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caption: Tent City 3, under I-5 in Seattle's Ravenna neighborhood.
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Tent City 3, under I-5 in Seattle's Ravenna neighborhood.
Credit: KUOW Photo/John Ryan

Seattle’s longest running homeless camp is in limbo

Tent City 3 is home to almost 50 people. This week, its host fell through, forcing it to illegally set up camp on public property.

So far, the city has not taken action to move them. Meanwhile the camp is scrambling to find its next home base.

Right now, they’re sandwiched between the I-5 freeway and a stretch of homes and businesses in Seattle's Ravenna neighborhood.

"We could stay here for a little while. But we don't want to stay here for too long. We would like an actual host," says Michelle Atwood.

She’s lived in the camp on and off for 4 years, and she’s an elected leader among the 47 people currently living there.

Her phone is ringing as we talk. She’s waiting for a call that lets her know they’ve found their next home.

For 3 months, at least.

The camp has a permit to set up on private property, but they must move to a new location every 90 days. Their previous location, at the University Congregational United Church of Christ, expired last week, and the next host the camp planned to visit fell through.

Seattle officials have confirmed they’ve met with members of the camp and in a statement said they are not considering an immediate removal of Tent City 3.

As for the next steps, Atwood said on Wednesday it's about securing a new location as quickly as possible.

"If somebody calls today and says ‘Hey, you can move in Friday,’ we’ll be there Friday," she says.