After an Encampment

Before moving out

A couple of days before the end of an encampment, invite the campus and the tent community to come together for an evening of gratitude. At this gathering you can serve a full meal or perhaps just a dessert.

At Seattle Pacific University, administrators, faculty, and students were present when Tent City 3 prepared to leave. During the final gathering, presentations were made, poems and prayers were shared, and community members spoke about what they learned.

Move-out day

Gather as many volunteers as possible to help on the encampment’s move-out day. You will need volunteers to help with breaking camp, loading vehicles, and receiving at the next location.

Also don’t forget to ask for help providing lunch to hard-working campers and volunteers. Sandwiches, fruit, water, and snacks are always welcomed.

Final steps

Wrap-up meeting. A week or two later, bring all your committees together for a wrap-up session. Have them write down what went well, what they learned, and what they suggest for the next time.

If budget and time permit, provide food and have participants share with the whole group. Also, collect everyone’s reflections, type them up, and save them to help prepare for the next time you host an encampment.

Summary report. Write a summary report for your campus or church community that includes:

  • Statistics about the final numbers in the encampment.
  • Classes or groups that engaged.
  • Photos and anecdotes.
  • Any class projects and learning outcomes that resulted.

Say thank you. Send an all-campus email thanking the campus and community collaborators and link to the summary report.

“Having the tent city on campus allowed us to bridge two disparate communities. ”
Karen A. Snedker and Jennifer McKinney
The Chronicle of Higher Education
A resident of Tent City 3 with his dog.

Video: Living in TC3

A Seattle videographer looks at homelessness through the eyes of TC3 residents encamped at Seattle Pacific in 2018.