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HSD Recommends Extending the Permit for Camp Second Chance on Myers Way

The Human Services Department (HSD) recommends extending the permit for the Myers Way (also known as Camp Second Chance) permitted village to remain at 9701 Myers Way South for an additional 12 months, until March 2019.

HSD considered the following criteria in making this decision:

  1. Is the program meeting the performance measures as described in the City contract?
    1. Number of unduplicated homeless individuals/families that meet their emergency or immediate shelter needs
    2. Percentage of homeless households who exit to permanent housing
  2. Does the property exhibit physical deterioration that could pose a serious threat to the residents, neighbors or long-term uses?
  3. Are there significant unforeseen impacts on the surrounding community that are directly attributed to the presence of the permitted encampment village?

The HSD contracted site operator, Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI), is required to utilize the Seattle-King County Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) to collect program level data. Since March 2017, when it received a city permit, 139 people who had been living unsheltered have been served at Camp Second Chance. In addition, the data shows that 26% of people who have left the Camp, exited to move into permanent housing.

HSD, in conjunction with other city entities, has determined the property at 9701 Myers Way South is not exhibiting physical deterioration, and the property is safely hosting this village.

Camp Second Chance is operating well at this location and should remain in place for an additional 12-months.

Frequently Asked Questions about Myers Way/Camp Second Chance Permitted Village:

Who operates Camp Second Chance?

                The Seattle Human Services Department (HSD) contracts with the Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI) to operate seven permitted villages across the City. LIHI works with the leadership at Camp Second Chance to manage the daily operations at the Camp. LIHI ensures that security measures are followed and that residents have access to resources that meet their fundamental needs, in addition to supporting a case manager who helps residents connect to housing.

What rules do the residents of Camp Second Chance have to follow?

                Camp Second Chance is required to operate under two HSD approved plans. The management plan outlines program rules, resident code of conduct and rights, security and public health protocol, partner decision-making, coordination and communication, data collection procedures, and community relations. The service plan describes the case management and referral procedures to help residents access on and offsite resources.

How much does it cost to operate Camp Second Chance?

                HSD contributes $936,000 toward the annual operating costs of three permitted villages – Camp Second Chance, Licton Springs and Georgetown. HSD’s contribution towards Camp Second Chance is almost $200,000 in 2018.

How does the City measure the effectiveness of permitted villages?

                HSD contracts with LIHI to provide safer spaces to live for unsheltered people and to help people connect to housing while living in villages. Camp Second Chance served 139 households in 2017 and assisted 26% of households that exited the camp to enter permanent housing.

                HSD looks at five performance measures , which partners King County and United Way of King County also use,  when analyzing the effectiveness of our investments. These performance measures help HSD determine whether the system is efficient, providing good services, and helping the most in need. In the first quarter of 2018, Seattle’s permitted villages were at capacity, indicating that permitted villages are working to accommodate as many clients as they can every night. HSD will continue to monitor the outcomes of all its investments in the homeless services system.

What can the City do to address the conditions at the unmanaged tent encampments that are in the greenbelt across from Camp Second Chance?

                As neighbors know, people have lived unsheltered in the greenbelt along Myers Way for many years. As the crisis of homelessness has grown in Seattle, so have unmanaged tent encampments across the City, including Myers Way.

                Clean ups at unmanaged encampments are prioritized based on public health and safety conditions. The City also takes into consideration documented criminal behavior and obstructing use of public space, like blocking a sidewalk or sleeping in a picnic table shelter in a park, as part of this prioritization. Upon receiving reports, specially trained Navigation Team staff visit the site to assess the conditions. Encampments are then scheduled for removal based on the totality of conditions observed within the encampment.

                The steep incline and soft soil conditions of the Myers Way greenbelt make it difficult to fully remove debris and waste during the fall and winter months. To address the conditions of the unmanaged encampments in the greenbelt, the City has taken the following actions:

  • The Navigation Team, a cohort of police officers and homeless outreach workers, has visited a site near the SR-509 service road and WSDOT drainage system weekly since February 2018 to perform outreach. One person chose to move to the permitted encampment in Georgetown.
  • WSDOT and the City of Seattle cleaned an accessible portion of this encampment to address conditions associated with increased flood risks in early March. The City works closely with WSDOT at a variety of sites, both to take advantage of WSDOT crews and to address WSDOT operational concerns.
  • Seattle Public Utilities has picked up garbage weekly at unmanaged encampments along Myers Way since May 2017.
  • Councilmember Herbold joined the Navigation Team on an outreach visit in the greenbelt in March.
  • The Navigation Team and WSDOT are monitoring the condition of the encampments and the ability of cleanup crews to work safely on the muddy slopes. Cleanup will proceed when conditions are reliably safe for this work.

City staff will continue to assess unmanaged encampment sites and prioritize clean up based on their health and safety conditions.