Patrick Robinson
Moving day for Nickelsville, Sept. 1, arrived with only a few unhappy or unwilling to deal with the change. Trucks arrived to transport what few belongings the residents had to one of three locations around the city. The site should be completely cleared in the next few days.

Nickelsville's final day was slower than expected but smoother too

The Nickelsville homeless encampment just off West Marginal Way SW in West Seattle saw its final day Sept. 1 as ordered by the City of Seattle and while it went slower than those in charge would have liked, it was mostly a smooth affair with little drama. The encampment has been on the site for the past two years.

Some of the structures on the site, essentially one room buildings with doors, wont be moved out until Tuesday when gear can come in and load them up. There is an agreement with the city to spend the next three days (until Sept. 4) to spend those days cleaning up the site. Four people will remain on the site to keep an eye on what remains until it is all removed.

Peggy Hotes, liason between the camp and their fiscal sponsor, said, "The people who have kept up on things weren't really surprised, there was a little tension at the end because we said if we don't have places for people to go we will stand our ground but we know now where almost everyone is going."

The former "Nickelodeons" as they were referred to, will go to:

  • A temporary site at 12914 Martin Luther King Way South in Skyway for up to three months. Another site in Seattle is lined up but is currently occupied and will be available in October.
  • 2020 Jackson Street a property owned by Lehigh.
  • Church of the Good Shepherd at 1419 22nd Ave. for about ten days.+

"I'm really pleased that we can keep people together and be safe again," said Hotes.

Hotes said that Food Lifeline is seeking the capital to build a warehouse on the Nickelsville site but that future is at this point uncertain. "That's helping poor people too," said Hotes.

In the meantime, former residents and volunteers will start to clean up the site.

Pets on the site are being assisted by Teri Ensley of Furry Faces Foundation. "She found crates for the pets who needed to move. They were in the shade all day and we had a person watching over them to make sure they were ok. The Human Society checked to see if anyone wanted to surrender their pet and I think Furry Faces will come in again to see if there are any pets left.

The goats on the site, named Richard and Sally after city council members, have been moved to Skyway, "where they are feasting on blackberry bushes," explained Hotes.

Nickelsville in the end went quietly but will exist for some time in memory of those who called it home and of course on the internet. You can see (and donate) more about the move on the Facebook page for the community at https://www.facebook.com/groups/nickelsvilleworks/

The video about it is here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151794434820020

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