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.