The City of Seattle should name a new site for Ballard Nickelsville by October 18, 2017
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Dear Mayor Tim Burgess, Director of Homelessness George Scarola, HSD Encampment Placement Coordinator Lisa Gustaveson, and the Seattle City Council:
We understand that you are working to identify a suitable site for the relocation of the Nickelsville Sanctioned Encampment in Ballard, and we urge you to provide the residents with a new site that: (1) is at least as large as their current location; (2) ensures access for visitors, as well as trash collection and porta potty servicing; and (3) is offered to the current residents at least 30 days before their required November 18th move date.
As neighbors of the Nickelsville Encampment in Ballard we have had a chance to see firsthand what a strong, empathetic and supportive community can achieve. The residents of this encampment have built an intentional community and have forged strong, positive relationships with those living and working nearby. They have built this community utilizing solar energy, which is safer and more accessible to disabled people than a camp with cables running on the ground. They have created a system of security that makes certain drug and alcohol use does not occur on site and is not a factor in their lives. This community, hosting around 22 people at a time, has helped many people get the resources they need in order to find work and housing.
The Nickelsville Ballard residents have built a reputation of honor in the neighborhood, and have vowed to uphold the commitment they made to leave by November 18. The residents of Nickelsville realize that a breach of trust regarding the move-out date at their current location may reflect negatively on any possible future location for Nickelsville encampments. For this reason, an extended period of stay at 2826 NW Market street is not an option. In order to preserve the safety and security of their community we call on you to provide them with a site that meets their stated needs at least 30 days before they must move.
In order to maintain the systems and connections they have developed, and upon which they depend for their survival, the encampment will need a space at least as large as their current 9500 sq. ft. location, and preferably larger. We urge you to respect the residents’ knowledge of what is needed to successfully address their needs for safety, stability and community.
It is stressful and disruptive to move under ordinary circumstances. The residents of Nickelsville are contending with extraordinary circumstances just to survive. They will need as much advance notice as possible in order to make the complicated transition to their new temporary home. We call on you to offer them a suitable new location in writing by October 18, 2017.
Concerned Nickelsville Neighbors
Neighborhood Action Council, District 6
Transit Riders Union
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