Thursday, August 29, 2013

Nickelsville to move near Washington Middle School?

Update:  I have looked into this - still waiting for district response - but I learned from a Times reporter that the site will have 35 people living there, 24-hour security and a fence.

End of update.

The West Seattle Blog is reporting that the Nickelsville homeless camp will be moving to a site at 20th and Jackson which is near Washington Middle School at 21st and Jackson.

I'll ask the district about this.

Thanks to alert reader Amy.

24 comments:

mirmac1 said...

I just want to say that Madison MS had a big heart for the homeless students who live in Nickelsville. There were focused efforts to provide what these students needed, both emotionally and materially. Through no fault of their own, these children have a stressful home environment and need our care and support.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Agreed, Mirmac. I,too, worked with homeless kids this year.

But there's a difference between homeless students at a school and a homeless encampment near a school.

Anonymous said...

Tent City 3 was near Seattle Waldorf School for 3 months and while I was worried at first, they proved to be good neighbors and the school even had some service projects that benefited Tent City 3. Seattle Waldorf at that site has preschool through 8th grade. At least Washington Middle school is just 6 through 8.

HP

Anonymous said...

One of the tent city encampments has visited St Marks Cathedral grounds as well. There is a preschool, toddler through 8th grade Waldorf program, and an arts school (with teen programming) - in addition to church congregation use - all on the same campus. I haven't ever heard any complaints.

CHM

Melissa Westbrook said...

Just so no one thinks I think it's bad (I don't although I wish there a better way to provide housing), I just think parents deserve a heads up.

Anonymous said...

Wow this is just like Where Did you go Bernadette?

- Too funny

mirmac1 said...

Too funny,

Mind filling me in on what you find so funny? Is it homelessness, or what? Or do you laugh at people, not with them?

Anonymous said...

According to this article in Real Change, the address is 2020 S. Jackson St. That is literally kitty-corner across the street from the school.
http://realchangenews.org/index.php/site/archives/8066

As a WMS parent I am really not sure how I feel about this.

WMS Parent

Melissa Westbrook said...

Too Funny,this is a public school blog, not private so I'm not sure why the reference to Bernadette. If you can't see the reasoning why you might let parents know about this, I don't know what to tell you.

Tracy @ WSB said...

In addition to the Real Change link above, I wanted to be sure to note (in case we didn't link it in our story, which I will fix) that the location announcement also can be sourced to Nickelsville's "official" Facebook group, where the Central Committee - which speaks for the camp - posts.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/nickelsvilleworks/permalink/668957719798508/

Tracy @ WSB

Anonymous said...

A church near JSIS had homeless people living there for several months. There was a lot of sturm und drang on Wallyhood for a while before the homeless moved in, all sorts of dire predictions. Well, nothing at all bad happened while they were there. Kids at JSIS did not even see any of them. Cold and rain is coming soon, and staying for several months. Please have
some compassion, think how horrible it would be to be cold and wet for 9 months!

CCA

Anonymous said...

I agree Melissa, this is not a great way to address homelessness but it is better than being on the street. And yes, they should let parents know. Maple Leaf Lutheran let the neighborhood know and they took a lot of flack but they stood their ground and it worked out okay. Maple Lutheran was hosting and still hosts a smaller program in their basement every night.

HP

Melissa Westbrook said...

No one isn't being compassionate. Who has said anything against this? No one here.

Anonymous said...

Definitely, SPS should be one of the neighbors notified. And definitely, SPS should notify parents.

Having a homeless encampment as a neighbor is not all sparkly unicorns. Some individuals are in the camp because of the economy or personal tragedy. In regard to students, compassion for a fellow human would be the lesson for the soul.

Some campers are there because past criminal behavior will exclude them from access to apartments or other housing where background checks are performed. In regard to students caution would be the topic to ingrain to keep them safe.

Nickelsville camped in the parking lot of our preschool. No prior notice was given to parents. It was not a pleasant experience. A definite uptick of drug dealers on nearby street corners while the camp was present, loud profane arguments right next to the preschool playground. Those are the milder occurrences. It just wasn't a preschool appropriate setting. Especially, with no notice to the parents.

It is a complex situation that not all adults can navigate. I believe most Middle School kids have the capacity to benefit provided the adults around them are honest about the new neighbors across the street. They are not all evil and they are not all angels, so be properly cautious until you know which is which. Or, in the case of middle school kids who haven't finely tuned their antennae, always be cautious.

Be Safe

mirmac1 said...

Be Safe,

Any of these "warnings" must be mindful that camp residents may be in that classroom, looking for acceptance and an education.

Anonymous said...

Yes. And where did I say otherwise?

Be Safe

DK said...

Nickelsville is not about about providing transitional shelter to the homeless. Its main purpose is to be a political statement for SHARE, which advocates for the establishment of a permanent homeless encampment (on donated lands with donated facilities), to be headed up by Scott Morrow. The community has a large number of long time residents. Though there are families in the camp, almost all move on very quickly, once they see that this particular group is more about maintaining the homeless camp culture, rather than being a transitional place. Most residents who move on quickly, single or families, report that they are actively discouraged from reaching out to social services.

Mr. Morrow is currently being criminally investigated by the FBI and by local authorities for shoddy financial practices, possible theft of funds, and for forcing encampment residents to attend protests and hand over gift cards, cash, or tangible goods in order to remain in the camp. Much of this illegal activity has been reported for years by past residents, and there are indications that city officials have looked the other way for years as well. There is no active social service outreach within the encampment, and efforts made to establish such ties have been rebuffed.

As someone who has been involved with the homeless community for some time, I can say that families with children (with one notable exception) are the first to be placed by social services in transitional housing. This is not to say that some end up in cars, in weekly motels, on couches, in tents, and occasionally on the street. But if they are looking for help, they are usually the first to get it. The exception is families with teen boys, since they are excluded from some of the safe houses. There is work being done to find better ways to keep these family units intact as they are placed.

I am a longtime advocate for the homeless, and I do not support what is happening with Nickelsville whatsoever. They have repeatedly refused offers of help if they do not think it will benefit their political goals, even if such help would directly benefit residents. As one small example, they have refused offers for indoor shelter space on several occasions, citing that it would reduce their visibility to city residents.

As to the crime factor - there are definitely members of the community with criminal backgrounds, and a small number with active warrants or who are level 3 sex offenders. They do not conduct true resident screenings (despite what they say), and reports are that they only remove residents on those grounds when it suits other needs. Overall though, there is only a slight uptick in petty crime in the immediate vicinity of the camps, far less than some detractors think. But as another poster said - it is not all sparkly unicorns there.

I strongly urge your readers to think carefully about how they spend their time and money, and to consider helping the homeless through another avenue. At the very least, read up on Nickelsville and Scott Morrow before giving them your support. There is a great need within our community, and it is best served through other means than this.

DK

Anonymous said...

I agree that the best solution would be permanent housing for the homeless. However, while there are some more housing being built, it is no where enough. Living in a tent year round in this area would be much more miserable than being indoors. I once spent 4 weeks doing research in a rainforest, and the last week was very unpleasant, everything I owed
was damp, damper, and dampest, and COLD. And this despite having the best (and expensive)
tent and goretex everything, and summer weather.

So perhaps it is true that Tent City has political motives, they are not wrong in saying visibility is important for change to happen. Our country is
very uncomfortable with homelessness. Thus
out of sight is out of mind. While I own my
house, I have realized since high school how
easily that could change. My parents owned
rental property and we have heard many stories
of people losing their homes after falling ill or losing their jobs. We turn our heads away from homeless people because we do not want to allow that we could become them.

While single mothers with children have priority for housing, this only gets them indoors IF there is housing available. I know several families who have been waiting for section 8 housing for more than 2 years.
Tents are a bad solution, yes, but better than
freeway entrances, or under bridges and
overpasses. We have many of those groups
too, here in Wallingford.

And yes, there are probably sex offenders in the camp. But there are probably more of them sleeping in doorways and alleys. There are also several level 3 offenders living inside homes, in every neighborhood, registered, and not registered.

CCA

Anonymous said...

Nickelsville IS a filthy, dangerous, nightmare vagrant camp chock full of drunks, junkies, thieves and criminals...period. This fact I know because I JUST moved out last week after being stuck there for a few months (after I lost my job and got burned for my last paycheck with no notice.)

AT LEAST 98% of the residents abuse drugs and/or alcohol DAILY. They "democratically" elect junkies to posts such as camp arbitrators and security so no problems ever get solved because the "criminals are running the jail" so to speak...

In my time there I barely slept due to the never ending drunken fights and/or junkie arguments/drug usage activities (such as the junkie neighbors who sold drugs and/or the users who loudly imbibed in said drugs.)

Make no mistake, they WILL sell drugs to kids middle school age and not think twice about it. The ONE 14 year old girl at Nickelsville spends her time with a 21 year old man who does nothing but smoke weed and play video games. The girl's mother smokes weed daily and drinks to excess regularly. The mom declined to go into housing...even though it meant keeping her kid on the street.

I could go on but my point is that some good people end up homeless but the vagrants at Nickelsville are there for the most part because they're active addicts who want to use and abuse drugs & alcohol.

They want free everything too...food, clothes, blankets, tents, water, etc...because they're homeless oh poor me...and they WILL start steaLing from cars, stores and homes in any neighborhood they move to. And they are filthy too...rats will come with the camp too because they cook and leave food everywhere and pile up garbage in and around their tents...including bottles of urine and drug needles.

WATCH YOUR CHILDREN...the bums at Nickelsville will be. They're nothing like the tent cities that are run by Share/Wheel (Nickelsville is NOT a part of Share/Wheel btw...) ly enforces pages and pages of rules.

Anonymous said...

(Continued...sorry for the weird last sentence above!) Share/wheel tent cities haves pages and pages of strict rules...nickelsville enforces no rules. People show up drunk for security shifts, smoke dope while on security and only MAYBE, OCCASIONALLY deal with problems if someone writes an "incident report". THEN the person who turned in the report gets to face the lunatic they reported...and gets threatened and harrassed.

Get loud with the city council and the school district and the police presence in your area because it IS a dangerous circus coming to your town and while they call themselves "Nickelodeons" they are NOT kid friendly and shouldn't be allowed within 10 MILES of a school or decent neighborhood!

DavidBPreston said...

To the poster who said that SHARE/WHEEL camps are somehow better than Nickelsville:

You are either clueless or you are lying and you were never at Nickelsvile.

SHARE and Nickelsville are run by the same guy: Scott Morrow. The reason they seem like two separate entities is because SHARE cannot run legally run a tent camp within Seattle city limits. But they do it anyway, informally.

Read more about the SHARE/Nickelsville connection at my blog: roominate dot com.

DavidBPreston said...

Whoops. Meant to say roominate.com/blog

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

the problem here can be simplified pretty easily scott morrow with out his deranged dictatorship and underhanded dealings many of these problems could be solved..and those in need could get some help to get out of there..organizations are not corrupt from the bottom up but from the top down scott is the top and needs to go to make anything worthwhile start to happen

Anonymous said...

the problem here can be simplified pretty easily scott morrow with out his deranged dictatorship and underhanded dealings many of these problems could be solved..and those in need could get some help to get out of there..organizations are not corrupt from the bottom up but from the top down scott is the top and needs to go to make anything worthwhile start to happen