Northwest Asian Weekly
Campers at the Dearborn Nickelsville, an encampment for those who are homeless, have been asked to clear out of the location by 12:01 a.m. on Feb. 20, after which it will be closed.
On Feb. 13, Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd Pastor Steve Olson and Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI) Executive Director Sharon Lee served official notice of termination in a flyer at the 1010 S. Dearborn location in Seattle.
A reason cited for the closure is that campers have not followed the code of the conduct set forth by Nickelsville and the church, the encampment’s religious sponsor.
In a statement from Lee and Olsen, both stated that their respective organizations “are concerned about the drug activities, rule violations, and dysfunction at the existing camp.”
The Dearborn Nickelsville encampment has a temporary use permit issued by the City of Seattle, according to the statement. A three-party agreement was signed in 2014 between the property’s private owner (not named), the church, and Nickelsville, establishing the encampment and laying out the code of conduct. In 2015, LIHI, as a nonprofit, entered into the agreement.
Sponsorship by the church is required for the encampment to be legal and permitted. The agreement allows seven days notice in advance of termination.
The Dearborn property owner has opted to not have another church sponsor the site. The property will be returned to its former condition.
Displaced campers who wish to move to another encampment have to apply with Nickelsville or seek out other shelter alternatives created by the City of Seattle. (end)