Tent City lawsuit

The court hearing for a lawsuit filed against the city, church and organization that operates Tent City was rescheduled for next Monday morning, July 28, in King County Superior Court.

Two North-end Island residents and neighbors of the hosting church filed for a restraining order to prevent the camp from coming to Mercer Island two weeks ago. The plaintiffs want a court injunction prohibiting the camp until a city ordinance regarding temporary homeless encampments is enacted.

The United Methodist Church, located in the First Hill neighborhood along S.E. 24th Street, invited the camp last month to stay from early August until November. The city, church and SHARE/WHEEL, the organization that runs the homeless camp, then entered a temporary-use agreement.

The suit contends that the agreement is illegal and that an ordinance should be enacted before the camp stays on the Island. Since the church announced its intentions to host the camp, several neighbors have voiced their concerns that they were not notified properly or given the opportunity to approve of the camp coming to their neighborhood.

Tent City 4 is currently at Temple B’Nai Torah in Bellevue, staying for its second time. It has moved from several Eastside cities since its inception in 2003. This will be the first time that the camp stays on Mercer Island.

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