Sunday, May 15, 2011

Saturday visit to ex- Nickelsville.

I stopped by the fire station in the evening on a hunch that somebody might  still be there:  maybe cleaning, maybe guarding, or maybe packing whatever was left.   2 or 3 people were on the guard duty and 6 or 9 people  (coming and going, hard to count),  I'm not sure why still there:  looking for a way to get to the new Nickelsville location?   Cleaning stuff?  Packing? I really don't know - but we were all very happy to see each other - like an extra bonus time given after our paths were destined to part.  One of the hugs nearly  broke my ribs - given in such an earnest joy.

Oh, and we saved the fish:  'I lived in this pet room for six months - with cats, dogs and fish.  People took their pets with them to the new Nickelsville location, but that one fish was somehow left behind, I don't know why.  I just put it in a small aquarium and want to save its life.  Soup Lady, could you please take it and keep it?'.  Oh, sure, I said - the young man's empathy for the fish was contagious and who wants to be on the  record as a fish-executioner?

'Look here, it comes with this big nice aquarium, and great  stuff to put it in for the fish to play with - (looked like a fish-playground and a tree-park) and there is the fish food to go with, too'.  He was now emptying the big aquarium from water and working fast on assembling the whole thing for me to take, breathlessly advertising how personable the fish is + its biological name (which I promptly forgot by now); all the  while my mind was in over-drive trying to figure out who should inherit the fish - I know nothing about the fish-keeping, and at this point mainly worried that I'd off the fish accidentally (by not feeding, not playing) while looking for a  home for it.

Then I met Rob -  he was there volunteering to help with the move, and presently was in the parking lot packing two residents' belonging into the trunk of his car - he was about to give them a ride to the new location. Fortunately Rob has 2 children and he thought his boy and  girl would enjoy taking care of the fish.   THE FISH HAS A HOME - hallelujah!  Thank you Rob, and whoever left the fish behind feel better, too.

How about dinner at the fire station?   'Well, could  you make a soup out of fake eggs and old bread?' -  somebody asked jokingly.  That was all we found in the kitchen, so I went to Fred Meyer nearby and brought back some sandwiches, roasted chicken  and potato salad.  It went fast - the people were hungry, probably no food since Nickelsville moved 24+ hours ago..

Later in the evening  I looked at Nickelsville's Facebook page and found pictures and videos from the new location - was very happy to see familiar faces in the pics, making themselves home and  pitching the tents .  Less happy about the  all night  rain, followed by nearly all day rain today and cool temps...  Hope  everybody is warm and dry.

TJ posted on the FB about trying to get to Nickelsville on the bus + this poem - a very sweet one:

10 years have past since ive been back
to the seattle streets i call home
I,ve missed the well known faces
and wondering around by road


And here a  story about Nickelsville from yesterday's KOMOnews:

SEATTLE - The homeless camp known as Nickelsville is back where it began.

Tents now sit in the same South Seattle lot where the camp first popped up in 2008, when Greg Nickels was still mayor of Seattle. The city forced everyone out in 2009 - sending them all over town to find new locations every three months.

While Seattle is in the process of finding the camp a permanent location, residents say this is their choice.

"It's a good middle ground - a lot of green, a lot of room for people to come in anytime they need to, good bus routes, only a few neighbors who might have a problem with us - and who we hope to negotiate with them in good faith," says Nickelsville resident Nate Martin.
The rest here....

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