Volunteers build new tiny homes for the homeless in Interbay neighborhood
SEATTLE -- Benny Clevenger is among the dozens of campers that have called Tent City Five home.
For the past 12 years, homeless campers have been able to stay at Tent City Five on 17th Avenue between West Dravus and West Bertona Streets in Seattle.
The lease for the tent city runs out in November. Now, those residents are getting ready to move to a new site near Magnolia Bridge when it opens in about two weeks.
More than 100 volunteers are building new tiny homes in Seattle's Interbay neighborhood to give dozens of homeless people new homes.
The homes are 8 x 12 feet and will have electricity and heat.
“They’re going to insulate houses, put up plywood walls, put some flooring down,” said Josh Castle with Low Income Housing Institute.
“It's alarming how many families are on the street. These tiny homes will help get people off the streets,” said Castle.
The new city-sanctioned camp on 15th Avenue West is on land owned by the Port of Seattle.
Residents will be allowed to stay up to two years at the camp while they look for permanent housing.
"Ideally, we're trying to get people into housing as quickly as possible," Castle said.
The group Share/Wheel will operate the encampment and it will be self managed. There will be no drugs or alcohol allowed.
Supporters of the new camp said this is not the solution to homelessness, but it's a way for those who are homeless to be safe while looking for services they need.
"It's going to be really nice to have some walls around us instead of tents," Clevenger said.
“I kind of fell on hard times,” said Clevenger. “I got to try and get in a different field. I was a roofer for 20 years. I’m not really into roofing no more; I’m getting older.”
Organizers said there will be a few more work parties to finish building these tiny homes. The goal is for Tent City Five residents to move in to the homes about Nov. 17.