Temporary Use of Former Fire Station #39

Ed Pottharst emailed this out to many people in Lake City and Renee forwarded it to our list but I wanted to make sure as many people got to see it as possible.

November 15, 2010

Dear Lake City residents,

I am writing to let you know that the vacated former Fire Station 39 will be made available as
shelter for the camp known as Nickelsville for a period of 4-6 months.

This winter could be unusually wet and cold, and during a time of economic hardship and limited
resources, it is incumbent upon the City to make use of resources such as the former fire station
with creativity and compassion.

The building is located next to the brand new Fire Station 39, and will provide security and warm
showers for Nickelsville’s campers. Kyle Joyce, a property manager from the City’s Department
of Fleets and Administrative Services, has been assigned to oversee the facility while it is being
used for this purpose. The City will keep residents informed about the old station, but it is our
hope that the temporary use by Nickelsville will be met with understanding.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Mr. Joyce at (206) 684-7154.


Michael McGinn

It’s also being covered here in the SLOG: and I’m sure there will be even more details over time.

And I was right about more details.  Danae over at LakeCityLive was able to grab some recent pictures of the setup here:

[EDIT #2:]

SEATTLE – Deputy Mayor Darryl Smith announced today the site of the former Fire Station 39, located at northwest corner of Northeast 127th Street and 30th Avenue Northeast in the Lake City neighborhood will provide a winter shelter for the homeless encampment known as “Nickelsville.” Under the agreement signed with the city, the encampment will be housed at the site for approximately four to six months. It will be managed by the city’s Department of Finance and Administrative Services, which owns and manages the city’s fire stations.

The station was vacated when the brand new Fire Station 39 opened next door. The new station was built as part of the city’s Fire Facilities and Emergency Response Levy program. The city plans to eventually sell the property to support the levy.

“With snow forecast for this weekend and warnings of a long winter ahead, we moved fast to get the tent city residents into a secure and warm spot,” Smith said. “During this time of economic hardship and limited resources, it is incumbent upon the city to make use of resources, such as the former fire station, with creativity and compassion. It is our hope that the temporary use by Nickelsville will be met with understanding.”

The city is considering a city-sanctioned homeless encampment of up to 100 to 150 people at the site of the former Sunny Jim peanut butter factory, located in the SODO district at Airport Way South and South Snoqualmie Street. The city’s traffic signal and traffic sign shop occupies the south end of the site. The north end is now open because the building that housed the old peanut butter factory was destroyed by a fire a couple of months ago. The site will be cleared and graded flat, offering sufficient space to support an encampment and services for residents. Seattle would seek a nonprofit or other organization to manage the encampment, providing services to residents and data to the city. If the Sunny Jim site is deemed viable, it is not expected to be available until next spring at the earliest.

Experience has shown getting someone housed is the fastest and most effective way for a person to become self-sufficient. Unfortunately, the region has not been able to keep up with the demand. Since the beginning of Seattle’s participation in the 10-year Plan to End Homelessness, Seattle has provided funding to produce 1,601 units of housing for formerly homeless adults, families and youth. These units have been realized through a combination of acquisition and rehabilitation of existing buildings and new construction. Additionally, Seattle has secured operating and rental subsidies in existing housing to support another 967 units for formerly homeless adults, families and youth. Similar efforts elsewhere in King County have produced 464 units and secured operating and rental subsidies for another 1,117 units.

But despite that great progress, Seattle stills lack sufficient resources and facilities to meet the considerable needs of the unsheltered. In the most recent count, Seattle found nearly 2,000 people on the streets between 2 and 5 a.m. Waiting lists for housing are long, and shelters can pose serious challenges to people trying to hold down a job or in need of a safe place to spend the day.

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