Family Drop-in Center now on summer hours

July 29, 2014

The Issaquah Family Drop-in Center is open by appointment only during the summer.

The program was started in late February at the Community Hall, 180 E. Sunset Way, to provide a resource for families in the Issaquah School District who are experiencing housing instability.

On Wednesday and Thursday afternoons, volunteers have been providing a listening ear, companionship and advocacy while helping families connect with local resources that may be able to help them stay housed or to access assistance that could help them remain within the area where their children go to school while they look for stable affordable housing.

The service is provided by volunteers through the Issaquah Sammamish Interfaith Coalition.

Call 206-478-3899 for an appointment.

Sammamish church eyes welcoming Tent City 4

October 8, 2013

Public meeting is set for Oct. 11

Tent City 4 might move to Sammamish.

Mary, Queen of Peace Catholic Church will hold a public meeting Oct. 11 to provide information and gather input from the community about possibly hosting the homeless encampment, which provides meals and overnight shelter.

After the meeting, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Oct. 11 at the church social hall at 1121 228th Ave. S.E. in Sammamish, the pastoral council will meet and likely develop a recommendation for the Rev. Kevin Duggan.

Rich Shively, pastoral administrator, said Duggan will have the final decision and will likely make his announcement the weekend of Oct. 12-13.

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Tent City 4 needs help to prepare, serve holiday season meals

December 7, 2011

NEW — 10 p.m. Dec. 7, 2011

Tent City 4 organizers need a hand to prepare and serve meals at the homeless encampment.

Elizabeth Maupin, Issaquah Sammamish Interfaith Coalition coordinator and Tent City 4 organizer, asked for volunteers for Dec. 26 and 31.

Maupin and Earle Jones plan to coordinate the Dec. 31 meal. In order to complete the process, Maupin and Jones need a half dozen or so volunteers to help. Contact Maupin at elimaupin@gmail.com to volunteer for either meal or to ask questions.

Organizers offer answers to frequently asked questions about serving meals at the campsite on the Tent City 4 website. The team also uses a frequently updated online calendar to track meals for Tent City 4.

Groups serving meals to Tent City 4 residents include faith organizations, families, Boy and Girl Scout troops, and more.

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Tent City 4, Eastside homeless camp, returns to Issaquah

October 25, 2011

Issaquah church hosts homeless encampment until late January

Amalie Easter helps move pallets as another Tent City 4 resident carries a plywood sheet during the move from Bellevue to Community Church of Issaquah. By Greg Farrar

Tent City 4 returned Oct. 21, as teams started the long process to transform a church parking lot into a camp for up to 100 homeless adults.

In a scene familiar to church members and Squak Mountain neighbors, Tent City 4 residents assembled pallets and plywood floorboards in a careful arrangement on the rain-slicked asphalt.

The crowd bustled, as camp residents and local church members, clad in raincoats and plastic ponchos, unloaded a truck and prepared spaces for nylon tents.

“We got the Hilton!” a man shouted from the truck gate. “Where do you want it?”

Only the Hilton is not a luxury hotel, but a repurposed military tent — and a sleeping place for male residents during the 90-day stint at Community Church of Issaquah. The encampment is due to depart Issaquah in late January.

The move to Issaquah represented a milestone for Tent City 4 resident Amalie Easter. The encampment relocated to the church hours before the last Issaquah High School regular season football game — and Easter’s son plays for the Eagles. Until Tent City 4 reached Issaquah, attending home games posed a challenge.

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Tent City 4 needs help for Oct. 21 move to Issaquah church

October 18, 2011

The parking lot at Community Church of Issaquah is due to transform into a campsite for up 100 adults Oct. 21 as Tent City 4 returns.

The camp is scheduled to remain on the site for 90 days through the holiday season. Tent City 4 last settled at the Issaquah church in August 2007 and January 2010.

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Tent City 4 to return to Issaquah church in October

June 21, 2011

Tent City 4, a tarp-clad encampment for up to 100 homeless people, is due to return to Issaquah in October.

Community Church of Issaquah congregants voted June 19 to allow Tent City 4 to settle on the church’s parking lot, Issaquah Sammamish Interfaith Coalition member Elizabeth Maupin said the day after the decision. Under the arrangement, the church provides space and the Issaquah Sammamish Interfaith Coalition coordinates volunteers and support for Tent City 4.

The camp also settled in the city in August 2007 and January 2010. Tent City 4 remains in a place for 90 days, and then residents pack up and relocate to another Eastside church.

Temple B’nai Torah is due to host Tent City 4 starting July 23. In the meantime, the camp is set up at St. Jude Parish in Redmond. The encampment should arrive in Issaquah by mid-October. Community Church of Issaquah is along Mountain Park Boulevard Southwest, about a half-mile up the Squak Mountain slope from the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery.

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Monologue offers ‘View from the Tent’

April 13, 2010

Before Tent City 4 departs from Issaquah, supporters of the homeless camp will pull back the flap and offer a perspective from inside the tent.

“View from the Tent” — a dramatic monologue based on letters from a homeless man — will anchor a benefit April 17 for the homeless encampment. Tent City 4 residents will answer questions from the audience after the performance.

Author M. Barrett Miller compiled letters from a homeless man, identified as Atreus, into a self-published book, “View from the Tent: Thoughts from a Homeless Man.” Dan Niven, a Seattle actor and musician, chanced upon the book as he browsed the shop at St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral in Seattle last year.

Miller co-founded a Seattle nonprofit organization, Let Kids Be Kids, dedicated to helping children participate in efforts to aid the homeless and people afflicted with HIV/AIDS. The experience led Miller to homeless camps throughout Seattle.

Once, Atreus handed Miller a letter. The notes continued on subsequent visits. The writer documented the people he met, and their stories, too.

“Overall, the stories are very hopeful. They’re very courageous,” Miller said.

The idea for a performance based on the experiences of a homeless man in Seattle germinated at a Starbucks. The coffee giant serves as the setting for a key scene in the book, as Atreus writes in a letter later used in the tome. Read more

Faith to succeed

March 30, 2010

Former Tent City 4 residents credit church for success

Dave Hansen (left) and his wife Stephanie recount how their 2007 stay in Tent City 4 and help from Community Church of Issaquah led to full-time jobs, housing and being able to regain custody of her son Joshua Byle, 14 (right), from foster care. — By Greg Farrar

The last time Tent City 4 settled in the Community Church of Issaquah parking lot, Stephanie and Dave Hansen lived in a nylon tent and shared camp duties with other residents, hauling blankets and serving on the leadership team. Like other residents of the homeless encampment, the Hansens traveled from the grounds of church to church as the encampment wended across the Eastside.

For the Hansens, however, the trip to Issaquah proved different. Interactions with church members helped the Hansens lay the groundwork for a transition back to full-time employment and housing. By the time Tent City 4 left Issaquah in November 2007, Stephanie Hansen had joined Community Church and befriended fellow parishioners. Meanwhile, the church hired Dave to work as a custodian.

“I, personally, had probably been to over 20 churches and never found a church that I liked that accepted me for who I was and didn’t try to change me,” Stephanie Hansen said. “These guys did that. They knew I was homeless from the beginning, because they saw me over at Tent City. Dave, too. And they didn’t judge us. We are who we are and they accept us.”

The encampment returned to the church grounds in January. The arrival brought back memories for the Hansens, who spent three months living in the same spot. The family credits Community Church for the turnaround. Read more

Tent City 4, ‘a crossroads of humanity,’ returns here

January 26, 2010

Paul Winterstein points out a spot to unload pallets and plywood sheets from a moving truck as Tent City 4 arrives Jan. 23 in Issaquah. By Greg Farrar

Tent City 4 returned last week, hauled piece-by-piece to Community Church of Issaquah, assembled by volunteers and readied for residents to settle into nylon tents by nightfall.

The homeless encampment returned to the Squak Mountain church where congregants last welcomed Tent City 4 in late 2007. The camp will remain at Community Church until late April.

Donald Brown, a Tent City 4 resident dressed in a plastic poncho and a hat with earflaps to protect against the chill, moved into the encampment last year. He described the camp as “a crossroads of humanity” where people with assorted backgrounds and experiences coexist.

“Some people come in and they stay a day,” he said. “Others stay for a year, two years, three years.” Read more

Tent City 4 homeless camp, ‘a crossroads of humanity,’ returns to Issaquah

January 23, 2010

Peter Martin, a resident of Tent City 4 since New Year’s Eve, and a member of the mobile homeless city’s five-member executive committee, carries a bundle of tarp fence framing lumber as pallets and plywood are assembled on moving day, Jan. 23 at Community Church of Issaquah. — Photo by Greg Farrar

NEW — 1:25 p.m. Jan. 23, 2010

Tent City 4 returned Saturday, hauled piece-by-piece to Community Church of Issaquah, assembled by volunteers and readied for residents to settle into nylon tents by nightfall.

The homeless encampment returned to the Squak Mountain church where congregants last welcomed Tent City 4 in late 2007. The camp will remain at Community Church until late April.

Donald Brown, a Tent City 4 resident dressed in a plastic poncho and a hat with earflaps to protect against the chill, moved into the encampment last year. He described the camp as “a crossroads of humanity” where people with assorted backgrounds and experiences coexist.

Read more

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