Seattle's oldest homeless camp is on the move again — to Tukwila
Tent City 3's residents know the moving routine. But that doesn't make it much easier.
It's Seattle's oldest homeless encampment, After struggling to find a place to stay, Tent City 3 moved from a University District church parking lot to unauthorized land in Ravenna a week ago.
Now, in less than two weeks, the 50 or so residents will move again to a church in Tukwila.
Mike Cleveland has been with Tent City 3 for almost a year and describes moving as muscle memory.
"This time kind of sucks because we don't have any time to rest from the last move," Cleveland said. "We're having to move in and now we're having to move again, and it is very, very wearing on people's body."
Cleveland has volunteered as a "move master" before, helping organize trucks or packing tents.
"The more you do it the more it's like, 'OK, once we get it over with we'll be done. Let's just get it over with' — like a Band-Aid," Cleveland said.
A week and a half before the move, Cleveland was helping sign in new residents and reminding them to downsize their belongings.
Laurie Campbell said she's not ready to pick up and move again so soon.
"We haven't been here a week and a half and we gotta move again and that's just depleting of all of our energy," Campbell said.
On a sunny Tuesday afternoon, Campbell walked Chico, her black Chihuahua, while she made some food in the community kitchen.
"I love this area. I really do. People are great here," Campbell said. "We also have a flat surface we can put our tents on. Normally we always have to be on some kind of an incline."
Brooklyn Gardenshire has lived with the camp for 10 months, and this will be her fifth move.
She said moving to Tukwila shouldn't affect her job in Seattle.
"The commute itself does not bother me," she said, "just the fact of being able to have a stable place to go. You can't complain about it."
The camp moves to Riverton Park United Methodist Church on Saturday, September 7.