The University Network

University of Washington’s Campus Becomes New Home for Homeless Campers

The University of Washington (UW) in Seattle, WA is home to many things, but will soon add a new group of individuals to its campus–homeless campers.

On Dec. 17, Tent City 3 (TC3), a group of about 100 homeless campers, begun their 90-day stay at the university’s campus at the corner of Brooklyn Avenue NE and Northeast Pacific Street, adjacent to the Fishery Sciences/Marine Studies building.

TC3 is an authorized encampment operated by the Seattle Housing and Resource Effort (SHARE) and WHEEL (Women’s Housing, Equality and Enhancement League), according to the Seattle Times. The goal of both organizations is to inform the community about homeless people and help make their life on the streets a much easier one.

Over 1,000 people attended town hall style meetings and sent in emails to university officials, urging to let the campus reside on campus.

In June of this year, President Ana Mari Cauce announced that the university would be moving forward with plans to host TC3 on campus.

“Our educational mission and role as a public university call us to find innovative ways to teach, learn and serve. It is my firm belief as a teacher, a scholar who has studied these issues, and a citizen of our community that hosting Tent City 3 is wholly consistent with our mission,” Cauce said in a press release.

There will be no tuition or taxpayer funds used for the campers, though participation and interaction with the campers by staff, faculty and students is encouraged.

Concerns about safety, parking and more are being put into consideration as the campers move to campus, according to Cauce.

“I recognize some of you may still have concerns and trepidation. That is fair and expected. I only ask that we approach hosting with open minds and take this opportunity to learn from the experiences of our neighbors,” Cauce said.

TC3 has strict rules for its residents. According to king5.com, there is no alcohol, drugs, open fires, or violence allowed. Sex offenders are not allowed at the tent city, either.

All of TC3’s residents are required to participate in a one night probationary period before being allowed to stay in the main camp.

Though hosted by UW, the move was also organized by the Tent City Collective, an organization made up of UW students, alumni, and TC3 residents, reported dailyuw.com.

The organization helps arrange many eager individuals, nonprofits and local governments to help out families and single people while they’re facing the trials of homelessness.  

Currently, Tent City Collective has begun a fundraiser for the move, trying to gather up donations for moving costs, as well as for expenses like permitting fees.