Tent City sets up camp

After several weeks of controversy and a day in court, Tent City 4 was scheduled to move into the parking lot of the Mercer Island United Methodist Church on S.E. 24th Street yesterday, after Reporter press time.

Since the congregation announced its decision to host the camp for homeless men and women for about 90 days beginning this month, neighbors of the church have voiced concerns about the camp and its residents. Several Islanders have said they worry that the camp will increase crime in the neighborhood and pose a danger to their families. Tent City supporters and residents argue that the camp has a good track record of maintaining neighborhood safety during its stays in various communities.

Neighbors of the church have also disputed the city’s temporary use agreement, which it made with the church and organization that operates the homeless encampment.

A lawsuit was filed to contest the legality of that agreement, and last week, a judge denied a request for a restraining order that would have prevented the camp from coming to the Island until the trial took place. However, litigation regarding the agreement will continue.

For more information about the move and the encampment’s first few days on Mercer Island, visit our Web site at

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