SEATTLE – After a stressful few days, the homeless encampment known as Nickelsville found a new temporary location.
Their lease is up at the current Nickelsville locations on September 1and they planned to move to a site off 10th and Dearborn in the SODO area.
City leaders put a stop to that plan Wednesday night when they announced that they had concerns of a landslide at that location and it would not be safe for people to live there.
As of Saturday, the people who live in the Nickelsville camp had no idea where they were moving. Sunday morning came along and they decided on a state owned location further east on Dearborn, where I-5 and I-90 intersect.
"We should be helping people, saving people, not destroying their lives," Nickelsville resident Richard Gilbert said. "What they want to do is remove homeless people from the city of Seattle."
Gilbert said he has lived at Nickelsville since it opened nearly six years ago. This is his 23rd move since the first day.
"We're not out here to hurt anybody," Gilbert said. "We're out here to create different ways of survival. This is what we're doing."
Mayor Murray and his staff made it clear that their decision to put a stop to the move was not intended as a slam to the homeless, but rather a decision that they believe is in the best interest of the people who would live there.
"We know if we stick together, things will turn out all right," Nickelsville volunteer Peggy Hotes said.
Hotes said she is hopeful that Nickelsville will be able to reach some middle ground with city leaders sometime this week so they can move to their permanent location at 10th and Dearborn.