Tent City IV could move across town
January 9, 2014
By Ari Cetron
Update: Jan. 13, 11:04 a.m.
Update: Tent City will not be moving to Good Samaritan Episcopal Church, according to a statement from the Rev. Suzi Robertson. Robertson was unable to provide any details on why the plan fell through.
The original story follows for archival purposes:
With a deadline looming on Tent City IV’s stay at Mary, Queen of Peace Catholic Church, it seems residents might just move to a different part of Sammamish.
Good Samaritan Episcopal Church is in the process of applying for permits for Tent City IV, and the traveling homeless encampment may move there as soon as Jan. 17, said the Rev. Suzi Robertson, of Good Samaritan.
Robertson said the church leadership voted unanimously to invite Tent City to move 2.8 miles north.
“We didn’t take a second guess,” Robertson said. “Good Samaritan is a church that is passionately concerned with social issues and reaching out to people who are marginalized. Tent City is part of the public and we should be in community with them.”
Robertson said Tent City officials have visited the space and found they will have adequate space for their needs. She also said that SHARE, a sort of parent organization for Tent City, would have shuttles available to take residents to major public transportation routes and shopping.
She said that she has not heard anything bad about the group after it moved into Sammamish.
“We haven’t heard any of the negative since they set up and started operating,” Robertson said.
Before Tent City’s arrival on Oct. 17, it had never previously been in Sammamish. The group has been traveling around the Eastside, staying at churches since 2004.
Sammamish does not have a specific permitting process for Tent City, so it’s been using a more general permit. That permit only lasts for 60 days, but Tent City likes to stay in one place for 90 days.
In December, the Sammamish City Council created a short-term solution, allowing the group to apply for a 30-day extension.
The group is in the midst of applying for another 60-day permit to stay at Good Samaritan.
Good Samaritan Episcopal Church is hosting a meeting tonight to discuss Tent City. The meeting is set for 6 p.m. at the church, 1757 244th Ave. N.E.