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Tent City walk — and talk

Chad Coleman/Mercer Island Reporter A resident walks between the tents at Tent City 4, the Eastside homeless camp in Bellevue last Thursday. Residents squeeze into whatever space they are given, a spokesman said. The group needs a new place in November.  -
Chad Coleman/Mercer Island Reporter A resident walks between the tents at Tent City 4, the Eastside homeless camp in Bellevue last Thursday. Residents squeeze into whatever space they are given, a spokesman said. The group needs a new place in November.
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Reporter Staff

When and where Tent City 4 will be on Mercer Island is yet to be decided. Members of the Eastside homeless camp, however, are stressing the need for a host sooner than the Island Clergy Association had planned.

Merilyn Jensen, the mission’s coordinator for the Mercer Island Presbyterian Church, said nothing new has been done since reports came out that Tent City 4 may come to the Island. Earlier this month,when the Mercer Island Clergy Association announced it hopes to host the roving homeless camp in early 2008 at one of six possible Island congregations.

Members of the camp said they have offers in other communities during that time and are asking the clergy association for a spot for 90 days from November until February.

“The ideal location is any church willing to step up and be our host in November,” said Bruce Thomas, the camp advisor and a resident of Tent City 4.

On Thursday, a group of church members from the Presbyterian church toured the camp, which is currently located in Bellevue.

Thomas said the average stay at Tent City 4 is about six weeks but ranges from a couple of days to a year. He estimates the camp will have about 100 people when it comes to Mercer Island.

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