An appeal from Camp United We Stand

Monday, December 12, 2022

Camp United We Stand holding a meeting in 2009.
Photo copyright Marc Weinberg

Following is a communication from Beverly Hawkins, Board President of Camp United We Stand, a small tent community in Shoreline. The community is hosted in turn by several Shoreline churches and has been for over a decade.

c/o Richmond Beach Congregational Church-United Church of Christ
1512 NW 195TH ST
Shoreline, WA 98177

Dear Neighbor,

‘Tis the season of cold and rain, and also of giving. If you could help one person get off the cold streets and into a warm tent in a legally-authorized encampment, would you do so? You have probably read reports in The Seattle Times and other media of the thousands of unhoused people in King County. The King County Regional Homelessness Authority has estimated that rather than the approximately 13,000 individuals found on the streets in the 2020 One Night Count, a likelier homeless total is nearly 41,000. Until we are able to provide brick-and-mortar shelter and permanent housing, we must help our homeless neighbors however we can. That includes encampments.

Camp United We Stand (CUWS) is a legally-authorized homeless encampment with permits from the cities and churches that shelter us. We have federal 501(c)(3) status and are listed as a non-profit organization with the Washington State Department of Revenue. We have been lucky over the years in being hosted on church sites, but our wonderful congregational hosts are experiencing financial difficulties and can't provide some of the extras that they have previously. Thus, we are asking you to help.

We’d like to describe for you what kind of camp CUWS is. CUWS runs a strict camp. We run background checks on everyone, barring entry to sex offenders and those with outstanding warrants. We do not allow alcohol, drug use, or weapons. Bullying and harassment are not tolerated. Respect and civility toward other campers are required.

Who are our campers? Meet Ariana. Ariana had to escape her home because of escalating abuse. While living on the cold streets, she heard about Camp United We Stand, where campers pay $30 a month to help fund the camp. They are provided with a safe place to sleep, a communal kitchen with refrigerators and donated food, porta-potties, and a community that accepts them. It is a place where Ariana could live while she recovered from her difficult experience and looked for a job.

Then there is John. John is in his 60s. He never imagined his later years would come to this, and is very thankful that Camp United We Stand is here for him. His old bones appreciate the warmth of his bed, he gets plenty to eat, and he is glad to be here in a tent and not on the cold, wet streets.

Cost to outfit a new camp member

We need your help. It costs approximately $555 to outfit a new camper, if we already have the wood platforms and frames for the tarps. You are welcome to outfit a camper, or you may donate whatever you can. Send a check or money order made out to Camp United We Stand to our mailing address on the top of this letter, or visit our website: and click “donate”. All contributions are tax-deductible.


Beverly Hawkins
Board President, Camp United We Stand


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