After calling for volunteers to help move, Nickelsville decides to stay for now

Update: The Seattle Times followed up with a story today, calling Nickelsville’s short-lived attempt to move “rocky political theater.”

Earlier: Nickelsville’s two-year stay in Ballard is officially up on Saturday, and the city has told organizers that residents can stay in the camp until the new site in Northlake is ready next month.

But despite this assurance, Nickelsville was calling for volunteers to help them pack up and move today. Last night, they called off the move after an “emergency meeting.” Writes Nickelsville’s Scott Morrow on Facebook:

This evening, shortly after receipt of a letter from Councilpersons O’Brien, Juarez, Sawant, Harris-Talley and Johnson, the Ballard Nickelodeons held an emergency meeting. They considered this letter, the vote Wednesday of the City Council Budget Committee to fund two additional sanctioned encampments, and the urging Monday of the Ballard Alliance (formerly the Ballard Chamber of Commerce) to stay on Market Street.

With the expectation that Seattle Human Services Department leadership will respect the wisdom of the Majority of the Seattle City Council, Ballard Nickelodeons unanimously voted to suspend their move and remain at their present location.

In many ways this is a terrific resolution to a difficult challenge. We are in awe of the love and solidarity from so many that made this step possible.

George Scarola, Seattle’s Director of Homelessness, said Nickelsville has been granted an extended stay in Ballard until the Northlake site is ready in mid-December. In an earlier community meeting, camp residents were concerned that staying would break their promise with the neighborhood.

Meanwhile, the city is preparing the new site at 3814 Fourth Ave. NE, and a community meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, November 28th at 6:30 – 8 p.m. at the UW Fisheries building (1122 NE Boat Street) in Auditorium 102.

As deadline nears for Ballard Nickelsville to move, new location is not ready

The Ballard Nickelsville camp on Market St. will officially reach the end of its two-year stay on November 18th. But in a meeting with neighbors and the camp’s residents last night, the City of Seattle said the new location — at 3814 4th Ave. NE in the Northlake neighborhood — will not be ready until mid-December.

With winter approaching, the city says Nickelsville is welcome to stay in Ballard until then. But camp residents say they’re concerned that they’d be breaking their promise with the community if they don’t move on the 18th, according to KOMO TV. Neighbors at the meeting said they didn’t mind if campers stayed a little longer.

Another issue is the size of the new location — a plot of land owned by City Light. While 20% larger, campers worry it may yield less usable space than Nickelsville’s current location in Ballard.

Earlier this summer, a city report found that the Nickesville encampments around Seattle have met or exceeded performance expectations. The Ballard location was the first city-permitted encampment, and it serves up to 25 residents at a time.

The city says it’s planning two community meetings on Nov. 16th and 20th to discuss the Northlake site. There’s an existing meeting already planned for Nov. 28 to discuss the Northlake site at 6:30 p.m., UW Fisheries Building — Auditorium 102, 1122 NE Boat Street (flyer here).

We’ll keep you updated.

Nickelsville on the move again

Last year Interbay was on the short list to become a semi-permanent home for Nickelsville, Seattle’s roaming tent city, but Mayor McGinn would like to see the residents move to SODO. That may not happen and according to Publicola, Interbay may be back on the list. The nearly 100 people must move on May 15th from their current home in Lake City. The group spent several months in Magnolia before moving along to the University District.

MyBallard has partnered with the Common Language Project and the Entrepreneurial Journalism class at the University of Washington. In this multi-media presentation, Katie Melton, Ann Trigg and Allison Barrett go inside Nickelsville to learn more about the group.

Continue reading: Nickelsville a city on the move