We Are Hearing from Our Neighbors

"Tent City 3" on a bright gold background

The Tent City 3 Team’s communication group has been responding to over 300 emails and phone calls in recent weeks, listening patiently to concerns, correcting misinformation and, yes, appreciating the many neighbors who have taken the time to share supportive comments about our effort. A number of people wrote offering help and we will keep them in mind as it gets closer to the time for Tent City 3 (TC3) to arrive.

Neighbors have, of course, voiced many of the same concerns that members of our TC3 team and our congregation as a whole have raised and explored in our discernment process. We have been pleased to see that the information we shared has changed some minds. And, we entered this process knowing from other hosts that for many others it will take experience—living with Tent City 3 in the neighborhood—to change their minds.

In the meantime, we have been heartened by voices of support and wanted to share a few of them with you:

I live on 30th and 68th. I’m very close by and I drive past the library and along 35th on my way to work each morning between 4:30 and 4:45 a.m. I see our neighbors trying to sleep under the covers of the library awning. I’m hugely in support of providing space for our unhoused neighbors to live—space that’s not in danger of being ‘swept.’ A space where they can have some stability.

My husband works at a synagogue which recently hosted a Tent City. He describes it as an overwhelmingly positive experience for the community where he works, including an adjacent elementary school. The residents of Tent City were so grateful, respectful and, most importantly, they were safe and off the streets. We now live in Bryant (near the church) with our young child and are pleased that this opportunity will be made available in our neighborhood.

Tent City was near us when it was hosted by Maple Leaf Lutheran Church. They were great. Barely even knew they were there. It was two blocks from my house and a block from Seattle Waldorf School where my kids went to school.

I love that you and your church are making this choice between what’s easy and what’s right.
I was, as a teen, homeless in the U District (one of the original 1980’s ‘Ave Rats’). I can only imagine what a difference this sort of support and love would have made for so many of us. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that y’all are anything less than heroes.

Questions? Please contact uuchomelessness@gmail.com.