Hosting Tent City 3?

[Please see also UUC’s Mission & Vison and Hosting Tent City 3 (August 26)]

Tent City 3?

Members of the UUC’s Social Justice Steering Committee (SJSC), Lake City Partners and Teen Feed teams are currently engaged in gathering information about the possibility of our congregation hosting Tent City 3 from March through May, 2023. For more information and to discuss this initiative, please visit our learning station (previously known as info station) in Nathan Johnson Hall before and after the service this Sunday.

Sponsored by Share/Wheel (Seattle Housing and Resource Effort), Seattle Tent Cities are democratically self-governing communities of unhoused individuals that provide a safe, secure alternative to the many unsanctioned and too often unsafe encampments that have sprung up around our city as housing shortages have created a crisis of homelessness. The Tent Cities move around the city approximately every 90 days primarily among church parking lots, but also university campuses.

In May members of the above UUC teams along with Rev. Jon Luopa met with representatives of Tent City 3 to learn more about how they operate and to get an initial sense of how much of our parking lot space would be needed to accommodate them. SJSC Members are reaching out to other churches that have hosted Tent City 3 to learn about their experiences, and talking to church members who have relevant experience. Importantly, in the coming weeks we will be embarking on a communication effort with UUC’s neighbors to discuss our interest in exploring a Tent City hosting opportunity and to solicit their questions and input.

We are excited to share what we learn in upcoming editions of the Gateway. Next week we will share reasons why the Committee believes that our Mission to “awaken spirit, nurture hope, and inspire action” calls us to host Tent City and is consistent with both our proud history around housing and our current social justice efforts. In later weeks we expect to provide a timeline for making a decision about hosting, present information about the history of the two Tent Cities that currently operate in Seattle, and share more about what we learn from congregations that have hosted Tent City 3 on one or more occasions.

Questions? Please contact Dave Mentz or Sallie Dacey.

2 Responses

  1. Yes! I support hosting Tent City 3. I suggested this years ago, before our remodel.

  2. Judith Hance says:

    A dear friend, a UUC member for many years, had a strong negative response to the idea when I told her about it. I am waiting to learn more about what the details would be. I am for it in spirit, but only if there is very strong congregational support based on a congregational vote. This is a monumental decision.