• Ansel Herz
  • One of Seattle's tent cities.

Expecting an eviction from their makeshift location within the next 24 hours, members and supporters of Ravenna's Tent City 3 today were gearing up for a protest camp-out at Westlake Park and a march on City Hall tomorrow. But the camp has received a last-minute reprieve from Mayor Ed Murray, who has been criticized for presiding over an increasing rate of evictions of homeless people sleeping in public places and for opposing the full legalization of encampments.

"At this time, the City is willing to suspend the notice to vacate on October 22nd," writes Deputy Mayor Hyeok Kim in a letter to the tent city organizers obtained by The Stranger. "But we need assurances from you that efforts to find a safe, sponsored, more permanent site to relocate to are being undertaken."

"Notice to Vacate" signs had been posted in the area last Friday, leaving camp residents scrambling to organize a response.

Two weekends ago, the Ravenna homeless camp moved to a grassy area off of Interstate 5 on 8th Ave. NE and NE 64th St, after its arrangement with Haller Lake United Methodist Church expired. One camp organizer told me they asked thirty churches to host the encampment temporarily until a sanctioned move to Seattle Pacific University scheduled for mid-January, but they couldn't find any.

The camp is home to about sixty people, according to homeless advocate Scott Morrow.

Deputy Mayor Kim's letter calls for a meeting this week between SHARE/WHEEL, the tent city organizers, the City, Haller Lake United Methodist Church, United We Stand, and SPU in order to draw up a relocation plan for November and December—one that "avoid[s] the use of public lands or city-controlled property."

I've reached out to SHARE/WHEEL but haven't heard back just yet. The mayor's office is also halting, for now, an eviction scheduled for tomorrow of a homeless camp on The Ave in the U-District that's attracted a lot of attention. That camp has been sheltering a family with a small child.