Open Letter to Support Ballard Nickelsville

Although there are dozens of available plots that would work well for Nickelsville, City

officials have not yet offered a reasonable site for relocation. In addition to a city ordinance

that limits the duration of stay for sanctioned encampments to two years, the Ballard

Nickelsville community has expressed a deep commitment to keeping their 2-year promise

to their NW Market St. neighbors, and have vowed to move mid-November — even if they

don’t have anywhere to relocate.

Please sign our petition!


Dear Mayor Tim Burgess, Director of Homelessness George Scarola, HSD

Encampment Placement Coordinator Lisa Gustaveson, and the Seattle City Council:

We understand that you are working to identify a suitable site for the relocation of the

Nickelsville Sanctioned Encampment in Ballard, and we urge you to provide the residents

with a new site that: (1) is at least as large as their current location; (2) ensures access for

visitors, as well as trash collection and porta potty servicing; and (3) is offered to the

current residents at least 30 days before their required November 18th move date.

As neighbors of the Nickelsville Encampment in Ballard we have had a chance to see

firsthand what a strong, empathetic and supportive community can achieve. The residents

of this encampment have built an intentional community and have forged strong, positive

relationships with those living and working nearby. They have built this community utilizing

solar energy, which is safer and more accessible to disabled people than a camp with

cables running on the ground. They have created a system of security that makes certain

drug and alcohol use does not occur on site and is not a factor in their lives. This

community, hosting around 22 people at a time, has helped many people get the

resources they need in order to find work and housing.

The Nickelsville Ballard residents have built a reputation of honor in the neighborhood, and

have vowed to uphold the commitment they made to leave by November 18. The residents

of Nickelsville realize that a breach of trust regarding the move-out date at their current

location may reflect negatively on any possible future location for Nickelsville

encampments. For this reason, an extended period of stay at 2826 NW Market street is not

an option. In order to preserve the safety and security of their community we call on you to

provide them with a site that meets their stated needs at least 30 days before they must


In order to maintain the systems and connections they have developed, and upon which

they depend for their survival, the encampment will need a space at least as large as their

current 9500 sq. ft. location, and preferably larger. We urge you to respect the residents’

knowledge of what is needed to successfully address their needs for safety, stability and


It is stressful and disruptive to move under ordinary circumstances. The residents of

Nickelsville are contending with extraordinary circumstances just to survive. They will

need as much advance notice as possible in order to make the complicated transition to

their new temporary home. We call on you to offer them a suitable new location in writing

by October 18, 2017.


Concerned Nickelsville Neighbors

Neighborhood Action Council, District 6

Nickelsville Works

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