‘Rover 1’ close to finding first home

Back in September, the Ballard Homes for All Coalition unveiled Rover 1 at the Sustainable Ballard Festival — a hygiene station designed for homeless car camps. And tonight at the Ballard District Council meeting, organizers say they’re “very close” to identifying the Rover 1’s pilot location. “We are starting with a single site at a church,” said Jean Darsie. “We don’t have one designated, but we think we’re close.” Darsie said that it would consist of three to four cars “and at most six people.” The homeless who use the Rover 1 would be pre-screened, just like the tent cities, and a “part time organizer will manage the site in cooperation with residents” in the surrounding area.

A member of the audience raised the concern that not everyone is in favor of the idea. “What you have here, for the most part, is the choir,” she said to the council, and she asked what was being done to let the community know about the initiative. Ballard District Coordinator Rob Mattson urged those in attendance to talk to their neighbors and nearby businesses about the idea, and he underlined the point that although the city was “willing to give this a shot as a demonstration project,” it was not going to monitor or be responsible for it. Representative Mary Lou Dickerson, who supports the idea, emphasized that it was just one pilot site. “We’re talking about three to four cars,” she said.

We’ll let you know the pilot location as soon as it’s announced.

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