University of Washington students organize medical care for Tent City 4

December 27, 2011

The community often donates clothing and food to Tent City 4, and a group of University of Washington public health graduate students is organizing medical care for the homeless encampment’s residents.

Tent City 4 settled in the Community Church of Issaquah parking lot in late October. The encampment — home to up to 100 homeless adults — is due to remain on the site until Jan. 21 before relocating to a Kirkland church.

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International Smile Power, dentists aid Tent City 4 residents

December 20, 2011

Issaquah-based International Smile Power and local dentists teamed up last month to brighten Tent City 4 residents’ smiles.

The nonprofit International Smile Power and Dr. Jeffrey Zent, a local dentist, combined resources to treat more than 30 Tent City 4 residents at Zent’s offices. For the Nov. 19 event, 20 dentists, hygienists, assistants and drivers participated to offer the residents dental care at no cost.

“This is the second time we have hosted Tent City 4 and it has been a very rewarding event,” Zent said. “We were able to provide 20 cleanings, 36 fillings, 39 extractions and multiple dentures.”

In the past, providing dentures to Tent City 4 residents posed a challenge, but for the November event, denturist Perry Balcom offered his services. Balcom donated many dentures, and International Smile Power donated others.

“In the past, we have been able to fix broken teeth and get people out of pain,” Zent said. “But this year, we have been able to give people a smile or even just a way to eat with Perry’s dentures. This will have a major impact on their life.”

International Smile Power delivers dental health care, supplies, education and training to underserved people in the United States and around the globe.

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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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Smile, lend Tent City 4 a hand for upcoming Dental Day

November 15, 2011

NEW — 6 a.m. Nov. 15, 2011

International Smile Power plans to brighten Tent City 4 residents’ smiles, but the nonprofit organization needs some help to do so.

Dental Day at Tent City 4, a homeless encampment, runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. International Smile plans to offer oral exams, cleanings, fillings and other services to camp residents.

Organizers need drivers to transport residents to and from Tent City 4 at Community Church of Issaquah to the Issaquah dental office. The team also needs more hygienists and dental assistants to pitch in. People interested in volunteering should email smilepower@smilepower.org.

International Smile Power delivers dental health care, supplies, education and training to underserved people in the United States and around the globe.

Tent City 4 settled in Issaquah late last month and is due to remain at the church until late January.

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 moves to Issaquah / Oct. 21, 2011

October 25, 2011

Tent City 4 relocates to Community Church of Issaquah

October 21, 2011

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

NEW — 12:20 p.m. Oct. 21, 2011

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

The move to Issaquah is special for Tent City 4 resident Amalie Easter. The camp relocated on the same day as the last Issaquah High School regular season football game.

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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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Off the Press

October 18, 2011

Issaquah greets, embraces Tent City 4

Warren Kagarise Press reporter

Tent City 4 is due to return just in time for autumn chill and damp, but Issaquah — a community celebrated for a commitment to helping people in need — is certain to offer a warm embrace to the encampment.

The camp, a tarp-clad home to about 100 people, settled on the Community Church of Issaquah parking lot in August 2007 and again in January 2010.

Days after the camp settled in Issaquah for the most recent stint, camp residents extended a greeting to myself and another reporter for a night behind the Tent City 4 fence.

(The initial idea emerged as a way to introduce readers to camp residents and chronicle the experience on Twitter — a then-novel idea as The Issaquah Press started to experiment in the social media realm.)

The encampment provided shelter to about 80 people then. Some shared stories eagerly. Others needed some coaxing to open up to a notebook-toting stranger.

Inside the encampment, interviewees said camp life offered a chance for stability.

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Tent City 4 prepares for Issaquah return

October 11, 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 Oct. 4.

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

Organizers need donations and volunteers to help relocate the encampment from a Bellevue synagogue. Learn more about Tent City 4 needs at http://tentcity4.info.

Under camp rules, residents must be adults. Most residents leave the encampment during the day to work. The community elects a camp executive committee to run day-to-day operations. The campsite features 24-hour security.

Organizers conduct warrant and convicted sex offender checks on people requesting to stay at Tent City 4. The camp bans offenders from the premises. Other rules prohibit alcohol, drugs and guns inside the encampment.

In June, Community Church of Issaquah congregants agreed to allow Tent City 4 to settle on the church’s parking lot. The encampment also stayed at the church in August 2007 and January 2010.

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