Friday, March 2, 2018

February 2018 Updates

What’s New?

Camp Moves

We are happy to report that Camp United We Stand has had their stay at St. Dunstan’s church in Shoreline extended until May. The will move to the Haller Lake United Methodist Church in August but are still searching for a host for May, June and July. Tent City 3 moved last weekend to a site owned by Cherry Hill Baptist Church in the old central district. Their new home has neither power nor water access, but we are grateful for it as the location was not found until the last minute before they were due to leave SPU and it had looked like they might not have a place to go.

What’s not new?

Site Searches

The camps we support have needs that are constant. Chiefly, they need a place to stay. The sanctioned camps we support typically, have to move every 90 days depending upon the type of permit needed for the host location. While the occasionally may be able to stay longer they typically have to find 4 hosts a year or risk having to move to an illegal location where they could be subject to being swept. The one constant need is space. Depending upon the size of the camp the amount of space needed can vary. Ideally the space should be fairly flat but even that is not an absolute requirement as we have seen tent bases adjusted to compensate for different sites. It is preferred they have access to power and water, but they have generators and water jugs if that is not the case. While Greater Seattle Cares does not manage host searches for any of the camps we do reassure prospective hosts that we will provide services to the camps assisting with food and supplies during their stay and if needed support with moving in or leaving. If you are aware of any church, school or private business that may be interested in becoming a host please contact the camp or SHARE WHEEL directly with your lead. 90 days may sound like a long time but the reality is that the search for host locations goes on constantly.

What are current needs?

Managing donations - When delivering items to camp please always take care not to overload them. While the campers are always grateful if the camp receives more than it can use it can create problems. Items stored in tents can become damp and moldy. If you are delivering to camp, always ask for the donation coordinator or for food donations, the kitchen coordinator. Ideally call ahead and check with the camp to ask them what is needed and how many people currently reside in camp. The camp phone numbers can be found on our website.
Food for the Pantry - GSC recently delivered some individual ready to eat foods to Tent City 3 as their pantry was almost completely wiped out after their move.
Water - When a camp doesn’t have water access they need bottled water or water jugs. Our recommendation is to fill the camps large water containers rather than supplying individual bottles of water. Individual plastic bottles create a lot of garbage that the camp then has to dispose.
Gas for the Generators - We assume Tent City 3 will be using generators at their current location. They typically need donations of gasoline to keep them going. We recommend picking up the gas cans and taking them to be filled as they are heavy to carry and the campers typically don’t have transportation. Last year when staying at Skyway GSC purchased gas for the camp on a weekly basis.
Tents and Tarps - A tent used year round only lasts about a year. Camps use what the call singles and doubles which can range in price from $50 to $150 each. The can also use tent carports for common use tents and like cabin style tents so someone can stand up inside. Tarps extend the life of the tents by protecting the seams and keep the tent much drier.
Coats and warm clothing - Any cold weather clothing we can provide, especially is a blessing this time of year. Keep in mind that a lot of campers are larger men. New undergarments are always appreciated.
Blankets and Bedding - Campers need bedding and the ability to wash it. Each camp has its own laundry arrangements, but they sometimes need assistance with obtaining these donations
Batteries -The short days mean more flashlights will be used and that means batteries. Especially for Tent City 3 as their new site does not have power.

Current Camp Hosts and Locations

Tent City 3 - Cherry Hill Baptist Church, 700 22nd Ave. Seattle, WA 98122
Tent City 4 - Mary Queen of Peace, 1121 228th Ave SE, Sammamish, WA 98075
Tent City 5 - Interbay Neighborhood in Ballard, 1601 15th Ave. W (cross street Garfield, under the Magnolia Bridge), Seattle, WA 98119
Camp Unity Eastside - Saint Teresa of Calcutta, 17856 NE Woodinville Duvall Rd, Woodinville WA 98077
Camp United We Stand - St. Dunstans Church, 722 N 145th St, Shoreline, WA 98133
Camp Second Chance - Public Property in White Center, 9625 Myers Way S. Seattle, WA 98108
Nicklesville Ballard - Public property in Ballard, NW Market Street, Seattle, WA
Nicklesville Othello - 7544 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Seattle, WA
Nicklesville Union Tiny House Village - Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, 22nd and E Union, Seattle, WA
Nickelsville Georgetown - 1000 S. Myrtle St., Seattle, WA
Licton Springs Village - Private Property belonging to the Low Income Housing Institute, 8620 Aurora Ave N just south of Seattle Fabrics

Anatomy of a Camp Move:

Many of the camps we serve have to move about 4 times a year.  The move process takes a lot of planning, and hard work.  Imagine picking up everything you own, including your house and moving it across town every three months. 
Prior to a move, a camper with experience is designated as the “Move Master.” This person will coordinate all of the work involved with moving as well as gathering needed supplies.  GSC includes move supplies as a part of our budget. These can run about $400 per move and includes items like trash bags, zip ties, gorilla tape, and hammers, nails work gloves and brooms.  In some cases we have also rented vans and supplied a driver. Prior to the move, the move master will plot out the new camp layout to make sure everything needed will fit at the new site.  Before move day the camp may try to stage a few items at the new location. 
On move day there is a crew breaking down the camp at the old site and another stationed at the new site setting up.  All campers are required to participate in the move or will be barred for a time from the camp if they do not participate.  During the move trucks are loaded and as each arrives at the new camp site they are unpacked.
Common use tents such as the kitchen and Front Desk tents are set up prior to any individual tents.  The perimeter privacy screen is erected.  Usually dump runs are needed and if it is available electrical cords are set up to run the camp’s microwave and coffee maker.   Due to the physical work required with the moves GSC also tries to make extra sure there are meals provided in both locations. Volunteers and friends who want to help with the move are always welcome. Next time one of our camps move, we encourage stopping by to lend a hand.  While it appears our camps move in one day it really takes a good couple of weeks to get really settled.

Thank you!

Thank you for participating in the mission of Greater Seattle Cares. Thank you for caring! And thank you for your donations of money, time, goods, and relationships. Your caring brings hope and change to those we serve.