Images of Tent City 4

Looks like the lawsuit from a groups of Mercer Island residents against Tent City 4 is official, per the Seattle P-I. For those of you, like me, who want to see more about what it’s really like:

Youtube has a “mini-documentary” on Tent City IV which is more a melange of images than a real story, but it’s a good place to see what a typical encampment looks like and hear some voices from it.

And here’s a post from a blogger’s visit to Tent City IV in Kirkland last November. It’s a comprehensive post, with interviews with two residents and the all-important first-hand impressions: “The place seemed safe and organized.” There’s also a good summary of homeless data from King County and an extensive list of sources.

Finally, there’s a good NPR piece on Tent City 4 that you can find in an earlier post. the comments on that post- there have been many- show the healthy ongoing debate on Tent City 4 moving to our community.

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12 responses to “Images of Tent City 4

  1. Sad to hear about this ongoing selfishness. We’ve had tent city 2 blocks from our house for the last three summers and it’s been drama free. Biggest impact was more people riding buses in the area. I’m not the religious type but I believe in charity and being willing to give. Why doesn’t Mercer Island feel the responsibility?

  2. mercerislandblogger

    jseattle, thanks for the comment. Personal experience inform the discussion in a way news stories don’t.

    I was living in Capitol Hill when tent City 3 was at the Cathedral. I also noticed no change- though I was a good 10 or so blocks away.

    King County has a homeless problem, and there aren’t enough beds or job training classes to go around. Tent City seems like a safer and better alternative to people sleeping under bridges- both for the homeless and the communities they live in.

    Of course, introducing an organized system such as Tent City also means the problem gets shared across communities more than concentrated in a few poorer ones. Hence the controversy.

  3. Perhaps you can educate yourselves beyond drinking the Kool aide and believing that “all is good”.
    The fact are, the MI City Council on Monday was presented with the FACTS, which included police reports from several of the last Tent City 4 sites.
    Have a look AT WHAT IS REALLY GOING ON and then see if you still think this is a good thing.
    Watching a slanted video on youtube hardly that clearly has a biased is hardly making an informed decision.

  4. Informed Neighbor

    Michele– I support helping those in true need; however, this SHARE organization has a terrible track record IMHO based upon the police reports from other communities that neighbors brought to light in the last council meeting. Is the risk of introducing a few wolves (about 20% by camp population) worthy of acceptance to aid the remaining 80% that can benefit from assistance? That is the dilemma that must be addressed responsibly by neighbors, church sponsors, city government, and SHARE WHEEL because the existing, proposed model of operation is broken.

  5. mercerislandblogger

    Michele, the video is there to show what Tent City 4 really looks like. Most of us haven’t seen a tent city up close (I only walked by the one in Capitol Hill) and I was curious to just see some pictures. As I said in the post, it’s not really a mini-documentary- just a melange of images.

    Mostly I’m posting because I think we need as much data as we can get to evaluate Tent City’s stay.

  6. MI Blogger-How does a feel good video with visual photos of blue tarp tents from youtube provide ‘data” about Tent City stays? Its a one sided video, clearly slanted to lull the viewer into believing this is a good thing.
    If you want date, review the material presented to your council which are PUBLIC RECORDS and then present those.

  7. An elderly church woman from Woodinville innocently believed here church leaders when they told her what a great thing TC4 was and how it was safe. She unsuspectingly hired a Tent City 4 resident to work around her house doing some housecleaning and in the process the TC4 resident stole checks and credit cards from her. The elderly woman had fed meals to TC4 and met this woman at another church (St. John Vianney) and continue to know her through stays at churches in Woodinville and Redmond.
    The criminal was convicted of A FELONY in this case (case #07-1-04274-8)
    The career criminal from TC4 that robbed the innocent elderly church lady who had been falsely led to believe by her CHURCH LEADERS that TC4 was safe had a criminal history that inlcluded 3 PREVIOUS FELONY CONVICTIONS FOR FORGERY, FELONY THEFT 1ST DEGREE, FELONY THEFT 2ND DEGREE, AND MISDEMEANORS FOR THIRD DEGREE THEFT, DUI, POSSESSION OF MARIJUANA,, POSSESSION OF DRUGS AND DRUG PARAPHANALIA, DRIVING WITHOUT A LICENSE, ANOTHER MARIJUANA CONVICTION….
    You get the picture, a career criminal living in TC4 that took advantage of and elderly woman who was going to TC4 to serve meals!
    How about that LA KNIGHT? “

  8. Sorry-don’t know where the smiley face came from. The case number is 07-1-04274-8

  9. mercerislandblogger

    Michele,

    Thanks for the case numbers, it’s good background.

    Again, the video is just a bunch of images and words- to me it doesn’t make any point, at least not well. But I can’t find many pictures of Tent City on flickr, and the video offers that. I was interested in seeing what the encampment actually looks like, and I thought others might be as well.

    Is your position that I shouldn’t have linked to the video? I welcome your data here, but I’ll continue to also link to whatever I can find that sheds light on this debate.

  10. No, Blogger, that was not my point. It was simply that a “visual” of the camp is just that. The issues surrounding Tent City4( and particularly their oganizer SHARE) are important. SHARE and TC4 constantly throw out these so called “facts” (i.e. most work/usual length of stay is 2-4 weeks/we do warrant checks/there are never any problems) but when asked to present actual evidence supporting these claims, there are none.
    The facts are that there are some very, very serious police documents that were presented to the MI Council on Monday. The case I mentioned is just one of over 40 cases and there are more to come.
    These are the facts, made available through public records. TC4/SHARE lie when they say there are no problems. The facts are, there are very serious problems.
    Thank you for the opportunity to clarify.

  11. Pingback: Mercer Island’s Permit for Tent City: Not All Sausage is Good Sausage « Surrounded By Water: A Mercer Island Blog

  12. Pingback: Tent City Leaves Town « Surrounded By Water: A Mercer Island Blog

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