Here’s a letter from the Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church to the community about the new homeless camp at 20th and Jackson. Speaking only from our personal experience, having Nicklesville at 25th and Jackson for three months helped cut down on the amount of drug dealing and prostitution that was happening on the property of Mt. Baker Baptist Church. It was a good thing for the neighborhood and, of course, people need places to live safely, even if it’s just a tent. Let’s hope some of the homeless folks that will be staying here will be able to land some transitional housing and services.
August 30, 2013
Dear Central Area Neighbors,
The Seattle Times recently reported on the soaring rents that are pricing out families and individuals from living in Seattle. Unfortunately the housing crisis continues and low-income families, seniors, disabled and homeless people are the most impacted.
The Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church has a strong commitment to helping people in need. We have served the Central Area and greater Seattle for over 60 years. We offer transitional housing, a homeless feeding program, drug and alcohol counseling, and a variety of service ministries.
I would like to share with you our effort to help homeless people. The Seattle City Council directed Mayor McGinn to evict the residents of Nickelsville from their Marginal Way site on Sunday, September 1, 2013. About 125 homeless men, women and children who live there have no place to go. Our Church will lease a vacant lot owned by the nonprofit Low Income Housing Institute at 2020 S. Jackson Street to provide a place for the community to access supportive services and for us to provide shelter for approximately 35 men, women and children from Nickelsville.
We will help homeless veterans, families with children, and single people. They will be living in tents on platforms and in simple well-built wood structures. There are not enough shelters and affordable housing in Seattle. The One Night Count of homeless people in January 2013 showed over 2,700 people living on the streets. Since we will only shelter about 35 people, two other sites have been identified for the others from Nickelsville to move to.
The Church will offer a variety of services at 2020 S. Jackson for the community to access including information and referral, counseling and outreach, food, clothing, children’s school supplies and other services. There will be strict rules for the campers and 24/7 security at the site. There is a fence surrounding the property. Staff at the Church can share a copy of the encampment rules. We expect that Nickelsville will stay for one year. Please contact the following numbers if you would like to donate food, clothing or supplies, if you have questions or if you notice any security or safety concerns:
Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church: 329-9794
Low Income Housing Institute (staffed 24/7): 812-4373, ext. 101
In His Service,
Rev. Robert L. Manaway, Sr.