Tent City 3 settles in at Calvin Presbyterian Church

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Moonrise at camp site at Calvin Presbyterian
Photo by Marc Weinberg

Story and photos by Marc Weinberg

Saturday, November 17th was windy, chilly and raining lightly as Tent City 3 moved from their Tukwila location to Calvin Presbyterian Church (3rd NW and 185th Street). As the day progressed, the rains increased and the setup of large community tents became more difficult. I spent time there on three separate occasions on Saturday to document their work and note the progress which was painfully slow. 

The rain slowed the set up process
Photo by Marc Weinberg

In part this was due to the 25 mile journey from Tukwila, highway traffic and the weather. As you know by 4:30pm it was nearly dark and raining harder. The loading and unloading of their life's belongings seemed to take forever and when I left at 7:30pm there was no sign of personal tents of individual items which each camper packs separately in large plastic bags. New Hope Church of Shoreline supplied coffee and muffins during the morning hours, and Calvin delivered pizza during lunch. Someone else prepared dinner. 

Setting up framing for communal tents
Photo by Marc Weinberg

Somehow, through the wet and cold the residents persisted to setup enough space for everyone to eventually find a place to sleep for the night, but getting themselves dry was not an option. I returned Sunday morning to inquire and to observe how the setup was going. In my experience over the past four years, I'd say this move was surely one of the most labor intensive and lengthy due to the factors already mentioned and the short daylight hours. It will likely take several more days for the camp to be completed. In the meantime getting and staying warm and dry are the top priorities along with food furnished by charitable donors to keep the home fires burning. Not to imply that fires are allowed in Tent City 3, because they are not. This makes nourishing food essential.

Unloading had to be delayed until daylight
Photo by Marc Weinberg

If you have any thoughts about what you might do to help, go to Greater Seattle Cares for more information about supporting Tent City 3. They will be at this location for 90 days. Let's do our best to make these winter months and the holidays a pleasant one for our visitors. Although their lives are different than yours and mine, their needs are the same.


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