UW Considers Welcoming Homeless Camp
A homeless camp could be coming to University of Washington for 90 days during the winter of 2017. School officials will consider letting the group called SHARE set up a tent city on campus.
The idea is old news to Seattle Pacific University and Seattle University, which have already hosted SHARE camps in recent years.
Peter Choi is a junior from South Korea, studying at SPU. He said he was nervous to have homeless people on campus, but that the experience completely changed his outlook.
"It really helped me to understand the emergency of homelessness in Seattle, so that was really good for me," he said. "Actually, I changed my minor to sociology to learn more about homelessness in Seattle, so that was a huge influence."
UW officials said they were inspired to consider a tent city after learning homelessness is on the rise in King County.
SHARE has been struggling with finances for its indoor shelters. If approved, the 100-person camp would be set up in a campus parking lot during winter quarter. No tuition or taxpayer monies would go toward the encampment. Rather, the university would raise private funds to cover costs, according to the website.
For now, the university is gathering public input and will hold open houses on the idea this Monday and Tuesday.
The meeting times are:
Monday, April 11, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. University Congregational, 4515 16th Ave N.E., Seattle
Tuesday, April 12, 12 – 2 p.m. Room 250, the HUB, University of Washington campus