Ballard homeless camp residents don't want to break promise to neighbors
SEATTLE - People living in the Nickelsville Ballard homeless encampment brainstormed with community members Friday night about their next move.
Their two-year lease is up next Friday, Nov. 17, and the plan is to relocate the a camp at the Northlake site on the 3800 Block of 4th Ave. NE, near Wallingford.
The City of Seattle said the location won’t be ready until mid-December and Nickelsville is welcome to stay in Ballard.
However, people at the camp said don't want to go back on a promise they made to the neighborhood that they'd be out by next week.
“I don't want to move,” said camp resident Roger Emeline. “But we've made our decision and we've made our mind up that we're going to keep our word because it's the only thing we have and we're going to move on the 17th."
People at the camp said the new site is about 1,400 square feet smaller—9,400 square feet compared to 8,000 square feet for the new site.
They want the city to designate two new campsites or find a spot twice the size of the current camp.
“The proper thing we need is to be able to house families,” camp resident Annie Adan said. “That’s the most important thing so less people die on the streets.”
People living and working in that neighborhood said they wouldn't mind if the group stayed longer.
“I think Nickelsville serves what it needs to serve. So I have no issues whatsoever since living here with anyone,” said neighbor Natalie Robles.
Nickelsville operates four self-managed sites for homeless families including Nickelsville Ballard, Othello Village, Georgetown and Tiny House Village.
City officials said they plan to host two community meetings about the Northlake site on November 16 and 20 to figure out how to best serve the encampment and the neighborhood.