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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City OKs permit before Tent City 4 returns to Issaquah church

October 7, 2011

NEW — 6 a.m. Oct. 7, 2011

Tent City 4, a camp for up to 100 homeless people, is poised to return to a local church Oct. 21, after the city issued a permit for the encampment Tuesday.

The encampment is due to remain in the Community Church of Issaquah parking lot from late October until Jan. 21. Tent City 4 remains in a place for 90 days, and then residents pack up and relocate to another Eastside church.

Organizers need donations and volunteers to help relocate the encampment from a Bellevue synagogue to Issaquah.

Community Church of Issaquah is along Mountain Park Boulevard Southwest, about a half-mile up the Squak Mountain slope from the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery.

Tent City 4 operates under a strict set of rules outlining residents’ conduct.

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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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Press Editorial

June 21, 2011

Tent City 4’s return is opportunity for generosity

Tent City 4’s return is an opportunity for generosity

The last time Tent City 4 settled in Issaquah, residents at the homeless encampment called Issaquah the most-welcoming city on the Eastside.

Indeed, Issaquah is among the friendliest cities to Tent City 4 — a fact Community Church of Issaquah members showed June 19 by voting to host the camp again.

Community Church of Issaquah last hosted Tent City 4 in late 2007 and early 2010. Now, the camp is due to put down roots in the church’s parking lot amid the October chill.

In the past, after Tent City 4 landed in Issaquah, residents offered donations of clothing, food, money and, perhaps most importantly, time and hard work to make the stay a success.

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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.

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