Tent City 3 awaits approval to move onto SPU campus

A Seattle homeless tent city looking to move may have found a new home at Seattle Pacific University.

SEATTLE — Homeless camp ‘Tent City 3’ and its approximately 100 residents are desperate for a new home.

On Monday, the tents were camped out under I-5 in Ravenna, but an eviction notice posted by the City of Seattle says they need to be gone by Wednesday the 22nd.

“We've gone through a whole long, long list of our hosts and we didn't have other places to move to,” said resident and spokesperson Lantz Rowland.

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The camp moves about every three months and relies on getting permits from the city and their church hosts to set up camp.

This time, they overstayed their welcome at Haller Lake Methodist Church in North Seattle and had to go.

“This is the first time we got caught without a spot for a long time. It's the second time we've been on public land,” Rowland said.

Seattle Pacific University, a private Christian university in Queen Anne, has offered its main lawn to the camp. Now, they await approval for a January move-in.

“I'm really excited that it's going to be in the middle of campus because it forces people to engage,” said SPU student liaison Heather Bean.

They’re also aware of the concerns.

“It's like at first, having new neighbors move in. You're not really sure if you're going to like them and if you're forced to interact then you get to know people's stories,” Bean said.

Tent City 3 residents sign strict codes of conduct that require them to give back to the hosting community. The codes also ban drugs, alcohol and anyone with a criminal warrant.

SPU last hosted Tent City 3 a couple of years ago, but the camp was placed on the soccer field. This is a more prominent spot.

“It's an opportunity for SPU students and faculty and staff to learn through this engagement how to come alongside and advocate for an end to homelessness,” said Owen Sallee with SPU.

The camp will also erect a privacy tent, but students plan on giving tours and getting to know residents.

SPU has received some negative feedback, but say most has been positive.

Rowland says it takes people getting to know them.

“After they experience a camp, they're the ones at the next notification meeting letting everyone know it's okay,” he said of detractors.

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