Thursday, April 7, 2011

Monday Usual: what is usual in temporary state?

Pam, Richard and Jimbo chopped the veggies and quite a few people stopped to ask 'what's the soup today?'  Oh, Monday usual.  Many smiled back: 'ah, peanut soup'... It made me think how in a short space of several months of Nickelsville's time at  the fire stations something became 'usual', and how temporary that 'usual' Monday comfort food is to be, in the light of the upcoming move May 15th.  Nickelsville  will probably move away from my neighborhood, my involvement will end, and so will the Monday 'usual'.

I was probably not the only one thinking about it, because when John mentioned that he has a source for inexpensive sea food, and I asked if he could access it fairly soon (repeat of shrimp linguini?) so we can cook it while still having a real kitchen, Tracy nodded in agreement...  There might be no kitchen when the camp moves.  Again.  Look below for NPR story about Nickelsvile - it mentions that the camp moved 17 times already.

Joan Laage stopped by Nickelsville to address the upcoming butoh dance performance; Nate gave her a tour and they discussed organizational details.  Nate will be talking to Scott about securing a date and get back to Joan on this.

Scott's weekly letter to supporters is almost all about moving preparations:

Greeting from Nickelsville!
It has been another busy week for us and we are still working non-stop to find a permanent site. Our efforts include:
    A meeting with Councilperson Nick Licata and a strong contingent from last falls "Mayors Encampment Panel.'
   A tour and chat with Councilperson Tim Burgess.   He reported that Lake City Community and Business Leaders both had positive reviews of Nickelsville.
   An evening community meeting with Deputy Mayor Daryl Smith, where the future need for an interim survival mechanism for the Lake City community was expressed by Share/Wheel, the Mennonite Church, Local Homeless Advocates, and ourselves.  (Also mentioned was that Nickelsville is moving on May 15th, with thanks.)  Deputy Smith was encouraging, articulate and optimistic.  He said that a lot of things were still on the table to be worked out.
   An important discussion, with the Leadership Team at El Centro De La Raza, was held to plan for the future. Once we have a workable Request for Investment Proposal for the Sunny Jim site, the dialogue
will continue to create a partnership for the betterment of all.
   A meeting with a sub-committe of the Lake City Taskforce to End Homelessness. Many different ideas are still under consideration, but we all agreed upon the great need for Old Firestation 39 to continue to be open for the homeless community (with new management) after May15th.
    We were invited to a Persian New Year Celebration sponsored by a UW student that featured. phenomenal traditional dancers to say the least.

There will be many events during our last week at Nickelsville - get
them down in your calendar now!:

Sunday the 8th will be our last Mandatory Meeting and Tent Clean Up day.  Monday the 9th is Red Beans and Rice Day, followed by our last day of rest on Tuesday.  Wednesday the 11th, as always, is the Central Committee.  Thursday the 12th will be Music night, with surprise guests and chili-dogs.  On Friday the 13th the Nickelodeons will challenge bad luck with the Black Cat Caravan which will proceed from Nickelsville to City Hall in the mid afternoon.  There our elected officials will be reminded that Sunday is move day.

Saturday will be de-crudification day at the Old Firehouse.  Your participation in moving excess belongings to the dump will be greatly appreciated.  We want to leave the Old Firehouse in as good of shape as when we came!  The Nickelsville Pets will be sent to volunteer Pet Farms for the reminder of the weekend, in preperation for the move.

Sunday will not be a day of rest, but it will be a day of worship at the Old Firehouse.  Final packing will finish in the morning.  At 3 PM we hope the Religious Community will join us in worship, and at 5 PM
the trucks, cars, and other vehicles will head out to the permanent site.
You are needed - so we hope you'll be there with us!

CAUTION - Keep your ears open and your eyes peeled.  Times may change with short notice!
PS:  Our current needs include 33 gallon garbage bags, twine, permanent markers, duct tape, nails, and toilet paper.

Here is a NPR story on Nickelsville which KUOW run on February 11, 2011:

Homeless Camp Puts Down Roots With Seattle's OK
In July 2009, Ion Gardescu lifts up his tent to shake debris out as he breaks camp at Nickelsville.             Ted S. Warren/AP

A lot of cities view homeless encampments like weeds that have sprung up in the civic garden. Sacramento and Fort Worth, for example, have shut them down. Seattle, though, is taking a different approach: It wants a city-run camp on city-owned property. But some locals are criticizing the project for being at odds with the city's own plan to end homelessness.

'There Needs To Be A Place For Them'
Seattle's camp is dubbed Nickelsville — as a jab at the city's former mayor Greg Nickels, who tried to shut it down. The camp came together about three years ago and has moved 17 times since then.
On a recent Sunday night, Nickelsville was full to capacity. About 100 of Seattle's more than 8,000 homeless people live there. For now, it's set up at an old firehouse in the city's north end, next to a stretch of strip malls. The parking lot is packed with tents.

Around 6 p.m., people start to wander inside. "Nickelsville does take pets and children," says Peggy Hotes, one of the camp's organizers. "I think we have around nine dogs and eight cats."
The rest of the story is here (text and audio)


  1. Alex, the photo from NPR story does not show, at least not on my computer.

  2. thanks for alerting me on that, Sol; the story does link from my computer all right, but i added an actual url for anybody who's computer doesn't - just copy it and paste in your window. hope it works!

  3. I love your blog and hope to taste one of your yummy soups at some point. If any of your friends are interested in helping Nickelsville move, please have them contact or me

  4. thanks, Beatrice,

    for some reason blogger stopped notifying me about comments (it's quirky like that sometimes), so i only now noticed yours... sorry.

    i will be doing a special post soon about nickelsville moving (and then repeating plea for help in each subsequent post), and will add your email for contact too.

    come on monday or thursday for the soup!:)