Sammamish church eyes welcoming Tent City 4

October 2, 2013

NEW — 10:45 a.m. Oct. 2, 2013

Tent City 4 might move to Sammamish.

Members of the Mary, Queen of Peace Catholic Church Council are meeting tonight to decide if they want to extend an invitation to the group. If they do, the encampment could be in Sammamish a little more than two weeks later.

Organizers from the Tent City community received a shock late this summer when Bellevue, whose turn had arrived to host the traveling tented encampment, denied Tent City 4’s return.

“There are now two campsites on the Eastside,” Elisabeth Maupin, coordinator of the Issaquah Sammamish Interfaith Coalition, said, explaining the current Bellevue situation. “The other campsite had already filed for a permit to stay in Bellevue. And because Bellevue has a codicil that only allows for one campsite, the other camp was rejected.”

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Skyline football players lend helping hand to tent city move

July 30, 2013

Skyline High School’s football players know how good they have it. They live in Sammamish, one of the most affluent cities in the state, and they don’t have to worry about where they’re going to sleep each night or where their next meal will come from.

But the Spartans have been learning firsthand that many people aren’t so fortunate.

Contributed Skyline High School football players connect poles to help construct tents at Redmond Family Church July 13.

Skyline High School football players connect poles to help construct tents at Redmond Family Church July 13.

Skyline’s players perform community service activities each year, and on July 13, they spent time at Redwood Family Church in Redmond helping homeless people relocate their tents.

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Community Church of Issaquah building goes up for sale

July 24, 2012

The brick-and-stone building along Southwest Mountain Park Boulevard on Squak Mountain, longtime home to Community Church of Issaquah, is for sale, as the congregation searches for a smaller space for worship.

Community Church members — including some members in the current congregation — built the church building in the late 1960s, but the Rev. Keith Madsen said the congregation must adapt in order to continue.

“At one time, we had 300 to 400 people, a large youth group and many other things, back in the ’80s,” Madsen said. “Now, it’s gone through a series of hard times.”

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Issaquah Cooperative Preschool turns 50

April 17, 2012

Issaquah mother Dana Macario admits she was initially concerned when Tent City 4 took up residency in the parking lot of the community church where her children attend preschool.

Instead of chasing transients out of the facility, however, the parents of the Issaquah Cooperative Preschool combined their efforts to provide a dinner for the Tent City 4 occupants in January.

Many parents brought their children with them on that cold, winter evening to help deliver the food. Macario said it turned out to be a great experience.

“Seeing both parents and children working together to help those in need was such a great example for the kids,” she said. “It felt good knowing that our little group, in our own small way, was doing something to help others.”

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Tent City 4 relocates to Kirkland church

January 24, 2012

Tent City 4 residents pulled up stakes and left Issaquah for a Kirkland church Jan. 21.

The encampment departed as scheduled, despite icy conditions and power outages in Issaquah and across the region.

Tent City 4 settled in the Community Church of Issaquah parking lot in late October. The encampment rotates among Eastside religious institutions every 90 days.

Tent City 4 arrived in Issaquah on a rain-specked morning Oct. 21, as residents and volunteers loaded belongings into trucks parked at Temple B’nai Torah in Bellevue and headed east.

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Church hosts rocker-turned-healer

January 3, 2012

In the 1960s, Ginny Luedeman sang as a member of Morning Glory — a rock band sharing a bill alongside Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, The Grateful Dead and The Rolling Stones.

“I got into drugs and was trying to find some ideas that would help me,” she said.

The compass she sought turned out to be the Church of Christ, Scientist — a church founded by Mary Baker Eddy in 1879. Luedeman, now a spiritual healer and public speaker, plans to share insight about weathering tough times at a series of upcoming Issaquah talks.

The opening discussion is scheduled for the church hosting the Tent City 4 homeless encampment. Camp residents plan to attend the event at Community Church of Issaquah.

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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 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

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.

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