Not in my backyard, you don’t!

A bit of context for those of you who aren’t in the Seattle area.

Recently, a local church in Bothell decided to host a homeless shelter known as “Tent City 4”.  This decision caused a great deal of consternation on the part of the people living around the church, and the city of Bothell sued to force the church to close the tent city.  There’s been a bunch of going around about it, and eventually another church, the Northshore United Church of Christ agreed to host the homeless shelter.

It turns out that the Northshore United Church of Christ is located across the street from a local Junior High School, and down the street from the elementary school my daughter Sharron attends.

Last night, they had a public meeting about the church, which was attended by about 200 people.  One of the attendees was John Gronquist, who later on wrote the following email message in response to an “Oooh, they’re going to stick homeless people in OUR neighborhood, we’ve got to stop them!” email message.

Hi all!


Normally I can't stand people who "reply all", but since you've taken the liberty of emailing everyone with your views, it's only fair that at least one counter view is allowed a chance to speak. This email was forwarded to me by my wife's account so there's a chance I've missed any discussion which was spurred from TinyWeeHobbit's mail. Sorry in advance for all those who don't want to be involved..


I live off of 168th, and have two young children. I've also visited Tent City in Bothell and seen it with my own eyes. I've also looked up the stats of the abuses in Bothell, as well as the 2003 crime statistics for the city of Woodinville as a whole.. Rather surprising those were. Did you know that there were 83 counts of domestic violence in Woodinville in 2003? That there were 6 forcible rapes? 21 residential Burglaries? 67 Vehicle thefts? 6 arsons?? MY GOD! Someone should do something! Someone should keep all of Woodinville away from Woodinville!!


Compared to the average small town Tent City's crime stats are really low. It's more actively patrolled than our neighborhood currently is, has more active social programs visiting it to check up on problems, and unlike most neighbors they have a REASON to try and behave themselves, because believe it or not the vast majority of them really do want to show that they can make something of themselves and not be simply 'drains on society'.


As a landowning member of the neighborhood and a father I support the Tent City. I'm not going to say that there's no risk at all, that'd be foolish. But I will say that the risk is low, actively managed, and ultimately worth it.


Every night I drive down 168th and see the signs, as do my children.. In fact, another neighbor's children were holding signs last night and cursed me out when I failed to honk in support of their protest. Signs in support of the tent city have strangely been removed and/or defaced. Odd that. Interesting that one of the key arguments against the Tent City is that it'd cause 'litter, vandalism, and profanity' in the neighborhood. So far the only litter, vandalism, and profanity I've encountered, has been from the protesters against the tent city. Clearly there's some key difference I'm missing..


In any case, one sign in particular seems to be the 'big deal'. That there was a "Level 2 Sex Offender found in Bothell Tent City!!" Well, there's a level 2 sex offender living on 165th right now. RIGHT NOW! You can find her name doing a search in the King Country Sheriff's Sex Offender search by zip code. Not sure how long she's been there, but then, it is a free nation supposedly, and people who've served their punishment normally are considered a chance to start their lives over, and not suffer the rest of their lives for their crimes.. That's normally the case, unless, it appears, you've had the misfortune of not being able to get a job after leaving jail, due, I'm sure, in no part to prejudice about hiring previous offenders.


By the way, you can also find the names of every homeless or transient sex offender registered in the state, which is the same list that the guards working at the tent city will be looking up whenever a new person arrives. Can you say the same of the road on which you live? Do you demand to see the names of each new neighbor and look them up in the Sex Offender database when they move in? Great way to be a popular neighbor, I'd wager.. "Oh, sorry, we can't talk to you until we've looked up every bad thing you've ever done, even if you've served your time for it, and parade it before everyone in the neighborhood so they can shun you as well. Give you a chance? Sorry, can't chance it."


By the way, did you know that one of our neighbor's illegally burns his garbage right across the street from Leota Jr. high, sending toxic clouds of smoke from burning plastics and god knows what into the air every single week we've all lived there? He does it at night, and on weekends, so at least his only is poisoning the after hours programs.. I won't name names, but the police have been repeatedly called, and still there's no sign of a garbage can in front of the house on Fridays, and the lovely smell of toxic fumes wafting through my yard and house and into my children's lungs on a continual basis. This neighbor owns a home though, so I guess illegally burning garbage on regular basis is okay. Have to say though, the night he burned lightbulbs and they went off sounding like 6 gunshots during a dinner party we were having was especially disturbing.


Sorry.. ..I just figured that since we're involved in a little game of shunning people for the no legitimate reason, I'd get my digs in as well..


As far as the 'worth it' argument, I've only this to add..


I won't live in fear. Not of neighbors with 'histories', not of neighbors with irrational fears of the unknown, nor of terrorists, nor of polluting whackjobs who won't spend $16 a month to put the garbage out on the street instead of into my kid's lungs..


We almost lost our youngest child to E. Coli when he was 1 year old from a hamburger at a state fair. THAT'S fear. That's horror the likes of which most of you will never know. Did anyone do anything to clean up our meat industry? NO. It was up to us to protect ourselves, as it always is for any family from any threat from anywhere they live.


I won't live in fear, and I won't teach it to my children. Life is to short and precious and full of wonders to live like that, and I've nothing but honest concern for those who do.


We need to be a part of solving the problems of this nation, instead of pushing them off for future generations or other neighborhoods to deal with. If you're really worried about the security of the Tent City, volunteer for night guard duty. Maybe I'll see you there?


In any case, I apologize for those to whom this mail is mere spam.


John Gronquist

John is absolutely right.  The decision to object to the hosting of the tent city in Woodinville is backed by nothing but FUD.  The real dangers associated with the tent city are nowhere NEAR as bad as the dangers associated with just living in Woodinville (not exactly a high-crime area).  Having homeless people in your neighborhood makes people uncomfortable.  It reminds them that there are people in our society that AREN’T middle class with nice homes and nice cars.  The danger represented by the homeless is an excuse to justify the classist (not racist, but classist) discrimination.

I find it SO frustrating that people can’t bring themselves to actually understand that just because someone is homeless doesn’t mean that their morals and values are any different from anyone else. Just because someone is homeless doesn’t mean that they are evil and must be avoided.  We should be trying to HELP these people get back on their feet and not hurting them.  Places like Tent City 4 give people dignity.  It gives them an address and a phone number that they can use as a reference.  It gives them a place they can shower before they go to their interview.  If you’re homeless you can’t even get a job at McDonalds because you can’t meet the cleanliness requirements of the restaurant.  We don’t have public toilets and showers here on the eastside.  We don’t have enough shelter space for the homeless right now, and shutting down things like tent city only increase this problem.

At a minimum, the shelter is only going to be open for six weeks.  Is the presence of the shelter SO intolerable that you can’t even abide its presence for 6 weeks?

I’m ecstatic that the United Church of Christ stepped up to the plate to host Tent City 4; I only wish others would understand.

Addendum:  The City of Woodinville graciously stepped up and donated the use of several acres of unused city property for the shelter, thus rendering the issue of locating the tent city in a residential area moot.  


Edit: Removed comments because the post was becoming a forum for the anti-tent city people.  Once this post exceeds the comment time limit (sometime next month), I'll re-enable comments so people can see the other comments that have been made on the article.



Comments (39)

  1. Grant says:

    I agree 100%. This reminds me of when my mother-in-law got involved in preventing her city from planning some ‘affordable housing’ too close to her home. Heaven forbid that somebody earning less money than her (but obviously trying to work and do better for themselves) should move in too close and drive down her property value. I firmly believe there should be appropriate checks and precautions for such ventures, but last time I checked we still live in a free country that still claimed such ideals as innocent until proven guilty, and not being punished twice for the same crime.

  2. Scott says:

    You’re absolutely right Larry.

    What are you doing to help them?

  3. Good email, and good post.

    First, Scott, what Larry is doing to help them is offering tolerance and time for them to prove they aren’t what people think. The stereotypical homeless man or woman begs, constantly, never works, never showers, and doesn’t want to. They were too lazy to do it right in the first place, why would they start now? That’s completely wrong. Most folks that I know ended up that way because of the way life is.

    I was homeless for two months at sixteen. I’ve slept in a dumpster, run from the cops, and tried to survive when no one would give me a second chance. The only reason I broke the cycle is because a friend of mine searched for me, found me, and extended me a place to stay once he found out my father had kicked me out. That gave me the ability to shower, to plan, to receive correspondence, and the confidence that life would be okay.

    Society — civilization — is about the group looking out for the individuals. We give up power and rights in order to have the police established. We give up finances in order to establish a government. We all give up pieces of our live in order to ensure that we all have what we need. Society isn’t about advancement of the arts on their own; it’s about advancement of the arts as it benefits society. Elaborate as you will.

    The only thing keeping any of us from becoming homeless is our skill, our luck, and our families and friends.

    I know that I never wanted food just given to me. I’ve never wanted anything just given to me. I want to work for it, learn it, earn it.

    As for the prejudice Larry mentioned in terms of convicted sex offenders — if you do the math you can figure out that homeless at sixteen doesn’t give me great chances of graduating from high school. I didn’t. I dropped out — I had no home, nowhere to go — and got a GED a year later.

    To this day — 12 years later — I still suffer prejudice from actions I had to take to survive because of the decisions I made then. I’m not the smartest bulb in the pack by any means, but I survive, and I’m more loyal to those who aid me than anyone else I know. Sometimes people need to learn to look past the exterior and look inside a person.

    The steel holding a homeless person together can be reforged. Any man or woman who has suffered personal devastation knows that it is a dead end, and will do their damnedest to never reach that level again.

    I apologize for the length. I feel pretty strongly about this issue.

  4. drebin says:

    Just a couple things.

    This gives them a place to stay:

    We all pay GENEROUS taxes to pay for MANY, MANY programs that give the homeless food and shelter. One key element is that you have to be clean and sober to stay in a gov’t shelter. People who can’t stay either – aren’t allowed to stay there. So when you run across a homeless person that isn’t in a shelter, it’s because they aren’t helping themselves. So you can be 100% sure that every person there either has a significant drug and/or alcohol problem.

    They have the same morals as us:

    People in this position don’t particularly have anything to lose and tend to be more desperate – that’s sort of common sense. Also an unusually high percentage of homeless people have some sort of mental illness. So you will see people that are MUCH more likely to rape, molest or be violent – right across the street from your little girl.

    I guess I’m a HUGE believer of using the EXISTING SERVICES that are already in place and that we pay good taxes towards. There should be no need for churches to offer things like this – if these people would stay clean.

    Just bringing up a different viewpoint… I’m not saying you are an irresponsible parent for allowing your little girl to go to school right across from where these people are – but if something happens to her (God forbid) – I hope you will be able to justify it with your good intentions right now.

  5. I live a block from the current tent city in Bothell. I’ve gone over to visit repeatedly. People who automatically think that the homeless are scumbags simply because they are homeless infuriate me.

    Dreben clearly hasn’t bothered to visit the homeless, or he wouldn’t write such ignorant NIMBY crap about them. Have you looked into the "existing services"? Do you know for a fact that they are adequate? Guess what, they aren’t. They don’t fill the need in the homeless community for a safe place to stay. Dreben reminds me of Scrooge: "Are there no prisons? Are there no poorhouses?" There are, Dreben, but they aren’t enough. That’s what Tent City is out to remind people.

    Saying that every homeless person who doesn’t live in a shelter has a drug or alcohol problem is terribly ignorant. Saying that all of them are automatically violent or mentally ill is insulting and also ignorant. God forbid you ever end up on the street, dreben. Lord knows that anyone who let a child near YOU would be irresponsible. Heck, I wouldn’t let a child near you now.

    For the record, the neighborhood has had NO problems with Tent City, despite the NIMBY garbage you hear from the loudmouths in that stupid hate organization. There have been arrests, yes. They were all instigated by Tent City, not by the neighborhood. In other words, they are self-policing and doing a fine job of it. I’d rather have Tent City as a neighbor in the future than the hate-filled so-called Christians at Heritage Christain School. At least the people in Tent City are honest.

  6. Valorie says:

    While there are government services available, most estimates for the Seattle area estimate capacity at less than 80% of the need. In other words, about 20% of the people who are clean, sober and willing to listen to a preacher (or do whatever hoops necessary to get inside) cannot be served because there is not room.

    You leave the shelter in the morning, have a few hours to do whatever you can, but you need to be back standing in line to get a bed again. You’ll spend easily as much time standing in line for your bed as you do sleeping in it.

    If you don’t have an address to park your belongings, meager though they might be, they have to come with you to any potential job interview. If you don’t have the money for food, you are unlikely to spend it frequently on washing your clothing, especially in a laundramat where it can cost easily $5 to get one load of laundry clean.

    I think everyone agrees that we’d prefer that the poor disappear into some oblivion that we don’t have to watch. I think it would make everyone feel even better if there were no one who had to do without. Our homeless are still doing so much better than the poor in other countries like India or Africa.

    Nobody wants the poor, and few people are willing to pay the money necessary to eradicate half of the homeless people, much less a majority of the homeless. Most people don’t want to be homeless and are willing to work very hard to keep themselves above water. Life happens sometimes, and it’s hard to get back on your feet.

    How’s the affordable housing in your neighborhood? How many units can be had that are tiny (big enough for a bed, a hotplate and not much else) with perhaps a shared bathroom for little enough money that you can work at McDonalds, pay your rent and still have money for food? Part of the problem is that the next step up from being homeless is a giant leap. It’s not cost effective to make these tiny units, and even when someone is willing to build them, people don’t want them in their neighborhoods because they are concerned that the drug addicts, etc will move in.

    We don’t want homeless people in our sight. We don’t want homeless people in our neighborhoods, even those trying to get back on their feet. We don’t want to pay enough taxes to "warehouse" the homeless people.

    Homeless people are people first. As with any large group of people, their morals run the gamut. Poor people do crimes just as other people do. One of the key differences is that the richer people’s crimes tend to affect a great many more people. My job is to protect myself from criminals as best I can, regardless of how they are dressed.

    As for me, I donate $50 every month to Modest Needs <>. They try to aid people at the step just before they get in too deep. I’d rather keep people above homeless than try to get them out of it.

  7. Vatsan Madhavan says:

    Scott Wrote:

    >>What are you doing to help them?

    Obvious – he is taking a stand in public, in a forum where he is well known and held in respect. It is likely to influence some folks to think about this issue, and perhaps help.

  8. David Candy says:

    Good on you Larry

  9. drebin says:


    I’ll do my best not to call you names in return – but allow me to explain. You and Larry seem to have this "puppydogs and ice cream" view of the homeless situation. And since this is church-oriented, this may be accurate for your "tent" thing. Maybe the people in that neighborhood ARE the small percentage that really are trying and really do want to better themselves?

    I’ve have and had several friends over the years that have worked at alcohol/drug rehabilitation center and other gov’t sponsored programs. I can say that from the countless stories I’ve heard – what you are describing is BY FAR the exception and not the rule. I also have a good friend who has a homeless guy who does work for them – and the stories I hear from him.

    The 2% of people that are both willing and capable of getting off the street have AMPLE programs available (ranging from detox to job placement).. it’s all there, laid out in front of them. As for the rest, they are either unable or unwilling – and those reasons, are what make them a volatile part of our society.

    I too, hope I’m never in that situation.. and I can tell you, if I were that desperate – you are right, I probably shouldn’t be around you or your family – because I may rob you!!

    My bottom line, is that a HUGE majority of these homeless people are **NOT** "people" like you and me. The MAJORITY are people that have limited to severe mental disability, are people that have a significant drug or alcohol problem.. but probably most significantly, are either unwilling or incapable of bettering themselves. Although that probably sounds unreasonable to you – you think "Oh, they just need the right kind of help" – unfortuntely, in the real world – that’s just the way it is. There are REALLy people like that – that REALLY can’t be helped, no matter how much that may seem that it’s not right.

    I’m not saying we should shoo them under the rug, but I am saying that in our "civilized" society, that needs to be effectively managed. And bringing in the center of suburbia is not the greatest idea, in my book.

    What else can we do then? I don’t know. I do know, that many of the programs that are available (typically in the urban areas) are effective (given that the people aren’t "playing the system" as they often do.

    I guess you won’t really have this view until you’ve seen any of this first-hand.. Until then, I honestly hope these are the less-desperate, humble people staying in the tent – for your family’s safety.

    Good luck.

  10. drebin says:

    I thought about this more.

    Let me ask this. By bringing the homeless into suburbia – "what do you hope to gain?" – what is the ideal here, what does all of this accomplish (or hope to accomplish).

  11. Rick Schaut says:

    Drebin, it’s supposed to accomplish exactly what it’s accomplishing right now: bringing the issues surrouding homelessness to the fore so that, hopefully, we can put together the political will to address the fundamental problem of affordable housing.

    To those people who don’t want Tent City 4 in their back yard, I say do something about affordable housing or quit your bellyaching.


  12. Scott says:

    drebin: I’d bet that most of the people with problems AREN’T living in tent city. They are wandering around lower Queen Anne (I stayed over there for a few months, some of the street people are interesting to say the least) or in Pioneer Square and Occidental Park (If anyone doesn’t know where these places are you don’t live in Seattle or the surrounding area so how can you comment on tent city?)

    Valorie: It’s easy to take a stand. Doing something is harder. Using the royal "we" when speaking about the homeless just gives rise to the kinds of NIMBY problems we are discussing in this comment thread.

    Brian: Sadly most Seattle-ites only contact with the homeless are with the regulars manning the exit ramps in and around town begging for money. We’ve tried to give them our leftovers a couple of times, but they’ve refused saying they wanted money instead even though the sign said "need money for food". That’s the problem, the people that could really USE the help to get themselves out of their situation aren’t visible enough.

  13. Anonymous says:

    What the heck is he thinking &raquo; Tent City

  14. Scott, you do know that Valorie’s my wife?

    And your point touched home (as it should).

    As individuals, we’re not DOING enough to solve this problem. The donations to modestneeds help, as do the other charities we contribute to, but you’re right, we should ALL do more. Even if it means showing up at town meetings to try to change peoples minds, or if it means taking in someone until they get on their feet, we DO need to do more.

    And Rick is also right – if you’re planning on fighting AGAINST things like Tent City 4, then what are you doing to prevent the NEED for camps like Tent City 4?

  15. Laura G says:

    "I guess you won’t really have this view until you’ve seen any of this first-hand."

    Dreben, I’ve visited the Tent City in Bothell REGULARLY. I’ve seen what kind of people live there first-hand. So I know for absolute certain that your dismissal of them in your first post was ignorant and incorrect.

    You don’t seem to get that bit. I HAVE FIRST-HAND KNOWLEDGE OF THE SITUATION. You apparently are judging them by other standards that involve "several friends over the years" and no first-hand knowledge at all. You do realize that "well, a friend told me" doesn’t cut it in this kind of an argument, right?

    I’ve seen more nastiness and been more harrassed by the jokers who are opposed to Tent City than I’ve seen from any of the residents of Tent City.

    "what do you hope to gain?"

    First off, I have nothing to do with Tent City, so I don’t hope to gain anything from it. Indeed, I’ve been told by ignorant people that my property values will go down if Tent City becomes a regular fixture, with my neighborhood as one of the regular rotating sites. I apparently have a lot to lose.

    What the organizers apparently hope to gain is just what Rick says, putting the problems in front of the people who actually have the money and will to do something about it instead of hiding it in streets in the big city that most of us will never visit. It’s to raise awareness, and it’s an extremely political method. The people who protest it are doing exactly what Tent City wants and needs them to do, because it brings people like me out of the woodwork to tell the NIMBYs to shut up and step up to the plate to fix the problems instead of whining about how dangerous the homeless are.

  16. Mat Hall says:

    I thought I’d stick in my £0.02 here. Although I live in the UK, where things are a bit different, I was homeless for a long time, not by choice, but for the simple fact that once you’re there it’s a viscious circle. You can’t get a job because you need an address, you need to be clean, etc., but you can’t do that because you need a job. If it wasn’t for the kindness of strangers, I’d probably still be living in car parks wondering where my next meal is coming from.

    Yes, there are a number of "official" shelters, but space is limited, they only provide a temporary respite, and things like this Tent City are sadly needed.

    Anything anyone can do to help the homeless — volunteer at a shelter, donate money, or even trying to educate those who equate "homeless" with "criminal" or "lazy" — is good. So your property value may drop a bit, but you’re still many orders of magnitude better off than the people you want to get rid of…

    (And as the most powerful and richest nation on the earth you should find the fact that you have *any* homeless people to be a great embarassment, and should be doing your level best to eradicate the problem altogethr rather than whining about how it lowers the tone of your neighbourhood.)

  17. Scott says:

    Larry: Yeah, I remember her question about teaching fractions earlier in your blog I believe. I mis-read the names. I meant to address my comment about taking a stand to Vatsan instead of Valorie. 🙂

    Laura: I’ve never actually SEEN anyone opposed to tent city in news reports. They never seem to want to be interviewed. I haven’t seen any names presented as "the leader of the opposition to tent city" or anything. I can see where they would have some reservations, I had some myself when I first heard about it. Once I did some research I found out that it’s more of a half-way house than just a bunch of people squatting on some land. Seattle has enacted several policies and laws that are aimed removing the homeless from the streets, but end up just shuffling them from Cap Hill to the U-District and to lower Queen Anne and Belltown. It’s not really work, but it’s hard to help those who won’t help themselves. I’d think tent city would be the least we could do.

    Myself I favor George Carlin’s solution. Flatten out the useless golf courses and put up low-income housing. Let those golf wimps go play a real game that involves some exercise. Or at least make them pick up Links 2004 for the Xbox. 😉

  18. Anonymous says: &raquo; Tent City&#8230;

  19. Anonymous says:

    To play devil’s advocate…. Why should we help? Why does everyone think we should help other people just because we don’t have the same luck/lifestyle? I work hard for what I have. I’m not going to give anything to anyone else, just because they don’t have a job and live on the street doesn’t entitle them to anything. Hey I feel bad that homeless people don’t have great lives, but thats life. Life can be hard. Deal with it.

  20. Rick Schaut says:


    Frankly, if your conscience is comfortable with answering "nothing" to the question, "What are you doing to help," that’s no skin off my nose. Satisfy your own conscience.

    On the other hand, people standing in the way of those who do want to help, and standing in the way through irrational fears based on stereotypes and bigorty, that’s a different matter entirely.

    As for why I want to help, I’ll have to oversimplify things a bit. However, having been successful, I’ve played a role in raising the cost of living in this area. Since I’ve helped to create the problem, I have an obligation to help resolve it. That’s what my conscience tells me.


  21. I live in Woodinville TC4 proposed neighborhood and have sufficient right to be concerned NOT with the homeless individuals but with the issues that statistically follow this group and how these needs are ignored. Responsible assistance from the community should be given only after identifying the true needs and requirements for that assistance–I studied the published information regarding the homeless population served by Tent City 4 and the types of services that are not available to help them when they are pigeon holed in a tent, 10 miles or more in a community not set up to address their needs. (Please refer to wealth of objective data presented at http://WWW.CARE4SCHOOLS.ORG)

    The fact that a church can fall victim to the propaganda that Tent City ‘helps’ is even more disheartening. In recent meetings held at the Northshore United Church of Christ the only people that seemed to benefit by Tent City are the ones who can get a ‘job’ as official mouthpieces for Tent City! If you visit the Tent City as I do, you know that the people that they bring are mere paid mouthpieces–come on Share/Wheel do you think we’re stupid? I recommend that you do some research about the needs of homeless people that are not addressed by TENT CITY type solutions. A fortunate few number of TC homeless can and do seem to work their way out of their situations when individual assistance is focused by outsider intervention–HOWEVER, Tent City does not do that! Success is earned by the outside people who have consistently shown Tent City (Share/Wheel) that they don’t have the only answer. If you go to a Tent City informational meeting listen to the folks that Share/Wheel refuses to answer or it ridicules–these people know things that Share/Wheel doesn’t want people to know! These people have solutions that would render a Tent City un-necessary!

    The solution that Share/Wheel subscribes is to simply collect all of the homeless into a Tent City encampment, placed miles away from job opportunities, health services and other county services. There in the encampment the homeless becomes a pathetic statistic that can be used to justify more shelter space by a self-serving organization. But guess what? When these folks who run Tent City enter the Eastside suburbs they also must justify their existence to an intelligent, hardworking, and caring group of citizens who do not accept this CITY method as the solution. The CITY has always accepted homelessness in their landscape…the Eastside suburbs want to fix the problem. At the root of our neighborhood belief is the notion that people choose their individual destinies and on occasion we are called to intervene to help these people–on an individual basis to meet their specific requirements.

    So it is fair to say NO to an encampment if there is a responsible YES to help. By the way has anyone ever wondered what the significance of TENT CITY’s move every 90 days is all about? Has a move ever NOT BEEN an EMERGENCY? HMMMM….If they are receiving FEMA (Federal Emergency) money then that might explain the need to create the crisis!!! Also, did you know that there are over 30 churches in Seattle that would take TC4 in at the beckoning call? Why is the Woodinville site considered an emergency issue?

    Again…start your knowledge quest at http://WWW.CARE4SCHOOLS.ORG

  22. Someone Opposed says:

    > Laura: I’ve never actually SEEN anyone

    > opposed to tent city in news reports.

    > They never seem to want to be interviewed.

    > I haven’t seen any names presented as "the

    > leader of the opposition to tent city" or

    > anything.

    Well you didn’t look too hard then. First you have to understand that the media spoon feeds you what they want you to know.

    I personally spent 3 hours in media interviews before the Bothell Meeting with Ron Sims. What ended up in the media? NOTHING! They used a few words spoken from the mic, taken out of context, so that a mistaken impression could be given.

    There are hundreds of people organized in opposition to this, many have been interviewed, some actually got into the media (I do from time to time), but don’t think that because you don’t see 30 minutes of opposition on the news that it doesn’t exist.

  23. Just pulled this from the site. If you support improving conditions for the homeless, then you should really be part of the long term solution that holds all parties accountable Churches, Local Governments, and Share/Wheel. The goal is not to stop with food and tent, but to press for adoption of programs that encourage and foster tranition plans from homelessness to self-sufficiency. If you are interested in this group, please contact me at


    following is taken from


    Public Land is a No Win for The Homeless … Citizen’s Need to Press for Real Programs

    Tent City 4 has now moved into a “vacancy” in Woodinville and the people living there will become part of the landscape. This is wrong. Poverty, Hopelessness and Resentment … will not be stemmed by parking these people on a piece of public land. Life-sponsors, and real housing providing some comfort and stability bundled with a formal program of integrated services and filtering of the truly needy and unfortunate from the “pretending-to-be,” are what is needed.

    Becoming a “open-space ward” of a local or regional government only allows politicians to pretend to be helping. This is going to be a combination of “inadequate acts,” led by shameful entities (SHARE / WHEEL, City of Woodinville) failing to demonstrate any skill that would merit continuing to allow this. The City of Woodinville is going the route of slight-of-hand efforts that are an illusion of service, scraping together a “survival pit” for TC4, while bypassing due process. SHARE / WHEEL, providing NO services to get these people’s lives improved will now have an easier time of it, though. The management of a SHARE / WHEEL Tent City can just dump and forget these folks now. The pressure is off them on public land. This is terribly wrong.

    In Bothell the scrutiny of SHARE / WHEEL and the sponsor church kept them in greater performance. Regular meetings, probing into their treatment of TC4 residents forced better behaviors. Now, with the pressure off … SHARE / WHEEL can forget about their Tent City folks (go visit TC3 to see what I mean) … and get back to whatever they are REALLY about … because it isn’t improving the lives of the residents of a Tent City.

    Remember, TC4 residents are a mix of truly needy and unfortunate people … who want help and services and have great potential … AND … drifters and criminals seeking asylum from law enforcement. That mix is unfair as it unnaturally inflates the number of people we appear to have to help. Combine that reality with a strong imported problem from other states and you can see why we have the dilemma that our governments and churches cannot ameliorate until we get some strictures around WHO we can help and WHO should not be participating in such a process.

    I suspect that in such locations, Tent City residents will NOT have the donations and support pouring in, that a properly located, managed and sponsored site would provide. As a result, there will be even further pressures and stresses upon the residents. They will spread out in widening circles to “beg” for donations and sustenance. A greater anarchy will set in. A sense of “wilderness” will magnify. The ability to maintain the camp’s stability will weaken. As a result these stresses will lead to exacerbation of many of the resident’s challenging problems.

    Many of these people (66% by National Statistics) suffer from substance abuse and mental illness. Under duress of limited resources, trickling donations, and the hopelessness of a SHARE / WHEEL “Tent Prison” these folks will unfortunately turn to some of the ONLY respite their souls and spirits have … the very same substance and/or physical abuse that perhaps led them … and certainly traps them … in this state. This is now going to be a “state sanctioned” vicious circle of misery.

    The churches in the region continue to STOP SHORT … offering land and some “casserole dumps” … but when it comes to TRULY funding a program that will make a difference … or taking some or all of these people into their actual buildings and attaching them to congregation members for support … seeking and connecting social services experts and agencies for counsel and assistance … watch them stare at the floor! They will take the wide and easy path that “feels good” … not the narrow one their own faith tells them they should. Their own Gospel instructs them to do more … but that book lies un-consulted as they press a socio-political agenda … not a values-based, faith-led one.

    SHARE / WHEEL are, I am sure, giddy over the public land win that Woodinville as aided and abetted them in achieving. This fits in perfectly with Ron Sims’ and the King County Council’s plan to spread Tent City’s all over the region in permanent parking … spreading the onerous burden that they and other local governments created over many, many years of failed management of the problem evenly around our region. Witness the pre-determined result of the CACHE commission to see proof of that.

    Citizens need to hold these failed politicians to a higher standard of performance. Their individual and collective lack-of-skill mandates STRONG CHANGE in office. These officials need to be moved on so that new-blood, with new ideas can come into the picture. We need a disciplined, conservative and firm approach to such problems … because the endless coddling and turning a “blind-eye” has absolutely NO FUNDING MODEL whatsoever, has trapped the truly needy and unfortunate with those undeserving and seeking a “free-er” ride than other regions offer and will worsen year over year.

  24. Edit: Closing posts – this post was NOT intended as a forum for the anti-tent city people, sorry folks.

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