkeeper, our having an Administrator whose job it is to track and account for our finances and to report twice-weekly to colleagues and regularly to our community. We have a Monthly Mandatory General Finance Committee meeting, weekly Debt-Abatement Committee meetings, weekly Grantwriting committee meetings, and weekly Organizational decision-making meetings, which review our finances and cash flow situation weekly.
In truth, the level of scrutiny, review and accountability here at SHARE, both internal and external, far outstrips any other large traditional non-profit agency or government bureaucracy we know.
The Myth The Seattle Times stated that SHARE has “shaky finances,” but gave no supporting information or specifics.
The Reality SHARE is a shoestring, grassroots, self-managed group of homeless men and women. We are a nonprofit, and we incorporated in 1991. Yes, our finances are shaky. We’ve been crying out for more stable, ongoing, large-scale support for years. Perhaps we should’ve shut down earlier. Instead, we struggled to survive, putting off Peter to pay Paul, while we worked hard to get the funding support we need. That we are cash-strapped, poverty-stricken and homeless-led does not mean that we are irresponsible or unaccountable in our operations.
Definition of Shelter
The Reality Per the County’s own Continuum of Care Ordinance (through the 10-Year Plan AKA the All Home Strategic Plan), the County is required to:
Tents ARE an interim survival mechanism. Why do you suppose the U.S. military, refugees, and people all over the world use tents in inclement weather? Because tents are shelter.
PLEASE SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS AT BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE
8 April 2016
Dear Hosts, Partners and Supporters of SHARE:
We the members of SHARE want to thank you for your continued prayers, solidarity and support of us during our time of crisis. We’d like to update you on the past week, and ask for your further help and assistance.
OUTDOOR SHELTER AT THE ADMIN BUILDING: As you know, last Thursday we were forced to close our indoor shelter network for lack of funds. Many good people of the SHARE shelters are sticking together, and we set up and have been operating an outdoor shelter—called Tent City6--on the north Plaza at the King County Administration Building (at 4th/James). We also are operating an indoor shelter (at Safe Haven) for folks with disabilities and a respite shelter (at the Bunkhouse).
We especially thank our host partners who attended the rally last Thursday and spoke out for/with us!
On the ground, operations are going well. We’re averaging 100-130 people each night. Many are SHARE Shelter Participants, but others have joined us. We’ve set up 20 tents, and are operating 24 hours a day. Food, water and visitors are welcome! The County guards have been good to work with, and it’s a peaceful, good-spirited, optimistic effort.
COUNTY FUNDING APPEAL: One of many reasons we’re struggling financially is because of cuts to and elimination of County shelter funding. As you know, we applied (again) for funding this past January, and were denied. Our first appeal also was denied, but we appealed again. After two weeks with no word, last Friday night a new County reviewer was in touch, apologizing for the delay, thanking us for our patience, and stating the County will make its new appeal determination the week of April 11th. Calls/emails to the County Executive, County Councilmembers, and the head of the County Community and Human Services Department to get them to support SHARE’s survival efforts are still very needed. (A backgrounder on the County funding cuts is attached.)
WHAT WE’VE DONE SO FAR: We’ve been busy in many other areas. Last week we sent out a Direct Mail Appeal, and also completed and submitted a $20,000 Basic Needs Grant Proposal to the Safeco Foundation.
This week, we received a donated van, are looking at a potential truck donation, and—thanks to the support of a City Council Aide--have secured a Grantwriting Intern to increase our capacity in that area.
We also are very grateful and honored to let you know a $25,000 grant has been committed to us from a local foundation passionate about homeless efforts. This generous foundation wishes to remain anonymous, but encourages other foundations to step up. This contribution will help backfill some of our most pressing debt.
HOPE ON THE HORIZON: There’s more hope on the horizon. SHARE (and our partner organization WHEEL and its Homeless Remembrance Project) have been selected to be among the beneficiaries of a special performance of a “Street Requiem” and other musical works, sponsored by the Starbucks Chorus. The event is at , Sunday, May 1st at Benaroya Hall. The hope is to sell out the venue (2,300 seats!), so please help us spread word of this beautiful, wonderful, respectful and special opportunity. More information and tickets can be found by clicking on the link below; the Street Requiem poster is also attached:
Another fundraiser benefitting us is being organized by a goodhearted group of new volunteers. It’s called “Abundance Takes Flight,” and it’s Saturday, April 30th at the Museum of Flight. More information and tickets can be found here:
We still have a ways to go before we have the funds need to be able to move forward again and reopen our shelter network doors. We are optimistic, hardworking people and we thank you for your work together with us to keep people safe in their own dignified, self-managed community.
Please let us know directly if you have questions or suggestions for us, and please continue to keep us in your thoughts and prayers.
Members of SHARE
UPDATE MARCH 29
HELP KEEP SHARE TOGETHER AND SAFE!!
THURSDAY March 31st 2016
People's Rally @ 1 pm
Courthouse Park 3rd & Yesler
Come lend us a hand and have your voice heard!
Help SHARE members stay safe and together, and help us build the new
TENT CITY 6
After the People's Rally
BACKGROUND: SHARE—the largest and most cost-effective network of shelters in the Pacific Northwest-- has been struggling financially for well over a year now. Unfortunately, SHARE has reached the point when we can no longer AFFORD TO STAY OPEN, literally. We have $70K in unpaid bills, our staff have been withholding their salaries, and we don’t have enough bus tickets to last beyond March 30th.
Therefore, the last night for our indoor shelters to be open will be on March 30th. On March 31st we will be rallying at 1 PM at Courthouse Park (3rd/Yesler), then marching to the King County Administration Building Plaza and staying there until such a time that we can negotiate the needed funding in order to reopen our shelters. (King County completely CUT our funding last year, and denied our funding requests since then for spurious reasons, especially in light of the Homeless State of Emergency.)
We hope many of you will join us because this is the only way we will be successful. We have faced similar crises in the past and by staying together we have managed to prevail. For over 25 years, we have had many victories through Direct Action. These we achieved by staying together and UNITED. Our strength is in our numbers. NOW is the time to show our strength as a COMMUNITY.
and Facebook: www.facebook.com/shareshelters
Thank you for your solidarity and support!
UPDATE MARCH 26
SHARE “WHY WE CONTINUE TO STRUGGLE”
FINANCIAL STATEMENT 2016
BACKGROUND: We’re the largest, most cost-effective and empowering network of shelters in the Pacific Northwest, now involving and sheltering around 450 people each day/night in 15 self-managed indoor shelters, a large low-barrier women’s shelter, and THREE Tent Cities. Our efforts are deeply intertwined and rely on each other. We are as close to the bone as is possible, and there is nothing that can be cut without toppling our whole network. For more than seven years we’ve been clear and public with what’s needed to enable the SHARE democratic shelter network to survive: significant additional ongoing financial support.
We ended 2015 in about the same financial situation as the previous calendar year: with around $50,000 in debt. That we managed to survive carrying ONLY this level of debt, considering our funding cuts and bureaucratic struggles, is to our credit.
That we continue to carry this level of debt is absolutely and clearly due to lack of significant increased stable ongoing funding.
CURRENT MARCH 2016 SITUATION, AND 2016 PROJECTION:
We are currently around $75,000 in debt.
Due to lack of sufficient ongoing funding (and also the reimbursable nature of our contracts & related cash flow patterns), we’re currently needing $10,000 more per month than we receive from our contracts and ongoing sources in order to sustain our operations. (This is for all of our efforts, combined.)
Our indoor shelters and related efforts have a small fundraising burden every year.
Two of our three Tent Cities have very large fundraising burdens every year—more than $150,000 for the two, combined. They’ve struggled to raise these funds each year, but are way behind in covering their own costs.
And, while we’re grateful for City land and funding for our new camp, Tent City5 Interbay, City funding only covers around 2/3 of the true cost of operating the camp, leaving us with more than a $40,000 annual fundraising burden.
SOME REASONS WHY
COUNTY FUNDING CUT: Last year, we were shocked when King County government completely cut our funding ($20,000 per year) out of an RFP process where we asked for an increase (to $75,000 per year). The increase would’ve “made up” more than a $35,000 annual
loss we withstood starting in 2012 when this contract transferred to the County from the State. We campaigned all year for County funding—unsuccessfully, so far.
INSUFFICIENT CITY TENT CITY FUNDING AND BUREAUCRATIC EXCUSE-MAKING INSTEAD OF DISBURSING THIS FUNDING: In autumn 2014 the City allocated $100,000 for basic encampment costs. In 2015 SHARE received only $10,000 of this funding, despite numerous invoices and requests. Every bureaucratic excuse in the book was given for not releasing the funding. We hoped for, expected and needed the Seattle Human Services Department to operate in the spirit of the funding award: to help our organized encampments, and their sponsor organization, survive and keep doing our good work.
UNITED WAY: For more than seven years we’ve asked United Way to fund us. Despite meetings, promises and proposals, we’ve received no United Way emergency shelter funding to date.
MOVE TOWARD $15/HR WAGES AND INCREASE IN PAYABLE WORK HOURS: Believe it or not, SHARE staff—who work hard for subsistence wages--were beneficiaries of this excellent community mandate. This year we must raise our wages to $12/hour AND we took an organizational decision to increase the payable number of work hours (to 38, from 30). This, coupled with increase health care costs, represents an additional $70,000 to SHARE. (Note, the City did cover the basic dollar-an-hour increase in our 2016 contracts, and we’re grateful for that. We still have more than $40,000 to raise, though!)
REIMBURSABLE GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS: Our largest ongoing fund sources—government contracts, which comprise around $60% of our budget—are reimbursable. This means we (SHARE) have to front the money (tens of thousands of dollars a month) to provide the shelters, and then wait for reimbursement. This mechanism is OK for large agencies with reserve funds. This mechanism is not OK for small, grassroots organizations like ours.
ESFP (FEMA) UNCERTAINTIES: Generally, early in the spring, FEMA shelter money is billable. In 2015 its arrival was delayed by many months, its amount to us (around $28,000) was less than in its heyday ($44K), and even when it was made available, we had to split the billing in two, which seriously hurt our operations and cash flow. We have no word yet about the disbursement schedule and amount for 2016.
INFLATION: The cost of everything—utilities, bus tickets, other essentials—keeps going up, and our stable contract amounts has either stayed flat or had a less-than-the-rate-of-inflation increase.
UPDATE MARCH 21
TO ALL SHARE PARTICIPANTS
As you all may be aware, our organization has been struggling financially for over a year now. And although we have been working on this to get more funding our efforts have fallen on deaf ears. We commend the work of the Red Ink Monday, DAWG and Grant Writing Committees for their tireless efforts.
Unfortunately, we have reached the point when we can no longer AFFORD TO STAY OPEN, literally. To date we have $70K in unpaid bills, our staff has been withholding their salaries, and we don’t have enough bus tickets to last thru the end of the month.
The Central Committee has MSP’d to have the last night be on March 30th, hopefully we’ll have enough bus tickets to last us until then. On March 31st we will be marching to the King County Administration Building Plaza and staying there until such a time that we can negotiate the needed funding in order to reopen our shelters. We hope many of you will join us because this is the only way we will be successful.
We have faced similar crisis in the past and by staying together we have managed to prevail. For over the 25 years we have had many victories through direct action. These we achieved by staying together and UNITED. Our strength is in our numbers. NOW is the time to show our strength as a COMMUNITY.
The SHARE Central Committee
UPDATE MARCH 2
Dear Friends and Supporters of SHARE,
We are writing to inform you that SHARE has reached a tipping point--a point we might not ever recover from.
For over 20 years, SHARE has been a first responder to the ever burgeoning homeless emergency in this area. SHARE is the Pacific Northwest’s largest and most cost effective emergency shelter provider. Our 15 indoor shelters and three Tent Cities provide upwards of 450 people a warm, safe place to sleep each night.
Before the “homeless emergency” here hit the national news, we were already responding. We worked with the city to set up a new Tent City in Interbay that rapidly filled up.
SHARE has never been a well-funded organization. As an organization of homeless and formerly homeless individuals, we know how to make do with less. There are no flashy jobs at SHARE, all our staff members make minimum wage.
SHARE has been hobbled with debt the past two years. We’ve still managed to keep people safe and alive. Now though, through funding cuts and general increases in operating costs, we can’t promise we will be able to keep going much longer.
We simply can’t function without more stable funding. In spite of this King County rejected our two funding proposal requests without consideration in late February. In one case, the reason for denial was because “King County does not consider Tent Cities to be shelters.”
We must demand that King County follow their own emergency plan, and fund SHARE. King County says they follow the “All Home” Plan (to end Homelessness) but they don’t. That Plan is clear – existing shelters like SHARE’s should be preserved, not bankrupted. Please immediately reach out to King County Executive Dow Constantine (firstname.lastname@example.org, 206-263-9600) and King County Community/Human Services Division Director Adrienne Quinn (Adrienne.email@example.com, 206-263-1491) and ask them to fund SHARE! Please also call your County Councilperson today and insist on action.
At the same time please consider making an emergency donation to help keep us going while together we persuade the City, County, and Federal Government that SHARE is needed, and cannot be allowed to fail. The shelter system here is already full and simply would not be able to handle over 450 extra folks a night.
We accept donations via Paypal on our website at www.sharewheel.org
The Men and Women of SHARE
February 11, 2016
PRESS RELEASE Evicting SHARE, the First Responders to Homelessness
With Mayor Murray’s declaration of a Homeless Emergency, with the record number of homeless deaths in 2015, with the deaths in “the Jungle”, with a 40% increase in homelessness in the last 2 years, homelessness in Seattle dominates the local news.
In 2016, SHARE is facing a financial crisis that it likely will not survive. Cuts in our funding and increases in general operating expenses have left us in a deep hole, a hole that gets deeper every month. The fact that SHARE is facing imminent closure means 400 more people being without a place to sleep in a city that already has a shortage of shelter beds.
Our members will be at the Chinook Building at 10:30am on Friday, February 12th 2016. Our two recent requests to the County for more funding were denied - despite SHARE being the largest, most cost effective emergency shelter provider in the Pacific Northwest. King County totally defunded SHARE in 2015.
King County says they follow the ‘All Home’ Plan, but they don’t. That Plan is clear - existing shelters like SHARE’s should be preserved, not bankrupted (2.1.a) Willfully ignoring their own plan, willfully disrespecting the value of homeless people providing for themselves, paying too much in funding for too little in real shelter - that is why the fight to end homelessness in King County is in full retreat.
Tomorrow we will be presenting King County Director of Community and Human Services Adrienne Quinn a letter. It is an eviction letter for SHARE for her to sign. A letter evicting 400+ SHARE participants from their warm safe beds and into the cold, unsafe streets of King County. The policies and funding cuts King County have dealt SHARE have likely been our death blow. King County’s failure to recognize the very real and important work that SHARE has done for over 20 years is not the work of a government that truly recognizes the “Homeless Emergency” that exists in their streets.
Please meet us to witness our personal (“Homeless Emergency”) emergency.
The Men and Women of SHARE
SHARE Office #-206-448-7899
SHARE Consultant phone (206) 450-9136
UPDATE JANUARY 28
At next , outside the Seattle Justice Center (5th/Cherry), WHEEL/Mary's Place Women in Black will stand a sorrow-filled silent vigil for James Q. Tran, 33, and Jeannine L. Zapata, 45, who were murdered in night's brutal shooting in the area known as the Jungle, under I-5 south of downtown.
At almost the same time as these shootings, at the end of his Address to the City on the State of Homelessness, Mayor Murray quoted Dostoevsky (by way of Dorothy Day):
"Love in action is a harsh and dreadful thing compared to love in dreams."
The questions we're wrestling with--about sheltering our brothers, sisters and children--are profound, and require all of our strength, hearts, and honesty. There are no easy answers.
We believe there must be love for one another--each one of us, ALL of us--as we struggle with these questions, as hard as that love is to bear out in action.
We also believe there's great wisdom in silence, and that we have to give space and time to our grief to know the right way forward from here.
WHEEL/Women in Black
UPDATE JANUARY 13
January 9, 2016
Dear Mayor Murray, Chief O’Toole and the Seattle City Council:
We, the homeless and formerly homeless Men and Women of SHARE, ask you to immediately cease and desist all HOMELESS ENCAMPMENT SWEEPS based simply on a complaint that the camp exists. Sweeps should only occur when there is a strong reason to believe that crime - other than trying to stay together and safe – is occurring. Encampments that don’t harm others should get the chance to conduct themselves decently by providing them with public porta potties and dumpsters.
Indiscriminate Sweeps are wasteful. They make those uprooted more unsafe and exposed. Desperate people forcibly ejected from a safe option often see many of their belongings – tents, bedding, clothing – trashed. Police and city workers should help protect our property – not destroy it.
It is cold comfort to know that a small amount of possessions might be sent to storage, and that with luck they can be found later. Instead of very little, people are often left with nothing. This increases even more the chance they will be abused, assaulted, molested, murdered and get sick. This tears apart the social fabric and increases desperation.
Human Services People who say they provide sufficient alternatives to people being swept aren’t being straight. Most Seattle Shelters that are not ridden with bed bugs and/or violence are already full.
The honest alternative to being in an unsanctioned encampment is a private space to sleep in, with storage and 24 hour availability, near your neighborhood, job or school. Until that is available, Stop the Sweeps!
Homelessness has costs. Homeless people, if they survive, must regather their lives, regain their property, find new jobs, find new housing and while doing so often get treated like second class citizens.
Taxpayers pay the cost of trash and waste. And nobody likes to either see it or live in it. Too often Human Services people ignore this fact. They think that a ‘referral’ to services equals the reality of change. Usually these ‘referrals’ are smoke and mirrors, and don’t provide what is needed to change a living situation.
So the homeless person is still on the street without shelter. And the cycle of pulling together things to stay safe – tents, tarps, blankets and clothes – and then having them trashed continues. Seattle’s top Human Service people don’t take into account that the problems of trash and waste continue because they don’t understand how ineffective their ‘referrals’ and ‘liaisoning’ is. And all the piling up of data doesn’t change that one bit.
Until homelessness is REALLY solved with enough affordable housing, waste and trash have to be dealt with. At this point sweeps have created a cycle of despair, and the piles of trash around the city are ongoing monuments to misery.
Since homeless and unsheltered people are forced to live in public places and don’t have the ability to pay for toilets and dumpsters, human waste is public too. Until homelessness is solved, the public must deal with this too. It is no different than having to help with food banks and soup kitchens.
We the men and women of SHARE call on the City of Seattle to let unsheltered people be proactive about waste and trash. The City of Seattle should provide dumpsters and porta-potties where homeless people must sleep outside. That is so much more humane than letting human waste and trash build up and build up and become a disgusting eyesore and public health menace.
When we see this unnecessary waste of ruined property, the folly of depending on data instead of just creating more affordable housing, and hear about referrals and liaisons we know seldom work it is painful to hear Human Services people talk about how much we are spending on homelessness. Homeless spending priorities are out of whack and money is being wasted.
For a decade now millions of dollars have been spent on computer tracking programs that have helped little, and that disrespect homeless people’s privacy. Most Human Services people are well meaning, but the ones on top are paid so much more than common people that they have lost their sense of proportion.
Cutting out some of these $120,000 positions and reducing salaries would improve things. Redirecting tax paying dollars from programs that are supposed to refer people to (insufficient) housing and services to simply cleaning up trash and waste also makes sense.
The reality is that when affordable housing and services are available people
find them. The reality is that there just isn’t enough affordable housing, shelter, good decent jobs, helpful job training, good treatment programs & etc. to make a difference for most people on the streets.
We would appreciate it if homeless people didn’t get blamed for all the money that is being spent by the City when much of it isn’t effective.
Homeless people are the experts in knowing how to deal with living on the streets. SHARE is the first responders. We provide shelter before anyone else. In the same way that firefighters know a lot about putting our fires, we know a lot about surviving homelessness.
Listen to us, the first responders. Don’t conclude that our talking common sense equates to a lack of gratitude for the good things that are being done.
The majority of people in Seattle understand that we are just like them. Many help with donating things that are needed day by day. Just because some city money is misdirected doesn’t challenge the sincerity of the attempt.
Finally, Mayor Murray has given us a chance to show – with our Tent City5 at Interbay – that there is a better way. We remain grateful for this leadership, and will support other such acts.
Whenever there is a chance to work together with our leaders to solve homelessness we will. Until it is solved we must help homeless people simply survive.
Stop the Sweeps.
UPDATE DECEMBER 28:
CALL COUNTY EXECUTIVE CONTANTINE FOR TENT CITY 4 NOW!!
Tent City 4 Has Kept It's Word. We've left the State Park
And Moved To County Land for a Brief Stay - 41 Days.
Please ask County Executive Constantine: Be Compassionate, Honor County Declaration of
Civil Emergency on Homelessness, & Sign Drafted Encampment Agreement with SHARE/WHEEL
PLEASE CALL RIGHT NOW!
County Executive Dow Constantine firstname.lastname@example.org (206) 263-9600
Tent City4 – just 41 days prior to moving Mary, Queen of Peace Parish in Sammamish – has kept its word and moved to a new short term location. This was made necessary not because the camp has operated poorly, or because there was another immediate need for the campground. Rather, it was based on a ‘parks policy issue.’
Tent City4 is returning to High Point - a 9,000 sq. ft. location used by TC4 this summer. It is directly to the South of I-90 off Exit #20. (Between Issaquah and Preston. This is a good site. The land is owned by King County Government.
There are two reasons we have hope to stay for 41 days. Firstly, County Executive Constantine has declared Homelessness a Civil Emergency in King County. On November 5th. Here is an excerpt from his Proclamation:
"3,772 were sleeping outside in the elements during our annual January census, the One Night Count. As we approach winter, those without homes are challenged even further to survive and the severity and magnitude of this emergency is beyond the response capability of local resources.
There is an emergency present that demands immediate preservation of public health, and extraordinary measures are required to protect the public peace, as well as the safety and welfare of individuals."
Secondly, this fall King County and SHARE/WHEEL almost signed an agreement clarifying encampment operations on County Land in a reasonable way. It is the attachment below titled 'Agreement with TC41. The agreement went unsigned in the fall because the issue became moot when Tent City4 moved to the State Park on November 6th.) Given the new realities County Executive Constantines Nov. 5th Proclamation recognizes, we are sure he will sign it.
Right now Tent City4 is small, but by allowing this community to survive until our next move means safety today for up to 50 people, and safety over time to thousands more.
Tent City4 is the longest running encampment east of Lake Washington, having started in 2004. It is the second longest running encampment in Washington State. SHARE is an organization of homeless and formerly homeless men and women. We have 15 indoor shelters and 3 encampments – the largest such network in the state.
As a self-managed community all our operations are extraordinarily cost effective. Our daily work is sheltering ourselves and others. We are the First Responders to Homelessness.
King County Department of Transportation and SHARE/WHEEL
Regarding SHARE/WHEEL’s appeal of Special Use Permit No SUPS 15-0101
This Agreement (“Agreement”) is entered into by King County, a political subdivision of the State of Washington and SHARE/WHEEL, a 501c(3) non-profit registered in the state of Washington, either of which may be referred to hereinafter individually as “Party” or collectively as the “Parties”.
On July 11, 2015, SHARE/WHEEL established a homeless encampment, Tent City 4, on King County land north of SE 104th Street near Exit 25 from I-90 at a location known as the Echo Lake Interchange Natural Area.
SHARE/WHEEL located the Tent City 4 encampment at the Echo Lake Interchange Natural Area without the permission of King County.
On July 11, 2015, SHARE/WHEEL submitted a Special Use Permit application to the King County Department of Executive Services, Facilities Management Division (“FMD”) requesting permission to maintain the Tent City 4 homeless encampment at the Echo Lake location.
On September 17, 2015, FMD denied SHARE/WHEEL’s Special Use Permit application No. SUPS 15-0101.
On October 2, 2015, SHARE/WHEEL filed a Notice of Appeal with the King County Hearing Examiner of FMD’s denial of SHARE/WHEEL’s Special Use Permit application No. SUPS 15-0101. King County asserts that the King County Code does not authorize an appeal of a denial of a Special Use Permit to the King County Hearing Examiner.
SHARE/WHEEL is moving the Tent City 4 homeless encampment from the Echo Lake location on or before November 7, 2014.
The Parties wish to allow the transition of the Tent City 4 homeless encampment from the Echo Lake location to be as seamless as possible while at the same time avoiding needless expenditure of the Parties resources on contesting an appeal of the FMD’s denial of SHARE/WHEEL’s Special Use Permit application.
NOW, THEREFORE, in consideration of the terms, conditions and covenants set forth herein, the Parties hereto agree as follows:
1.1. SHARE/WHEEL shall vacate the Tent City 4 homeless encampment from the Echo Lake location on or before November 7, 2015.
1.2. SHARE/WHEEL shall not relocate the Tent City 4 homeless encampment to any property owned or managed by King County prior to the issuance of a Special Use Permit by the FMD authorizing SHARE/WHEEL to use the County property as a homeless encampment.
1.3. SHARE/WHEEL shall dismiss its appeal of FMD’s Denial of Special Use Permit application No. SUPS 15-0101 no later than October 30, 2015.
2.1. Prior to November 8, 2015, King County shall not initiate Code Enforcement actions or any other enforcement actions relating to SHARE/WHEEL’s use of the Echo Lake property for an unpermitted homeless encampment without the County’s permission in violation of King County Code provisions 14.30.
2.2. King County retains the authority to take Code Enforcement actions or any other enforcement actions not prohibited under Section 2.1 of this Agreement for any other violations of the King County Code or other laws that might occur at the Tent City 4 homeless encampment at the Echo Lake location.
This Agreement shall remain in effect until November 30, 2015.
4. OTHER PROVISIONS
4.1 Nothing contained herein is intended to, or shall be construed to, create any rights in any person or entity not a signatory to this Agreement, or to form the basis for any liability on the part of SHARE/WHEEL, the County, or their officials, employees, agents or representatives, to any person or entity not a signatory to this Agreement.
4.2 This Agreement contains the entire agreement of the Parties and any representations or understandings, whether oral or written, not incorporated herein are excluded.
4.3 This Agreement may be amended only by an instrument in writing, Page 3
duly executed by the Parties.
4.4 This Agreement and all amendments hereto shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Washington applicable to contracts made and to be performed therein, without giving effect to its conflicts of law rules or choice of law provisions. In the event that either Party shall bring a lawsuit related to or arising out of this Agreement, the Superior Court of King County, Washington shall have exclusive jurisdiction and venue.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the Parties hereto have executed this Agreement as of the latest date written below.
KING COUNTY SHARE/WHEEL
FACILITY MANGEMENT DIVISION
DEPARTMENT OF EXECUTIVE SERVICES
BY: _____________________________ BY: ___________________________
Director, Department of
Executive Services Scott Morrow, SHARE Consultant
Date: _____________________________ Date: ___________________________
Approved as to form: Approved as to form:
By: __________________________ By: __________________________
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Ted Hunter, Attorney for SHARE/WHEEL
Date: __________________________ Date: _________________________
UPDATE DECEMBER 27:
There is an emergency present that demands immediate preservation of public health, and extraordinary measures are required to protect the public peace, as well as the safety and welfare of individuals."
In light of this, why don't the campers of TC4 give up and scatter? Here's why:
This forces us to move - December 28th - without invitation. Mary, Queen of Peace Catholic Parish is Sammamish has started the permit process for Tent City4 to move there on , but that is 42 days away and can't be moved up.
Dear Friend of Tent City4:Late last night our Contact Person at Governor Inslee's Office informed us that they would not intervene in the Washington Parks' Decision to deny an extension of our time at Lake Sammamish State Park.
"3,772 were sleeping outside in the elements during our annual January census, the One Night Count. As we approach winter, those without homes are challenged even further to survive and the severity and magnitude of this emergency is beyond the response capability of local resources.
This excellent explanation of why Tent City4 will not scatter and will rather stay together, is a quotation from King County Executive Dow Constantines "Local Proclamation of Emergency" issued on November 2, 2015.
Thank you for all you have done to try and extend our stay at Lake Sammamish State Park. Now we must ask you to help us , as we move from that park to keep our word.
The two most immediate needsare these:
1) Help Us Move. It is going to be cold, and we are getting a late start. Both more willing hands and more transportation are needed. Work starts atand continues to dark. Bring work gloves if you've got them. There will probably be a little extra to come back and finish .
2) Urge the new Property Owner to let us stay together and safe. Word will come of how to do this once we have set down our tents - perhaps mid day. This information will come via email, website (www.sharewheel.org) and Facebook and Twitter.
There are several options to get to Tent City 4's present location. Easiest is hopping on a van at the SHARE Office (1902 Second Avenue) by morning (Office Opens at .)
If you are driving get off of I-90 in Issaquah at the East Lake Sammamish Parkway SE. Head north. Tent City 4 is at the Hans Jensen Campground on the east side of the Parkway. Park at the Boat Launch across the Parkway, walk across the Parkway, past the Rangers House and down the (muddy) dirt road. Can't miss us!
If you're taking the bus head to the Issaquah Transit Center. It has buses coming in from Northgate, Downtown Seattle, Overlake, Bear Creek and many other locations. Routes are geared to commuters, though, so you'll want to plan them out carefully.
Call us when you are en route - Camp Phone 206-618-3901/SHARE 206-448-7889/BackUp 206-450-9136 - and tell us what bus you on, when you'll get there, and you phone number. We'll come get you!
The Tent City4 Site Search Committee
UPDATE DECEMBER 22
UPDATE DECEMBER 17
The outpouring of physical and moral support from our new neighbors in Interbay has so been heartwarming!
So many people have dropped off items or sent things to the camp from their Amazon wish list.
SHARE is in the midst of a financial emergency. Through funding cuts and an increase in operational costs, we are running in the red at the of the year. Kindly consider showing your support by donating via Paypal at:
THANK YOU AGAIN AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM THE MEN AND WOMEN OF SHARE!
UPDATE DECEMBER 4
DONATE YOUR USED VEHICLE TO SHARE!
SHARE is desperately in need of used vehicles in good, running condition. Our fleet is down to just 4 vehicles,
many of them on their last legs. We use our vehicles to ferry blankets from our shelters for laundering, delivering supplies
to our shelters and tent cities, transporting SHARE participants to meetings and churches, and to allow our organizers
do their very important work. We are particularly in need of vans,mini vans, and passenger vehicles.
SHARE is a 501(c)3 and your donation is tax deductible. If you have a vehicle
to donate, or for more information, please email our Operations and Logistics Coordinator,
Sheri Rowe at email@example.com or leave her a message on SHARE voicemail
UPDATE NOVEMBER 28
Tent City 5 Interbay (3234 17th Ave. West)
on 17th W b/w W Dravus & W Bertona
INVITES YOU TO A WORK PARTY TO HELP BUILD TENT PLATFORMS!!
9 AM—4 PM
SATURDAY & SUNDAY
DECEMBER 5TH & 6TH JOIN US!!!
WE NEED HELPERS AND FRIENDS!
BRING YR TOOLS AND WORK GLOVES!
firstname.lastname@example.org (206) 956-0334
UPDATE NOVEMBER 20
Photos from Yesterday's Opening Ceremony for Tent City 5 Interbay with Mayor Ed Murray:
Want to help Tent City 5? Urgently needed are:
We're at 3234 17th Avenue West, between W Dravus and W Bertona.
UPDATE NOVEMBER 18
Dear Friends and Supporters of SHARE/WHEEL :
In light of the crisis of 57 outdoor/violent homeless deaths already this year in King County, we’re particularly thrilled and thankful to announce that SHARE/WHEEL’s Tent City5 Interbay will be starting TOMORROW, Thursday, November 19th. It’s been a long, hard road to get here, and we continue to be grateful to Mayor Murray for his strength of leadership in creating and seeing out a policy of city-sanctioned encampments. Beloved homeless community member Stacey Davis, who was murdered in the Interbay neighborhood over the summer, will be in our hearts and on our minds as we build this new camp.
Here are some details, requests and announcements:
TC5 INTERBAY OPENING 11 AM THURS 11/19: SHARE/WHEEL’s TENT CITY5 Interbay will open its gates at 11 AM tomorrow, Thursday, November 19th, and is at 3234—17th Avenue West, between W Dravus and W Bertona in Interbay (on the “D” bus line). Supporters, visitors and helpers are very welcome tomorrow and always! Food donations, tents, blankets, sleeping bags and other donations are welcome, and needed! We’ll be sponsoring a weekend work party at some point in the next few weeks to build tent platforms for the camp, and will announce that separately.
We’ll be starting tomorrow with experienced SHARE/WHEEL leaders, and will build the camp up over the next few weeks with donated and purchased materials.
For more info, or if you have questions, please contact the SHARE/WHEEL Office (206) 956-0334 or email email@example.com
Updates also will be posted on our website, www.sharewheel.org, and at our FB site www.facebook.com/shareshelters or on Twitter www.twitter.com/share_shelters
NICKELSVILLE WORK PARTY AT BALLARD SITE 9 AM SAT 11/21: Our brothers and sisters, the Nickelodeons, will also be opening a new encampment (with Tiny Houses), permit dependent, at 9 AM THIS SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 21st at 2826 NW Market Street in Ballard. They plan an all-day Work Party on Saturday, and sure could use help too. More info can be found at their NickelsvilleWorks FB site, or by calling (206) 450-9136.
We may do another shout-out for donations and needed materials later this week or early next.
Stay tuned, and thanks so much for your faithful and patient support!
UPDATE NOVEMBER 15, 2015
Dear Friends and Supporters of SHARE,
On November 2nd, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and King County Executive Dow Constantine joined together to declare the issue of homelessness in this area a “civil emergency”. We applaud the Mayor for taking this bold step and had real optimism about what this declaration might mean for SHARE and it’s sole mission to provide a warm, safe alternative to sleeping on the cold streets of Seattle.
Then we read it.
The City is only allotting $5.3 million towards addressing this emergency. Portland, which also declared a similar emergency and has half Seattle’s population, earmarked $30 million. Large chunks of that $5.3 million will go towards redundant studies of the root causes of homelessness and setting up a new $900,000 shelter for 100 people. 100 people when the latest One Night Count in March found over 3,000 people unsheltered in King County (an increase of 21% from 2014). With $900,000, SHARE could provide warm, safe shelter for roughly 400 people and, in an emergency, every bed counts.
Organizations like SHARE are the first responders when people become homeless and perhaps the most distressing thing about the Mayor’s declaration is that it includes funding SHARE to the tune of $0. That’s right, the Pacific Northwest’s largest and most cost efficient first responder was completely left out of the Mayor’s declaration.
SHARE is facing its own fiscal emergency and we need our friends and supporters to be first responders for us. The final Seattle City Council Vote on this years budget is Monday at 10:00 AM.
Please let the Seattle City Council People and the Mayor know your first priority is the City Supporting the Operating Costs of all Seattle Based Encampments.
Unfortunately, even when the money is allocated to do this, the Human Services Department has refused to release the funds. So in addition to asking for $300,000 in operating funds for encampments next year, remind the Council People and Mayor’s Office that they should release this year’s funding for trash removal and honey buckets to SHARE/WHEEL for the Seattle Based Tent City 3 and for Nickelsville.
While increasing funding for indoor emergency shelter is another obvious priority, other grassroots partners also have good community based solutions. Here are examples.
The Tenant’s Union directs their energy towards preventing homelessness. The Tenant’s Union of Seattle faces an uphill battle against greedy landlords and developers who displace low income renters with little notice and little conscience. Tell the City Council to provide the Tenants Union with resources for tenant education and organizing.
The Transit Riders Union is calling for Seattle Students to have Free Buss Passes. They will be presenting a petition to this effect tomorrow. Tell City Council People you support the TRU Student Bus Pass Petition!
Another on going need is hygiene services for homeless people. We urge everyone to ask City Council People to fund the Urban Rest Stop in the University District.
Email or call – let them know what you think before 10:00 AM tomorrow. Thank you for your support!
Councilmember Tim Burgess
Councilmember John Okamoto
Councilmember Jean Godden
Councilmember Bruce A. Harrell
Councilmember Nick Licata
Councilmember Mike O'Brien
Councilmember Tom Rasmussen
Councilmember Kshama Sawant
UPDATE NOVEMBER 2, 2015
11/2/15 STATEMENT OF THE SHARE ‘RED INK’ COMMITTEE about
Today’s City and County Announcement that
Homelessness is an Emergency in Seattle and King County.
The Mayor and County Executive Naming It an Emergency is One Step
Here’s what starting to DO something about it would look like:
First things first: The City and County Government would FUND existing shelter like the All Home Plan* directs them to. Without shelter tonight the crisis continues. But simple cost- effective shelter tonight is being shunned in favor of expensive programs helping far fewer people.
It’s not enough to SAY it’s an emergency and keep the Status Quo. The Status Quo Strategy has to change because it hasn't solved the emergency. Here are examples of the status quo that must change for the Emergency of Homelessness to be solved:
STATUS QUO: King County Completely Defunded SHARE - the most cost effective and largest shelter network in King County. Homelessness is rising because the alternatives - landlord liaisoning, rapid rehousing, computer tracking of homeless people, case management & etc – reach far fewer people and get next to no one off the street tonight.
STATUS QUO: Mayor Murray’s Brave and Unprecedented Step of allowing sanctioned encampments on City Land hasn’t been followed up by supporting basic camp operations. (Homeless people can’t afford them, just like they can’t afford paying for indoor shelter operations, landlord liaisoning, rapid rehousing, case management & etc.)
STATUS QUO: County Executive Constantine keeps denying Permit Applications to operate encampments on County Land. He should follow the lead of Governor Inslee and Mayor Murray, who have both permitted encampments on state and city lands without threatening sweeps.
STATUS QUO: City money set aside by the City Council to pay for Seattle’s two existing encampments – Nickelsville on Dearborn and Tent City3 – has been embargoed for no good reason. Seattle’s Human Service Departments refusal to even reimburse the costs of existing encampments has led to both SHARE and Nickelsville piling up thousands of dollars in debt.
*All Home Strategic Plan 2015-2019 Page 20:
“strategy 2.1: address crisis as quickly as possible
2.1.A Ensure sufficient shelter capacity, including the preservation of existing shelter 2.1.B Increase support and community education for crisis response needs, including interim survival mechanisms such as encampments and safe parking programs.”
SUPPORT HOUSING, SHELTER, TINY HOUSES & TENTS
CUT THE HOMELESS INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX’S BUREAUCRATIC PRIViLEGE!
Declaring a State of Emergency may sound like our elected officials are serious about doing something about homelessness in Seattle and King County but means nothing if resources fail to reach organizations, like SHARE, that are on the front lines in this battle to get homeless people off the park benches and sidewalks and into a tent or shelter tonight.
SHARE would like to open up more encampments and more shelters. The first step in ending homelessness is getting people off the streets TONIGHT. That means funding and dramatically increasing the supply of simple cost effective shelter. Nothing in today’s Declaration of Emergency suggests that will be done.
Note: There is ‘mystery money’ in the Mayor’s Proposed New Investment list for shelter. It’s $900,000 for 100 bed nights. (That’s only 1/5 of the money proposed to solve the emergency.) SHARE Shelters could do 4 times that many bed nights for that much money. This leads us to guess it’s probably for a long planned traditional shelter with all the bells and whistles. That’s fine, but why not 4 times as many people with the same amount of money?
Seattle and King County are rich, but they still have to spend some of their money on the first step of the real solution – shelter tonight – instead of the fancy stuff that doesn’t help 1/10th of the people sleeping outside tonight.
There is nothing in this Homelessness Declaration of Emergency that indicates a change of course – and the course that the County and City have been pursuing for the last 11 years has not solved homelessness – it’s increased.
It’s time to change course and make a priority of keeping people safe tonight!
The biggest clue that this is the same old strategy that hasn’t worked for the last 10 years comes from United Way. They twitter that:
United Way has NEVER supported SHARE’s indoor shelters or encampments. They seem bound and determined not to support simple shelter, and instead “strengthen current efforts” at rapid rehousing, HMIS, landlord Liasoning, case management and other expensive solutions that don’t provide the shelter thousands need tonight.
WHAT IS S.H.A.R.E.?
It’s Seattle Housing and Resource Effort! We’re a 25 year old organization of homeless and formerly homeless men and women who work to survive and solve homelessness together. Our 15 indoor shelters and 2 Tent Cities – plus 3 Housing for Work Sites – make us the largest shelter network in King County. Stay in touch – here’s our contact information:
SHARE P.O. Box 2548 Seattle, WA 98111
The Shelter Board Harvest Time Auction benifitting SHARE raised over $20,000 on Saturday night! We are overwhelmed and would like to thank the Shelter Board for all their hard work, setting up and organizing the Auction. It was a fantastic, moving night for attendees. We'd also like to thank:
Ed Mast who was the hilarious MC for the second year in a row.
Pat Simpson for her moving introductory prayer.
Kshama Sawant for her keynote speech.
Jarvis Capuscion and Andrew Constantino for their stirring speeches about SHARE's ongoing financial challenges and the part SHARE has played helping people move on from homelessness.
We'd especially like to thank all the good folks who attended the auction and whose generosity helped make it such a rousing success!
Last, but not least:
Thank you sponsoring this year’s Harvest Auction
as an Invitation and Publicity Sponsor
The Men and Women of SHARE
Please join us for the 13th Shelter Board Harvest Silent Auction and Dinner.
Our Speaker will be Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant and Ed Mast is returning as our Master of Ceremonies.
Time: Saturday, October 10th. Doors open at 5:00 PM.
Location: The Mountaineers Club - 7700 Sand Point Way NE .
Good News Update September 5
At around 5 PM Friday September 4th representatives of Seattle Human Services Department called SHARE to inform us that they are doing a 'contract amendment' with the United Way of King County. Once it is done $15,000 will be available to go toward SHARE's Honey Bucket debt for Tent City3! It could take up to 2 weeks for the contract amendment to be completed, but both parties are committed to resolving the problem.
SHARE is hopeful that Northwest Cascade will find this a sufficient commitment so that they can continue service while a long term plan to both pay the full debt and insure a sufficient cash flow for the future is developed.
Stay tuned and Thank You to Mayor Murray and the Team who met with SHARE on Friday that included Deputy Mayor Kim, Human Services Director Catherine Lester, Maggie Thompson and Jim Theofolis.
Also, big thanks to all our friends and supporters who responded to our call for action yesterday!!
Update September 3
Over 200 men, women and children living in SHARE’s encampments and shelters could find themselves without sanitation facilities on Labor Day unless a $25,000 payment is made by September 7th, to the good folks at Northwest Cascade.
SHARE owes $40,000 in, “Honey Bucket”, rental and service fees that the city of Seattle has delayed reimbursing SHARE for.
IIf Northwest Cascade does not receive the $25,000 payment by September 7th, they will be forced to remove the Honey Buckets. If this happens Northwest Cascade will not return the Honey Buckets until the entire balance of the debt is paid in full.
With no restrooms the health and sanitation of the encampments will be seriously compromised. Restroom facilities are required by the city, without which the encampments can be closed.
Encampment residents have stated repeatedly that they will not disband under any circumstances.
In a 2015-2016 Greensheet, TB78-Action1-OptionA, The city of Seattle has authorized Human Services Department (HSD) $100,000 to contract for services to assist persons in transitional encampments but has only released $20,000 of it so far.
This immediate crisis is one third of the ongoing financial facing SHARE that threatens the continuation of the shelter and encampment network. The other two problems are the failure of the United Way of King County to EVER fund SHARE Encampments and Shelters despite an annual budget of over One Hundred Million dollars, and the decision of Dow Constantine and his Staff to entirely cut the support of SHARE Shelters to ZERO in the 2015 County Budget.
All of these decisions fiy in the face of the 10 (plus 4) Year Plan to End Homelessness.
Northwest Cascade has been incredibly generous and has displayed a great deal of patience with SHARE. There is only so much Northwest Cascade can do and now it’s time for the city to stand by their word and live up to their obligations by providing SHARE with the money they promised.
SHARE is asking for the following:
1) Release directly to SHARE and Nickelsville the money requested to pay for trash removal and Tent City 3's Honey Buckets as intended by the City Council Budget Directive from last fall called Green Sheet 78-1-2a.
2) At the SHARE and Nickelsvile Encampments on City Property Treat SHARE and Nickelsville like all other providers of shelter who are supported with City Funding - reimburse them directly for services rendered. (In this case bed nights in the encampment.)
3) Denounce the DPD/HSD Director's Rule which does not reflect the intent of either the Encampment Ordinance passed by the City Council or last fall's City Council Green Sheet (78-1-A-1) for existing encampments. Give SHARE and Nickelsville the same discretion that other shelter providers have to pay all legitimate costs in the budget that has been approved and negotiated with the city. Do not require criminal history checks of everyone entering an encampment - an unprecedented invasion of previous for a simple safe place to sleep. Remove all extraneous verbiage.
4) Ask the Mayor’s Office to recognize that by withholding this money the City is complicating the opportunity for hardworking and organized poor and homeless people the ability to have a sanitary place to relieve oneself.
5) If the Mayor's Office says they don't want to help Tent City 3 because it's temporarily in Shoreline please remind them of the many times the Mayor has said there need to be REGIONAL solutions to homelessness, and that Seattle shouldn't be the only place providing shelter.
The Men and Women of SHARE
Update August 12
TC3 Open House will be this Saturday August 15th from 11a to 5pm. The camp will be giving tours, answering questions about how Tent City works, and giving testimonials on a day in the life at TC3. There will be Food (Hot dogs, Salads, Chips, etc.), Music, and a Scavenger hunt as part of the afternoon festivities. TC3 is located at St. Dunstan Episcopal Church 722 N 145th Street in Shoreline. The camp is in the rear parking lot of the church adjacent to the Interurban trail. Thank you for your support of Tent City 3
Facebook Event Page for Tent City 3 Open House
Update July 11
TENT CITY4 HAS MOVED
(eff 7/11/15) TO:
THE ECHO LAKE INTERCHANGE
the Snoqualmie Pkwy & Jacoby Exit
#208 bus, to this exit, walk back/under I-90
#206-618-3901 for info
Reach out to King County Executive Dow Constantine immediately. Tell him Tent City4 must stay together and safe, and that the County should help, not harm them. (206) 263-9600 firstname.lastname@example.org
Update July 10
HELP KEEP SHARE/WHEEL’S TENT CITY4 CAMPERS TOGETHER AND SAFE.
HELP US MOVE ( )
AT EXIT 20 OFF I-90
PEOPLE BRINGING VEHICLES
GET EXTRA POINTS!
In order to keep our word, and in the spirit of the King County permit we applied and paid for (but never received), SHARE/WHEEL’s Tent City4 must move , Saturday, July 11th. Despite extensive Eastside outreach and site searching, we have no invitation to a host site.
But, move we must—to a piece of property we’ve not been invited to.
We need help in two ways to keep our Tent City4 community together and safe:
1) Help us move! Vehicles and people-power are needed! Start time is (206) 448-7889 for more information. , Saturday July 11th, and we are currently at exit 20 off I-90. Call
2) Reach out to King County Executive Dow Constantine immediately. Tell him Tent City4 must stay together and safe, and that the County should help not harm them. (206) 263-9600 email@example.com
Update June 29
SHAM OR PLAN?
Read the letter SHARE will be presenting to Council Candidates tonight at the Our City Coalition Rally
June 27, 2015
Dear Council Candidate:
We the members of S.H.A.R.E. face the closure of our entire shelter and encampment network at any time. It is the largest shelter/encampment network in King County with 15 indoor shelters and 2 Tent Cities. SHARE is $50,000 behind in payments, due primarily to King County Government completely defunding us and the United Way of King County never funding us.
Both these groups are founders and leaders in the Committee to End Homelessness in King County and have agreed to work together on both the 10 Year Plan and its four year extension. SHARE has agreed to this also.
Your leadership is needed. We ask you to publically call for King County Government and the United Way of King County to support SHARE Shelters. There are two reasons:
First, SHARE shelters are inarguably successful. They are existing shelters which are uniquely effective and far less expensive than existing alternatives.
The number of people who need shelter in King County went up 21% this year and the number of our homeless brothers and sisters who have died outside or by violence is at a horrific high already this year: 30. Supporting existing shelters and encampments so that they can continue is the humane thing to do.
It is hard to understand how the powers that be justify not supporting existing shelters which offer maximal return on the dollar and treat homeless people with respect and dignity.
Our shelters offer hundreds of homeless men and women an honest chance at finding and maintaining work while getting sleep, keeping their possessions, and, with considerable difficulty, pulling themselves out of their circumstances, a chance which most other versions of homelessness categorically do not. Our version is also much safer and much cheaper than the alternatives.
SECONDLY, the CEH Plan to End or at least make “brief’ homelessness commits both King County Government and the United Way of King County to supporting existing shelters. It says right there in 2.1.a: of their new planning document:
“Ensure sufficient shelter capacity, including the preservation of existing shelter.”
The plan is right. That should be done. What is the point of this plan if it isn’t followed? What is the point of saying one thing and doing another? If the plan is a sham, especially when human lives are at stake, to participate in this hypocrisy would put us further away from doing the right thing – solving homelessness.
For the last three years many of us have gone to every CEH Governing Board Meeting. They know – and the CEH Interagency Council was told this verbally and in writing also – what is needed for our community to survive.
At Tuesday’s CEH Governing Board Meeting we hope to hear that King County Government and the United Way of King County are committed to funding SHARE – that they are committee to what they both promised in the CEH Plan to “ensure sufficient shelter capacity, including the preservation of existing shelter.’
We are calling on you to name SHARE Shelters as worthy of the support and partnership of King County Government and the United Way, and to be clear you expect their actions to be consistent with their commitments.
Thank you for your consideration.
Participants in the SHARE Community, by vote of the SHARE Power Lunch/Board of Directors
Update June 26
Our Rolling Educational Sleepouts campaign will culminate in a large Sleepout on Monday, June
29th,on the eve of the Committee to End Homelessness’s Governing Board Meeting in Georgetown
on June 30th.
Join us for a Community Rally, where we will hear candidates in the upcoming local elections share with us their plans for ending homelessness in Seattle and King County!
Monday, June 29 in Georgetown.
Hat 'n Boots (Oxbow) Park, 6430 Corson Ave S.
5:30 PM: Community Meal
6:30 PM: Rally & Speak-out
We invite you to stay for the overnight sleepout (mats and blankets provided).
Tues. morning after breakfast we march to the Gov. Board Mtng. of the Committee to End Homelessness,
8:30 AM @ 6737 Corson Ave S.
Below are the poster and flyer for the event. Please feel free to make copies and Alert the Universe!
Update June 21
Join the men and women of SHARE's Safe Haven shelter this evening as we
Sleepout in front of the King County Jail.
If SHARE shelters are forced to close due to lack of funding, where will the 450
SHARE participants go to sleep each night?
Average daily cost for King County Jail Inmate in 2014 = $192.85
Daily cost for a person in the SHARE Shelter Network in 2014 = $4.66
Update June 19
Join the men and women of SHARE's Gift of Grace Shelter
tonight as our Educational Sleepouts keep rolling along.
Friday's location is Cowen Park 5849 15th Ave NE in Seattle.
We'll be there starting at 9pm. Join us!
Update June 13
6/13/15 Good News Update
SHARE Shelters Still Open!
Despite owing $60,000 in back bills, SHARE Indoor Shelters (15) and Encampments (2) continue to operate! Since the SHARE Shelter’s Educational Rolling Shelter Closures Campaign began on June 1st $13,500 in previously unbudgeted support has been received by SHARE.
This campaign will continue every other night until June 29th 2015 where it will culminate with a Sleep out right before the King County Committee to End Homelessness (CEH) Governing Board Meeting the next morning. So far we have been well received by the public, who has been very supportive and receptive to our cause.
TONIGHT’S SLEEP OUT IS IN FRONT OF THE VACANT
FEDERAL RESERVE BUILDING AT 1061 2ND AVENUE
Today the SHARE Power Lunch/Board of Directors democratically chose this location because the Federal Government has led the way in FAILING to solve or try to solve homelessness (i.e. cutting the budget dramatically for the last 25 years in the area of funding for the construction and preservation of low cost housing.)
PLUS the Federal Government is demanding that Counties and Cities create Homelessness Plans that are required to include the computer tracking of homeless people (or funds are withdrawn.)
PLUS the Federal Government should have let the Vacant Federal Reserve Building at 1061 2nd Avenue by turned over to homeless groups – as required by the Federal McKinney Act – instead of auctioned off to a still secret bidder.
Monday night the Rolling SHARE Indoor Shelter Educational Sleep Out Campaign will sleep out in front of the United Way of King County Headquarters, and Wednesday Night it will move to the King County Chinook Building where County Executive Constantine has his office.
Recently SHARE has set up Facebook and Twitter accounts the links to those pages are:
TONIGHT: (206) 450-9136SHARE OFFICE (206) 448-7889
Update June 10, 2015
Our Rolling Educational Sleepouts are rolling along!! The first two nights (at the Chinook building on Sunday and United Way HQ last night) went splendidly. The SHARE community turned out in force, as did members of our host sites and other supporters. We handed out over 1,000 informational leaflets and got a great reception from people passing by.
Join the small but mighty community of women from the New Lakeview shelter at our Sleepout tomorrow night (June 11) at the Chinook building (401 5th Ave in downtown Seattle) starting at 9pm.
and Facebook: www.facebook.com/shareshelters
5 June 2015
Dear SHARE Supporter:
We’d like to thank you for the support and kindness you and your communities have shown the SHARE community.
For the past six or more years we’ve struggled financially, without enough stable, ongoing, large-scale support to survive. The balancing act with bill-paying we’ve done all these years is no longer sustainable: Right now, SHARE is more than $60,000 in debt, and will be unable to continue our operations for much more than a month.
This crisis point has come due to a number of factors: government funding cuts and delays, rising costs, reimbursable contracts, and lack of funding support despite repeated requests from several entities (like United Way) that have the power to help us.
SHARE is so interconnected and cost-effective that a cut-off in one area can cause the rest of our projects to crash. Before that disastrous crash happens, we are doing a month-long campaign to educate the wider community and shine a light on what SHARE does and how important it is that the SHARE communities remain open, properly funded, and positioned to grow and do more.
This every-other-night educational process through June will be comprised of a series of rolling, one-night shelter closures to help the wider community see what might happen if SHARE were forced to shut down. Instead of closing and disappearing quietly into the predations of the night, each shelter will relocate for that night to a part of the wider community that could benefit from education. Shelter participants who do not wish to be part of the educational campaign will be welcomed at other SHARE communities for the night their shelter will be closed.
These 9 PM--9 AM educational sleepouts will continue, every other night, through the month of June, and will culminate in a large Sleepout on Monday, June 29th, on the eve of the Committee to End Homelessness’s Governing Board Meeting in Georgetown on June 30th.
The SHARE community is kicking off this campaign at 9 PM THIS SUNDAY, June 7, 2015, outside the King County Chinook Building (at 401 Fifth Avenue). Please join us.
Here are some ways you can help us:
SUNDAY JUNE, 7th=University Friends Shelter at the Chinook Bldg (401—5th Ave)
TUESDAY, JUNE 9th=Christ Episcopal Church Shelter at United Way HQ (720—2nd Ave)
THURSDAY, JUNE 11th==New Lakeview Shelter at the Chinook Building (401—5th Ave)
Without shelter, people die. Without SHARE, hundreds of people would be less likely to survive, thrive, and share their gifts and skills in Seattle. What a loss that would be to us all!
Thanks so much! We wouldn’t have survived this long without you!
The Men and Women of SHARE
UPDATE APRIL 20
GET READY!!!!! MARK YOUR CALENDARS!!! GIVE BIG!!!!
TUESDAY MAY 5th 2015 from 12:01 am to 11:59pm
Mark your calendars now for the annual online giving event, where The Seattle Foundation and generous community sponsors will stretch each gift you give during the day, making a BIG impact on the lives of homeless people. If you choose to donate to SHARE this year May 5th 2015 is a great day.
Why? Because the Seattle Foundation will match a percentage of your donation, and SHARE/WHEEL will get an additional bonus.
Your donation will go further via SHARE/WHEEL; because we run the most cost effective shelter network in King County. Every dollar makes a difference. SHARE/WHEEL has been a valuable source of survival, safety, and empowerment for homeless men and women for 25 years now. We are breaking new ground on a new Tent City and look forward to adding additional, much needed shelter. With recent major policy shifts in the City, and with your generous giving, our self-managed shelters will keep running and have room to grow.Go here to Donate! → http://www.seattlefoundation.org/npos/Pages/SHAREWHEEL.aspx ☺
Community Update April 4, 2015
On Monday the Seattle City Council unanimously voted to have three encampments on city owned or private land! This is a remarkable victory and many many are to be thanked!
Last November, the city approved $100,000 for operations of existing encampments. The funds should have been available January 1, 2015. As of today, April 2, 2015, funds have not been made available. Catherine Lester, Interim Director of the Seattle Human Services Department was asked about this at her Confirmation Hearing on April 13, 2015 at 9:00 am.
So far, Catherine Lester has been unable to provide a direct answer. Councilwoman Sawant showed great courage in abstaining from voting on Ms. Lesters’ confirmation until this is cleared up.
SHARE has a meeting with Catherine Lester on April 14, 2015 to discuss the issue of the $100,000 if she is voted Director of Seattle Human Services Department.
Catherine Lester has repeatedly been informed that Nickelsville is not a part of SHARE. She still does not seem to understand that Nickelsville is not a part of SHARE and stated that the only people who have asked her for money is SHARE for Nickelsville…SHARE has not asked for Nickelsville. NICKELSVILLE IS NOT A PART OF SHARE.
Something is not quite right at the Human Services Department.
SHARE is late on $80,000 worth of bills. SHARE owes $36,000 of this to Honey Bucket companies between Tent City 3, 4 and St Lukes Shelter. They could all close if the bill isn’t paid soon.
The city wants to cut out SHARE’s relationship with Honey Bucket companies. We know the motivation behind this idea. If Tent Cities move to a place the city does not like, the city can threaten to terminate contracts with the Honey Bucket companies.
We are not bringing in the money to lessen our debt and spending more than we are taking in.
We have enough bus tickets to cover us for the month.
We thank you for your continued support. You are a great strength to us in helping us to have the opportunity to save and better our lives.
Updated March 19,2015 3:34pm
Dear Friends of WHEEL/Church of Mary Magdalene Women in Black:
From noon to 1 PM next Wednesday (March 25th) we will stand vigil AGAIN outside the Seattle Justice Center (5th/Cherry), this time for Margaret Pitka, 41. She is the woman who was shot to death in her ad hoc tent encampment at 8th/Yesler early this past Saturday morning. No suspect has been apprehended in this murder. Margaret was an Alaskan Native woman, and she leaves behind at least one child. She was beloved. This vigil also will be for Albert No Heart, 59, beloved Chief Seattle Club member who was found dead in Victor Steinbrueck (Market) Park on March 7th. The cause of his death is pending.
The King County homeless community has experienced unprecedented, horrible death and loss in 2015. Just in the first 10 weeks of the year, at least 16 homeless women and men have died outside or by violence, many of terrible causes like murder, fire, and death-on-the-freeway. Emergency shelters—especially shelters for women and families—are over-full.
Our vigils are silent, respectful memorials and acts of witness, but they also are a cry for justice, and a Call to Action. We ask you to stand vigil—and to take action—with us.
Below are our current Women in Black “Action Items" during this time of crisis. These are specifics of what we've been working on outside of our vigils, and they are steps we urgently ask you, our supporters, to act on, today, for the sake of our homeless community's survival:
SHARE/WHEEL's Tent City 4 AGAIN Submits Permit Application to King County (for New Present Location). Call Dow Constantine Now to Grant New Permit Application!!
1) SHARE/WHEEL'S TENT CITY4: King County must act NOW to support and to host SHARE/WHEEL’s Tent City4, currently encamped on public land in Issaquah (off I-90, exit 20). King County Executive Dow Constantine must grant Tent City4’s permit application for the County land they are currently using: firstname.lastname@example.org, (206) 263-9600. For more info or timely updates, visit www.sharewheel.org or call (206) 448-7889.
2) SEATTLE ENCAMPMENT ORDINANCE AND ALL-ZONE AMENDMENT: The Seattle City Council must vote to approve additional Organized Encampments on public land, and to open up the potential of siting them in ALL ZONES of the City, since homeless people are living, and dying, all over our City. The vote on the City Encampment Ordinance has been delayed to 3/30, giving us more time to assure its passage with the crucial All-Zone amendment proposed by Councilmember Sawant (and now supported by Councilmembers Licata, O'Brien and Bagshaw). Please focus your advocacy on Councilmembers Rasmussen (email@example.com) and Harrell (firstname.lastname@example.org); just one of their votes would make a majority on the Amendment!
3) NEW, ADDITIONAL LOW-BARRIER WOMEN'S SHELTER: More women’s shelter is desperately needed! For the past 15 years, WHEEL itself has sponsored and staffed a low-barrier, loving, come-as-you are women’s emergency shelter that now--thanks to our community advocacy and funding from the City--will operate year-round. This shelter—currently at Sacred Heart Hall—has a stated capacity of 50 women, but will not turn women in need away. We’ve averaged more than 60 women a night these past two months, and some nights have sheltered nearly 80 women! Such numbers cannot be supported over time; an ADDITIONAL low-barrier women’s shelter is desperately needed right now.
A coalition of women’s shelter providers agrees, and soon will propose such an additional shelter, at a new location, staffed by a different organization than WHEEL. The City of Seattle will be asked to fund this shelter, and must act quickly on this community proposal to create and support critically-needed additional emergency shelter for homeless women.
The City must also act quickly to release already-approved funding to support basic encampment needs and other additional shelters. We’ll provide more details and specific action steps regarding this “ask” next week.
These “Calls to Action” are made in the name of the 16 people who’ve lost their lives to homelessness already this year in King County. JOIN US! Please contact WHEEL if you need more specific information or have questions about our vigils or about our Calls to Action.
PLEASE also join our vigil next week, if you are able to. It always helps our hearts to have our supporters stand with us!
WHEEL/Women in Black
Also, Metro service to Tent City 4's current location is extremely limited. If you can loan SHARE/WHEEL a vehicle for Tent City 4 to use solely for shuttle service back and forth to the Issaquah Transit Center, call us-We can insure the vehicle and the driver!!
UPDATE ON SHARE/WHEEL’s TENT CITY 4 March 16, 2015
Keep reading until the end--that’s where it’s explained how you can help.
It’s Monday, March 16th—Day 3 of Tent City4 at High Point on I-90 Exit 20, Metro Bus 108.
Tent City4 had a lot of ups and downs this weekend:
First, in spite of hundreds of calls and emails, County Executive Constantine refused to issue a permit for a mothballed County Park. Then he went one step further and put construction vehicles all over the perfectly usable parking lot and buttressed them with County Sheriff Cars on the perimeter. (But he hasn’t brought up a viable alternative site east of Lake Washington.)
That made it time for Plan B: WDOT Land between Issaquah and Preston--Exit 20.
Saturday it didn’t rain as much as expected, and a lot got done. Sunday, the Ides of March, it rained more, but TC4 Driver Wendell was determined. Unfortunately, another car hit our Handy Andy 24-Ft Truck on its way back to the Old Site in Skyway to finish up the move. Both vehicles in the wreck are in terrible shape, and we’re grateful the drivers will be ok.
It also rained a heck of a lot Sunday.
Now we’re settling in.
Thanks to all our friends who have called Executive Constantine, helped with the move, brought us Dinner last night, and are offering us suggestions and listening.
Unfortunately the struggle isn’t over. Last night the camp met and decided to:
1) Agree to move when a suitable site on the Eastside of Lake Washington becomes available, and to actively continue the search.
2) Make clear to the property owner—the Washington Department of Transportation—that we appreciate their patience and we will work with them.
3) Encourage County Executive Constantine to change course and begin working with the homeless community. Two excellent first steps would be:
a) Either rescind the Permit Denial and remove the Construction Vehicles taking up the Parking Lot at the County owned, mothballed Issaquah Campground or find another location for SHARE/WHEEL’s Tent City4 using King County Land and Resources
b) Reverse the defunding of SHARE by King County Government so that more people can be safely sheltered (SHARE is King County’s largest and most cost effective shelter network.)
4) Keep running a good camp wherever we are!
HERE IS WHAT WE’RE ASKING OUR FRIENDS TO DO:
1) Call Governor Inslee. Tell him that you appreciate the Washington Department of Transportation working humanely with Tent City4.
2) Call County Executive Constantine. Ask him to reconsider his denying our Permit for staying at the mothballed Issaquah Campground OR to find us other County Land to stay on eastside of Lake Washington Encourage him to reconsider denying SHARE money in the 2015 County Budget that they need to operate King County’s largest and most cost effective shelter network.
3) Help with daily needs of the camp. Visitors, as well as food, water and garbage bags are appreciated.
Call the camp about these items: (206) 618-3901
While the site has bus service, it could be more frequent and start earlier and end later. Plus, it doesn’t run on Weekends.
A Car or Van is needed for regular shuttles between Exit 20/High Point and the Issaquah Transit Center. (This will solve the significant gaps in public transportation.)
SHARE does have vehicle and driver insurance! We would only use the vehicle for people shuttling back and forth between the Issaquah Transit Center and Camp.
Call SHARE at (206) 448-7889 to loan a vehicle or offer us advice and/or suggestions on a new site!
CALL COUNTY EXECUTIVE CONSTANTINE AT (206) 263-9600 or email KCEXEC@KINGCOUNTY.GOV
If you’d like to see the emails sent to the Governor and to King County Executive Constantine Call Us at (206) 448-7889 or email us email@example.com.
UPDATE 2:30 PM SATURDAY MARCH 14TH:
TENT CITY4 HAS MOVED TO ITS NEW LOCATION: Near EXIT 20 (The High Point Exit) off I-90! Take this Exit, and then go right and then left! You'll see the camp from there.
URGENT: So far, we haven't been approached by any Sheriffs. PLEASE CALL/EMAIL KING COUNTY SHERIFF JOHN URQUHART NOW at firstname.lastname@example.org, (206) 296-4155 and tell him not to arrest the homeless people of SHARE/WHEEL's Tent City4 for staying together and safe. PLEASE KEEP CALLING/EMAILING KING COUNTY EXECUTIVE DOW CONSTANTINE. Ask him to reconsider his decision NOT to grant TC4 a permit for the unused Issaquah Highlands Campground, and tell him also NOT to arrest TC4 folks! He's at (206) 263-9600 or email@example.com
Supporters are very welcome to come for a visit--if you come, please bring trash bags and bottled water if you're able to. Food's always welcome too.
MORE INFO: (206) 448-7889 or firstname.lastname@example.org
PS Here are weekday bus service directions; this METRO service is weekday only: In downtown Seattle, catch the eastbound Sound Transit 554 bus, and ride to the Issaquah Park and Ride bus station. There, transfer to the Metro 208 minibus. Get off at the High Point bus stop, at the first freeway interchange past Issaquah (exit 20).
posted Friday March 13, 2015
KEEP TENT CITY4 CAMPERS TOGETHER AND SAFE.
HELP THEM MOVE TOMORROW (3/14/15) WORK BEGINS AT 7:30 AM, MOVING STARTS AT NOON
PEOPLE BRINGING VEHICLES GET EXTRA POINTS!
‘Even with all the land King County has the County Executive won’t permit homeless people to use even 7,000 sq.feet?’ That was the first stunned reaction of many TC4 campers tonight upon learning their Permit Application was denied. That was the second stunned reaction of many TC4 campers tonight upon learning the Permit Application was denied.
TC4 Camp Adviser Sam Roberson has seen Issaquah Highland Campgrounds on the Issaquah – Renton Road. He still can’t believe the Permit Denial letter from King County called this mothballed campground “unsafe and unsanitary.”
“I saw the property with my own eyes” Sam said “and that’s not true. If they’ll deceive about that, why should I believe it when they say County financing for this property won’t allow homeless people to use it? Its hogwash and that’s why they won’t even show us the paperwork.”
“It doesn’t matter; Constantine just doesn’t want to help. If he did, he’d have found a way – the county has plenty to help with. I guess tomorrow we’ll find out it if he’s willing to arrest us to hide how much worse the problem of homelessness has become under his watch.”
TENT CITIES PRESENT LOCATION IS AT 12914 Martin Luther King Jr Way South – Bus #101
MORE INFORMATION: email@example.com (206) 448-7889
The camp thanks the hundreds of people who emailed or called with support.
CALL KING COUNTY SHERIFF JOHN URQHART
firstname.lastname@example.org (206) 296-4155
AND ASK HIM TO NOT ARREST HOMELESS PEOPLE
who are harming no one while struggling to
STAY TOGETHER AND SAFE
Posted March 12, 2015
Call County Executive Dow Constantine Today! Ask him to give SHARE/WHEEL’s Tent City4 a Permit to move Saturday to the presently mothballed Issaquah Highlands Campground
(206) 263-9600 // KCEXEC@KINGCOUNTY.GOV
Tent City4 must move by Saturday March 14th back to the Eastside of Lake Washington. We have located a mothballed King County Campground. It was bought from a Logger by an Environmental Organization who then sold it to King County. Now they are deciding how to use it in the future.
SHARE/WHEEL has applied for a permit, and Blessed Teresa of Calcutta Parish has promised to pay normal daily campground fees to the County. In 4 months we’ll leave it better than we found it!
All we are asking for is 7,000 square feet of this 910,404 sq ft property! (The presently unused Tennis Courts would be great)
Last winter Governor Inslee let us use Lake Sammamish State Park for TC4. Last October Mayor Murray let TC3 use land near I-5 and Ravenna for several months. Call Executive Constantine (former co-chair of the Committee to End Homelessness in King County) and encourage him to be a leader too!
(Purchased by the Trust for Public Land and then Resold to King County just last year.)
Issaquah Highlands Recreational Club
(presently mothballed) Campground
(206) 263-9600 // KCEXEC@KINGCOUNTY.GOV
TO KEEP TENT CITY4 TOGETHER AND SAFE!
Come Help us Move 11:00 AM Saturday at present site –
12709 Martin Luther King Jr Way South Skyway
Double Check Saturday Move Time Friday Night on SHARE/WHEEL Website – www.sharewheel.org
Or call (206) 448-7889. Bring 33 Gallon Garbage Bags Saturday if you Can!
Friends of SHARE and WHEEL:
Below is the flier handed out to passersby at the Women in Black vigil held Wednesday March 4, 2015 in front of Seattle's Justice Center. Please read it, and then take action if you feel the call.
SHARE's Communication Work Group
MORE SHELTER AND ORGANIZED ENCAMPMENTS ARE NEEDED NOW!
ALL OVER THE CITY!
Every time a homeless person is found dead outside or dies by violence in King County, WHEEL (a homeless women’s organizing effort) and Mary’s Place (an empowerment ministry for women and children) mobilize for our silent witnessing vigil called Women in Black. JOIN US!
From newspaper reports and confirmed by the King County Medical Examiners, we learned that a homeless man was found dead in his campsite near I-90 on Wednesday, February 25th, after his tent caught fire. He is Ngo Tho Huyhn, 49, and he died of burns and smoke inhalation. This has been ruled to be an accident.
We are standing vigil today to honor and remember Mr Huyhn. Our hearts are with his family and friends.
At least 45 homeless people died outside or by violence in King County in 2014, and at least eight already this year, some by very terrible causes, outside and alone. Here is our death list:
CAUSE OF DEATH: WHO: WHEN: WHERE:
We will stand vigil again same time & place NEXT Wednesday (3/11) for Dillon Lesnick, 21, whose death was just shared with us. (There might be more names, too, since we are due a new list of homeless deaths from the King County Medical Examiners.) Stand with us! Our hearts are broken as we stand here alone, wondering: Where is the community outcry?
JOIN US as we demand and work on providing more shelter and encampments NOW!
ALSO, PLEASE JOIN US IN THESE RESOLUTIONS:
1. WE WILL RESOLVE TO BE A COMMUNITY, homeless and housed, together. Homelessness is not just a loss of housing, it is a loss of community. Take an emotional inventory of your own negative attitudes toward homeless people. Do you involve them as part of your community? If negative perceptions hold you back, how can you deal with them?
2. WE WILL SUPPORT CREATION OF NEW, ORGANIZED ENCAMPMENTS IN ALL ZONES IN SEATTLE: The 2015 One Night Count of Unsheltered Homeless people showed an unprecedented 21% increase—to 3,772 women, men and children outside, county-wide. Every neighborhood, and every community is affected. There are homeless people sleeping outside in dangerous conditions all over our City. Already this year two homeless men, including Mr Huyhn, for whom we stood today, have died in unsanctioned, ad hoc campsites in greenbelts in the central City. It is not safe or hygienic to go it alone like this; organized encampments with hygiene services are what’s needed.
Mayor Murray has taken the unprecedented, bold and compassionate step of proposing development of--and support for--three new organized encampments on public land, with public support, here in Seattle. The Seattle City Council now is considering an ordinance regarding encampments, and necessary and good amendments to the Council legislation have been proposed.
This Encampment Legislation needs to be passed, but WITH the Amendments proposed by Councilmember Sawant (and supported by Councilmembers O’Brien and Licata), ESPECIALLY the Amendment that opens up siting encampments in ALL ZONES in the City. (The current proposed Ordinance allows them only in Industrial Zones, a narrow swath of land that spans the central City.)
Here’s why this Amendment to allow encampments in all zones is important and necessary:
PLEASE IMMEDIATELY contact Seattle City Councilmembers and urge them to PASS the Encampment Ordinance legislation WITH the All-Zone Siting Amendment. PLEASE ESPECIALLY FOCUS ON COUNCILMEMBERS RASMUSSEN, BAGSHAW and HARRELL, who could be the “Swing Votes” on this measure.
Update February 28,2015
HELP PROTECT HOMELESS PEOPLES’ FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS TO
INFORMED CONSENT AND PRIVACY!
Homeless people’s organizations WHEEL and SHARE strongly oppose the reversal of Informed Consent practice and law, as represented by a new Bill (Senate Bill 5898) currently being considered by the WA State legislature. This bill relates to the uploading of homeless people’s personal data into a central database called the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS).
The HMIS system in Washington State is currently an Opt-In System, requiring meaningful informed consent and people choosing explicitly—by signing a form—to waive their personal privacy rights. SB 5898 would reverse the system of consent-giving from Opt-In to Opt-Out.
Our opposition is extremely strong, and is three-fold:
Please help us preserve homeless people’s rights to consent and privacy! Go to the WA State Legislature’s Bill Information Home Page, and read the information about SB 5898: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary.aspx?bill=5898&year=2015
Click on “Comment about this Bill” and please submit a comment in opposition to this Bill. Please focus especially on the “Ways and Means” Committee, which is considering this Bill soon. (See reverse for contact info.)
For more information, contact WHEEL, a grassroots organizing effort of homeless and formerly homeless women: (206) 956-0334 or email@example.com
UPDATE 4 PM MONDAY, JANUARY 26TH: WE HAVE A PERMIT FOR DAYTIME DEMONSTRATIONS ON THE WEST CAPITOL GROUNDS, AND ARE AT THE TIVOLI FOUNTAIN (200 yards east of the Capitol Dome). We're still negotiating nighttime sleeping accommodations, but will be in the community room of LIHI's Fleetwood Apartments (near Sylvester Park) and at a local church.
AT 7 PM TOMORROW, TUESDAY, JANUARY 27TH, WE'LL HAVE A RALLY WITH SPEAKERS AND MUSIC. WE'LL RALLY AGAIN AROUND 7 AM WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 28TH before marching to the Governing Board Meeting. JOIN US!
Join occupy cehkc for a sleepout in Olympia January 26, 27 and 28 and speak truth to power!
Homelessness needs real solutions, not gongs and photo ops.
· Invest in building and preserving affordable housing
· Quality encampments and shelters in the meantime
· End unfair foreclosures
· Improve public transportation and add low-income fares
· Rent Control
· No more blaming/tracking the victims through the Homeless Management Information (HMIS) system. Preserve our dignity and rights to informed consent and privacy.
Calendar of Events:
MONDAY, JANUARY 26th: We’re setting up camp!
TUESDAY, JANUARY 27TH: We meet with legislators and (perhaps) the Governor! In the evening, a rally with music and speakers.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 28TH: We march to and occupy the Governing Board Meeting of CEHKC. Afterwards, we break down camp.
Occupy CEHKC is a coalition of WHEEL, SHARE, Nickelsville, TRU and SAFE. www.occupycehkc.org
is the Occupy the Committee to End Homelessness in King County Coalition (SAFE, TRU, SHARE, WHEEL & Nickelsville)
Camping Out in Olympia?
Because Homeless People can’t afford having the Governing Board of the Committee to End Homelessness in King County and their co-optees in Olympia unchaperoned!
Background: The Committee to End Homelessness in King County Governing Board decided to kick off 2015 by leaving King County and having their quarterly meeting in Thurston County. They and several co-optees will be heading south to Olympia on January 28th. The goal is to persuade State Government to follow an ineffective agenda of the same old co-options:
· Making it easier to track homeless people through the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS).
· Buying into a “brand new” 3-Year Extension of the (same old) 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness that wound up with more homeless people now than when it started.
· Awarding State Politicians with a Symbol of Seriousness (a solemn gong-banging photo op) BEFORE getting any substance (or seriousness) in return.
OCCUPY CEHKC IS GOING TO OLYMPIA TO DO WHAT REALLY NEEDS DOING:
· Persuade the State to stop paying for the computerized tracking of homeless people, and under no circumstances allow this tracking to be done with out homeless peoples’ explicit, informed consent.
· Move funding from computer tracking, landlord liaisoning and studying long-term shelter-stayers into quality encampments and shelters for the interim until we win
· Massive new investments to preserve and build affordable housing AND get it preserved and built!
· Start the fight for local Rent Control
· Pass State Legislation to cut back on unfair home foreclosures
· Expand low-income peoples’ access to quality public transportation
Around 3:30 PM Friday 10/17/14 SPD Posted TC3 with numerous warnings that they will be swept on Wednesday, October 22nd - that's the day the Committee to End Homelessness Governing Board Meets, co-chaired by our Mayor, Meets. Many folks from Tent City3 will be Marching to the Governing Board Meeting, leaving Westlake Mall Park at around 7:00 AM. Please join us if you can - and consider posting this information on your Facebook Page or Email List.
This Week’s Key SHARE (and WHEEL) Dates:
1) Tuesday October 21st Occupy CEHKC Sleep Out/Rally/March begins at 12 PM Westlake Mall Park
3) Tuesday October 21st TRU March for Seattle METRO starts at 4:00 PM @ Westlake Park
4) Tuesday October 21st Occupy CEHKC Rally @ Westlake Park 5:30 PM followed by Dinner and Sleep Out
5) Wednesday October 22 D Date for SPD Sweeping TC3
6) Wednesday October 22 Occupy CEHKC marches on CEHKC Governing Board Meeting (co-chaired by Mayor Murray.) 7 AM Wake Up In, or Meet up At Westlake Mall Park at 7 AM
The "Ask" of Mayor Murray is simple: Let TC3 stay where they are until Seattle Pacific University can host them. There may be churches that will take on the legal obligations that makes this kosher under the Seattle Religiouis Encampment Ordinance & it's what the CEHKC Crisis Response Plan says to do.
7) Thursday October 23rd @ 1:00 PM Mayors Unsheltered Homelessness Task Force holds first of a couple meetings (in secret.) There are some good folks on this Committee, dominated by the usual sharks and wolves in sheeps clothing.
8) Thursday October 23rd @ 5:30 PM. City Council Budget Hearing. Are you surprised there is no new money in the Mayors Budget for SHARE, WHEEL, the Urban Rest Stop or Encampments?
Phone Numbers: Mayor Murray's Phone Number '684-4000 (voice mail usually full.)
Citizens Service Bureau 684-2489. SHARE 448-7889