Tent City 3 Returns to SPU

It’s a strange sight in the middle of a private university located in affluent Queen Anne — a cluster of tents, blue tarps, and board walkways encircled by a metal fence. But the university community and neighbors have seen this before. For the third time, Seattle Pacific University will welcome the residents of Tent City 3 (TC3) to campus beginning with move-in day on Saturday, November 18, at 8 a.m.

Why does a private, Christian university allow more than 60 people experiencing homelessness to set up tents on their campus? “Hosting Tent City 3 is a concrete manifestation of Seattle Pacific University’s mission to engage the culture and change the world,” says SPU President Daniel J. Martin. “It provides our community a unique opportunity to care for and learn from our neighbor.”

Learning about issues surrounding homelessness is a major component of SPU’s Homelessness Initiative, which began after the second campus visit by TC3 in 2015. The university has hosted forums, documentary screenings, and lectures from homeless and affordable housing advocates to help the community understand the complexity of poverty and living on the streets.

Seattle Pacific first hosted TC3 in 2012. The community relocates every three months, usually staying on church property. TC3 is self-managed and has a strict code of conduct. Residents take care of their own amenities like garbage and showers.

Tent City 3 will end their stay at Seattle Pacific on February 10, 2018.

Posted: Thursday, November 16, 2017