Sammamish Forum July 2
July 2, 2014
Use minimal regulations for Tent City
I’d like to thank the Sammamish Review staff for their thoughtful editorial in the June 11 issue commenting on the pending ordinance regarding homeless encampments within the city of Sammamish. I totally agree, it’s time to stop the hysteria
I was intimately involved with the process of permitting and hosting Tent City 4 during their stay at Faith United Methodist Church and during the past six months, I’ve seen both the best and worst of human nature. Literally hundreds of volunteers from across the Eastside supported our congregation during Tent City 4’s stay with us. They donated meals, labor, and financial assistance. Groups volunteered their services in helping the residents find and get to jobs. These factors, plus the strict adherence casino online of the residents of the encampment to their own code of conduct, resulted in the best and most incident-free stay in recent memory.
To be blunt, the hysteria and fear I’ve experienced firsthand from some residents of our city remind me of the Deep South in the 1950’s and 1960’s rather than the “tolerant” Northwest of the 2010’s. While some concerns are legitimate, most I’ve heard or read are rooted in prejudice and fear. Prejudice, whether racial or socio-economic, is still based on the irrational fear of the other, of the person that is not like me. It’s ugly, hateful, and has no place in our community.
The Sammamish community of faith is not opposed to reasonable policies around homeless encampments, as some have suggested, but we would like those policies based on factual evidence not the emotional diatribes of a vocal minority. My hope is that our city council will adopt a reasonable ordinance that allows the churches of Sammamish the opportunity to host encampments in the future and freely live out our faith.