I want to update all our supporters on the events this week. This may be the longest email I ever write, so bear with me.
First of all we are very proud of how St. John Vianney and Tent City4 handled a very delicate situation. Shame on SHARE for being totally unreasonable.
In Oct. a man was admitted to Tent city4 after clearing the warrant and sex offender check. After that date an arrest warrant was issued for him in Pierce County for rape of a child. This is the worst situation any of us that help the homeless and the homeless themselves could imagine. Six days after the arrest warrant was written the police arrested the man during dinner at St. John Vianney. The church immediately tried to reach SHARE. SHARE did not respond promptly. The church met with the executive committee of Tent City4. All agreed that in order for Tent City4 to remain at St. John’s sex offender checks should be done weekly on all residents. SHARE said this action would be an invasion of residents’ privacy. SHARE (Scott Morrow) has never liked that Eastside churches demand background checks and sex offender checks on all residents. Scott Morrow said the camp had no right to speak for themselves with the church and only he could speak for them no matter how long it took him to get back to them. He barred the executive committee from TC4 for 14 days. The camp voted 4 times to stand behind their executive committee’s decision and not bar them.
On last Saturday at the “Power Lunch” the attendees voted twice to fire Scott Morrow. Twice the vote was to fire him. Twice he refused the vote. After the second vote Scott went out and brought in 14 residents from Tent City3 and the vote was taken again (bringing individuals into Power Lunch after the announcement period is against the bylaws) the vote was in Scott’s favor by just 4 votes.
Tent city4 decided as a whole to not accept that vote knowing it would sever them from SHARE. Scott notified the camp that he would come close TentCity4 Thursday morning at 9am.
Tent City 4 has been a little off balance lately and I think it would be helpful to offer a bit of background on how Tent City 4 operates and some of the challenges we have been dealing with. Tent City 4 is a part of Share/Wheel. Share is a non-profit organization which operates between 15 and 20 indoor shelters in or around Seattle and also works with Tent City 3 and Nickelsville. Wheel is a sister non-profit that is affiliated with Share and offers shelter and assistance to women only.
Tent City 4 has been operating since 2004 and in order to stay at TC4 (Tent City 4) everybody is required to assist in keeping harmony at the host church and at TC4. Signing up for two weekly three hour security shifts usually satisfies this requirement. Picking up litter, greeting visitors and turning away interlopers are examples of duties that are performed while doing a security shift. Campers at TC4 are also required to do at least one community credit every two weeks. A community credit can be satisfied by doing something that brings awareness to the problems associated with being homeless and working toward solutions.
For at least the last four years, and probably longer than that, TC4 has done warrant checks and sex offender checks on anybody wishing to stay at TC4. TC4 is able to call law enforcement and they will tell us if somebody has an outstanding warrant or a sex offense. If somebody attempts to stay here and they have an outstanding warrant, the police are called and that person is taken away. If they have had a sex offense they are told to leave. On Thursday, November 8,2012, this check and balance did not prevent a person who was charged with a sex offense from residing at TC4. One of our residents was accused of a sex offense in Pierce County before being admitted to TC4 but charges were not filed until after he was already living here.
The delayed filing of charges in Pierce County resulted in an arrest of this individual by several police at St. John Vianney Church. To any ones knowledge, this is the only time this has ever happened.
SHARE/WHEEL TO SHUT DOWN TENT CITY 4 ON 11/15/12 PUTTING OUT 85 HOMELESS PEOPLE.
Tent City 4 Campers Secede from SHARE and Regroup as CAMP UNITY.
As of 9AM, November 15th, 2012 the affiliation between SHARE/WHEEL and Tent City 4 will be severed.
We have chosen to continue as a mobile community in the East Side area where our support is its strongest. Our camp’s operations will not cease, but going forward we will be our own entity under the name of Camp Unity. We will be self-maintained. We will endeavor to work with the communities around us. We will also remain sober, non- violent, democratic and self-managed.
Camp Unity’s plan of action for our immediate future and a Mission Statement to help lay a foundation from which we can work.
Kirkland Interfaith Network has its alternative gift fair this weekend at Holy Spirit Lutheran in Kirkland,
10021 NE 124th St. Kirkland, 98034, Saturday Nov. 10 from 10am to 3pm and Sunday after service. If you have never been to an alternative gift fair instead of buying a gift for someone who doesn’t need it you donate to a charity and send a card to let your person know a donation has been made in their name. It is a great way to learn about many charities and donate. We will be taking donations to purchase tents, tarps and bus tickets for Tent City4.
Tent City4 is now located at St. John Vianney at 12600 84th Ave NE,Kirkland,WA98034 Near Inglewood-Finn Hill. A special thanks to Woodinville Home Depot for donating 12 sheets of plywood. Below is the latest wish list. Thank You!
Mac Morrison is an Employment Navigator with the King County Homeless Employment Project and would like to help residents find full employment. He is currently working with a gentleman who is staying at Tent City 4 who just found a good job.
He can work with people if:
They are 100% job ready (able to interview, go to work, keep a job)
Can start work tomorrow and are willing to work a full day
Are compliant with any medications from a doctor or psychiatrist
Are homeless currently
He is really good at finding work for those who are eager and able.
Once again, Move Day rapidly approaches us. On Saturday, Oct. 13 we are moving from St. Luke’s Lutheran Church to St. John Vianney’s Catholic Church, now in Kirkland, on Finn Hill. Please find below our Move Day Wish list. Thank you all so much for your support over these many moves( and years!) You will always be in our prayers.
Respectfully, for all TC4 campers.
Tent City4 is now at St. Luke’s Lutheran in Bellevue. On Oct. 13 they will move to St. John Vianney on Finn Hill, 12600 84th Ave NE, Kirkland. It is a much larger site so they won’t be cramped for space. Most of the meals will be able to be served inside, and man they have the most awesome kitchen for us to use.