A few days ago, Mayor Mike McGinn proposed that a city-sanctioned homeless encampment (the tent city previously known as “Nickelsville“) be operated on the site of the old Sunny Jim factory, west of Beacon Hill on Airport Way South between South Adams Street and South Snoqualmie Street. The city-owned Sunny Jim building was recently destroyed by fire. In his blog post about the encampment, McGinn said “A suitable site should accommodate on-site services geared toward moving residents to self-sufficiency… We would seek a nonprofit or other organization to manage the encampment, providing services to residents and data to the City.”
The City is holding two community meetings this Thursday, November 18, to discuss the proposed encampment location. Deputy Mayor Darryl Smith will lead the meetings, and he and other City staff will be available to answer questions.
The first meeting is for adjacent businesses, and will run from 5:30 to 7:00 pm at the City of Seattle sign shop, located on the south end of the Sunny Jim site at 4200 Airport Way South. The second meeting is for the general public, and will run from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. at the Showbox SODO, located at 1700 First Avenue South. For more information about the meetings, contact Elliott Day at 206-233-2664 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Over the next few days after McGinn’s proposal was announced, reactions to the announcement on the Beacon Hill and BAN neighborhood mailing lists were mixed. Some neighbors raised concerns about the suitability of the site, given its location just across I-5 from the Beacon Hill greenbelt, and the “Jungle” problems happening elsewhere in the greenbelt. Some commenters were concerned about the potential for accidents from pedestrians running across I-5 between the encampment and the greenbelt. Other commenters wanted to discuss ways that the project could do a better job to help the Nickelsville residents, and the types of structures that might enhance services for the encampment residents.
View Former Sunny Jim site in a larger map