Thursday, December 25, 2014

Seattle Waldorf High School food drive for Tent City 3

It is not easy to make a noticeable dent in the homelessness that plagues Seattle, but with the help of the community around you, one can make a difference.

A few months ago, Olivia Dunkley and I set forth to create have a food drive at our school (Seattle Waldorf High School).
With some work, and a lot of help from students, faculty, and parents, the results we had were astounding.

 After a few weeks of the drive, we took the food we collected to Tent City 3. The members accepted our contributions with open arms, and we saw our mission come to an end.

~ Noah Frank

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Tribute to Matthew R. Barrett

Matt Barrett and friends on his birthday. Photo © 2014 Ilona Berzups.

Matthew R. Barrett (2/8/65 - 9/2/14)

On September 2, 2014, we here at Greater Seattle Cares lost a good friend. That is the day that Matt Barrett, affectionately known as "Giant" both for his stature and the size of his great heart, ended his days on this plane of existence. We miss him, we remember him, and we celebrate his life through which he taught us so much. Here are a few messages from our Board members who knew Matt.
"Matt said that Tent City was a place he could be accepted and loved as he was. I hope for him and for us that the circle of people who could love and accept him was and is far wider than Tent City. Matt helped many of us to grow in our ability to love. I am one of those and I am grateful for that. I miss him but I also understand his decision. I am comforted by the fact that the things that used to hurt him have no more power to hurt him." — Bill Bear
"Matt was special to me as well. He kept in touch all while I was in Italy, and up until the last we played online Scrabble together which got me through my two surgery recoveries keeping my mind active." — Jenny Coss
"When I think of Matt, I don’t think of cancer or of homelessness. I think of him as a teacher. Matt taught me important lessons about compassion and about solidarity. As limited as his financial resources were, he helped out other campers who had less than he. He also made donations to GSC to help support Tent City 3, and he allowed us to gift his books to folks who made earmarked donations to our organization. The most gentle of men, I remember how it hurt him when children would shy away from his scarred face, or parents would scold him for scaring their children; he was not angry with them, only sad that they would not teach their children to see into a person’s heart, as he so regularly did. I am richer for having known Matt. He will be remembered with love by many, and what legacy is any greater than that?" — Cindy Roat

More information and external links

Photos of Matt and friends

Random photos of Matt and friends, he had many. He touch lives near and far and will never be forgotten. 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Penny Harvest awards $250 to Greater Seattle Cares

Penny Harvest awards $250 to Greater Seattle Cares
Students in Adams Elementary School collected pennies. One Thousand dollars of them. They decided to award Greater Seattle Cares, Mary's Place, TreeHouse and The US Dept of the Interior each with $250, The students are leaning philanthropy.
They wanted to make sure no one is homeless.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A generous donation of men's underwear

This donation of men's underwear was really appreciated by the Tent City 3 camp.

Thanks to SAXX company for such a wonderful donation.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Marc Weinberg: Tuesday Night Dinner Menu - for 78 guests Sunday, January 26, 2014

St. Dunstan's Tent City 3 encampment Photo copyright Marc Weinberg

Text and photos by Marc Weinberg

  • One well rounded chef/cook (Josef) 
  • Sprinkle with 7 to 8 faithful and happy helpers (Mary, Madeline, Karen, Danielle, Richard, Marlin, Steve) Blend well in a commercial kitchen (St. Dunstan’s) 
  • Shop for the most affordable products 
  • Depend on chief’s recall and creativity for recipes based on experience with available supplies 
  • Develop a team commitment to do this every Tuesday 
  • Deliver and serve the finished meal to the hungry guests, regardless of where they are living. 
  • Repeat 52 times a year with vigor.


Chef Josef and his crew preparing the meal Photo copyright Marc Weinberg 

Chef Josef and his crew of volunteers have been doing that since 2008 for the residents of Tent City 3 and don’t plan on changing anytime soon, if ever. Thanks to their commitment and the supply of produce and products from Safeway where Josef and Danielle work, this is the model they plan to follow. Safeway graciously contributes what they can and the residents, who often refer to themselves as ‘campers,’ are most grateful. Each meal depends on Safeway’s generosity. I asked Josef how far ahead of starting to prepare a meal does he know what he will prepare. His answer was, “maybe an hour before!” The meal prep that I observed consisted of a pork stew, steamed vegetables, mashed potatoes, beans, fruit salad, lettuce/tomato salad, and a rich dessert of bananas foster. Drinks were chocolate or white milk and orange juice. And the campers loved it.


Chef Josef gives the pork stew one more inspection as St. Dunstan's Rector David Marshall and Danielle look on Photo copyright Marc Weinberg 

I first met Tent City 3 in the winter of 2007-08 and felt overwhelmed by their needs, especially a month later when they were buried in snow at Calvin Presbyterian Church. I’ve been collecting donated items, often by the car load, from garage sales ever since. Since 2009 I have written much about Tent City 3 in published articles about them and the issue of homelessness. Each camper has their own compelling story about why they are there and their efforts to move on.


Meal service is set up in the dining tent Photo copyright Marc Weinberg 

My feeling about them and their community can best be summed up in the preface I wrote in the photo album I created for them which documents their life and their relocations, It is maintained in their Tent City 3 office on site.

Dear Tent City 3, March 11, 2009 This is Our Album, yours and mine, and it will grow as we all will. These pages represent only the times we’ve spent together and not when we’ve been alone and apart. My effort is to remind myself and us that our lives may be separate, but our needs are the same. I respect your right to privacy in your home and thank you for inviting me in. When I began this project, I had no idea what it would mean to come into your life or you into mine. From my brief visits to your door over this winter with gifts of mine and my neighbors, I realized I wanted to do more, to share with others the community where we all live. My photos, like myself, may be imperfect. They may never hang on an important wall, but they are important nonetheless. They are a record in time when I saw you for just a second and realized you were there. Thank you for sharing your life with me. 
Sincerely, Marc


Campers enjoy this labor of love, with thanks to all Photo copyright Marc Weinberg 

Please make the effort to visit Tent City 3, and learn about our roving neighbors, their lives and needs. The camp is self-governing with strong prohibitions of alcohol/drugs/violence. Residents are required to do a number of hours of service every week. They maintain their own security volunteers who patrol the perimeter in the neighborhood to monitor the campers and to pick up trash. Historically, incidents of crime tend to go down in the neighborhoods where tent city is located.

Your visit will demonstrate and encourage our community’s continued efforts to support a place for those in need. St. Dunstan’s Church is located at 722 N 145th Street