Sunday, May 22, 2011

The kitchen is closed.

It's a bit over a week since Nickelsville moved from my neighborhood - I miss the people and hope everybody is dry, warm and has a full belly, too. Present location of Nickelsville precludes my routine involvement, so now I'm only able to follow on Facebook or through emails, unless I'm as lucky as Lynnda who run into Jarvis on the bus the other day!

So no more direct reports, unless I visit, which I occasionally plan to do - there is no way to actually know how people are, without actually seeing them in their environment.  I know Lynnda is planning a visit shortly;  she will be in Nickelsville's  new neighborhood for something else and plans to drop off some firewood she has and never uses, but they are short of - have you seen that pic Pamela Kliment posted on FB where cardboard is burned with a caption 'needing wood'?

Again: Nickelsville's Facebook page, click here.

I will try to keep the pages of this blog alive by posting local stories about Nickelsville or issues of homelessness, as i find them.

Here is one very nice, from 'West Seattle Blog', although I loathe the premise of the article - that there is a separate category of people who are homeless, and the authors found one who is, surprise, surprise, just like the rest of us.  The truth is the people in tent cities are one of us, and we are one of them; there is no separation.

I'll assume that the authors knew the normal bias mainstream media has when it comes to the homeless people in our culture (quite sick culture of revering the rich no matter how they gained their goods, and blaming the poor people for their misfortune) and decided to work from that angle against the bias;  but I'd much prefer if they quit looking for 'special' homeless people and realized our common humanity.  With that small complaint, enjoy the article (most comments are refreshingly sane in support of Nickelsville, at least when I looked at them some 12 hours ago):

So you think you know who’s at Nickelsville? Read Mike’s story

May 20, 2011 at 10:22 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 67 Comments

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Shortly after the encampment that calls itself “Nickelsville” returned to West Seattle a week ago, two longtime WSB Forums members e-mailed with news that another longtime member and WSB site participant, whose many comments have provided humor and history, Mike aka “miws,” was among its newest residents; they helped him get set up there after he was evicted from his Morgan Junction apartment. We have met Mike several times over the past few years; we knew he was struggling, but didn’t know he had become homeless. We were glad to hear they wanted to tell his story, provided he gave his permission, which he did.)

Story by Joanne Brayden
Photos by Kevin McClintic
Special to West Seattle Blog

On Monday, Mike, who posts on the West Seattle Blog Forums as miws, became a resident of Nickelsville, the tent-city encampment that recently made news as it moved out of a city-provided shelter at old Fire Station #39 and back to an empty field in the industrial area along the Duwamish River at the eastern base of West Seattle, without the city’s blessing.

By Wednesday, Mike had already worked one shift as Security and voted in camp meetings that will determine the future of his new home. He hasn’t just settled in, he has become part of the community, and can’t stop telling everyone how lucky he was that Nickelsville moved back to West Seattle so there was space for him when he needed them.
The rest is here...


  1. thank you for your critique of the article on Nickelsville...

    if you followed the comments i hope you have discovered that i agree with you completely...
    the homeless are people just like us...

    although this article may have come across as a sort of see there article, it was prompted by the editor's anger at the us and them mentality of many to the homeless.

    Mike was simply an opportune example since he was well known and well liked on the West Seattle Blog forums.

    I am happy to report that as a result of this article, there are many West Seattle residents stepping up to replace the support system built at the firehouse.

    We can't replace the relationships you built with Nickelsville.. but we can begin to forge our own.

    Joanne Brayden

    i confess.. i don't know what to do with your dropdown box... so i chose anonymous as the least stressful response...

  2. hi Joanne,

    thank you for stopping by and taking the time to write. my minor 'critique' (i loved your story, which is why i posted it) was probably more reflecting on my own limitations and struggles on how to write about people who are homeless, than anything you did or wrote - apologize if it came the wrong way (i'm not a writer).

    i just checked the comment section under your article again, and the response is overwhelmingly positive still - which means that most people read your intent correctly and responded with warmth and support. all the best to Mike and everyone in nickelsville!

    that is truly delightful - i'm very happy to read that Nickelsville is getting support they deserve from their new neighbors in west seattle.

    p.s. sorry about the drop-box: i landed on blogosphere because i wanted to make a record of nickelsville when they arrived in my neighborhood in 2008 and that seemed to be the easiest way - it allowed me to just post what i thought was largely ignored story back then; several blogs later i'm not that wiser on how the blogger works...

  3. It's such a shame that you need to find a hook to get attention... but a blessing when that hook brings the kind of attention you had hoped for.

    I am trying to do the same thing with my stories that you are with this blog.. attempting to bring the right kind of attention to Nickelsville.

    I just finished another story in two parts.. we will see if it has enough of a hook to get them published... I think i set this one cleanly .. at least i hope so :)

    Joanne Brayden

  4. yes, a good hook is essential, especially emotional one, and especially in our world, where one who puts the best ad out, wins:). and wins everything - including hearts and minds. you clearly found a good hook, judging from how well people responded to your writing; good journalism! i'm super happy west seattle is showing to be a good neighbor to nickelsville and you should feel proud to be part of it.

    as for this blog, frankly, i didn't quite know why i started it; a bit to the tune 'I hope you're keeping some kind of record' (L. Cohen), because nobody else did... i meant to just leave it hanging on the intertubes as a proof of nickelsville's existence in u-district of 2008/9... oh, well, it's 2011 & i clearly fell into relationship with nickelsville - they keep teaching me something, so i hang around.

    best of luck on publishing your new story! is it about nickelsville or something else? SHARE, please.